This is a technology that uses the sun’s radiant energy to heat water. In Kenya and most of Africa, light and heat resources from the sun are very well distributed throughout the year. In Kenya for instance, we have very good levels of sunshine for around ten months per year. This accounts for slighltly above 80% of the time. Effective harnessing and efficient use of the sun’s energy for such a long period can do a lot for us.
For this this technology to work effectively, the following components must be used in combined variation:
- Heat absorbers (solar panels / Evacuated heat pipes): These absorb the sun’s energy (heat) and transfer it to the water or the heat exchange medium.
- Hot water storage cylinders: These store the heated water and makes it possible to have hot water at night when the sun sets.
- Plumbing: This is the pipe work that interconnects all the components used in a solar water heating system.
- Cold water source: This supplies the heating system with water, the type of the heating system used dictates whether the cold supply should be at an elevated level or not ie thermosyphon or forced circulation
Types Of Solar Water Heaters
There are four general classifications i.e
- Direct or Indirect
- Thermosyphon or Forced Circulation
Direct system is where the water is heated directly by the heat absorbers while the indirect systems use a heat exchanger (Medium) to heat the water.
These systems have a wide area of application:
Can be used in:
- Institutions (schools,colleges,hotels,hospitals) as well
We have carefully combined both imported and locally made components to come up with very efficient products.
- Other systems sizes especially for institutions and industries are designed on a case to case basis.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Research findings reveal that water heating in homes accounts for 50-70% of power bills depending on hot water demand. It makes a great deal of economical and as well as environmental sense therefore to invest in a solar water heating system. Apart from the initial investment costs, these systems require minimal maintenance and can stay in operation for more than twenty years.
Solar water heaters have payback periods ranging from one to three years.