Domestic solar heating
How does the solar energy work?
Solar energy is an endless, renewable source. Solar energy is created by harnessing the sun’s light and heat by capturing them through solar panels. Solar energy accounts for the majority of renewable energy, however only a fraction of the available energy is being used. There are two methods of harnessing solar energy. One focuses on gathering thermal energy and the other focuses on light energy.
How Solar Works
A solar water heating system consists of two main components; a solar collector (or panel) and a storage tank. The collector is a glass-glazed, insulated plate that is painted a dark colour for maximum light absorption. Collectors can be fixed onto any roof type, be it angled or flat. Inside the collector run a series of pipes for the transportation of water / other fluids (depending on the type of system you have, see the difference between direct and in-direct here.
The solar collector turns the sun’s energy into heat. This heat is then transferred via the pipes to the storage tank where the water is held. The hard truth is that electricity costs have been rising endlessly and are set to continue rising by an average of 25% per annum. As your geyser’s consumption can account for up to 60% of your monthly electricity bill, solar water heating is an extremely effective means of drastically reducing electricity costs with savings to be seen and enjoyed from day one.
Close coupled Systems
These are the most common systems on the market. It consists of roof-mounted solar collectors, combined with a horizontally-mounted storage tank located immediately above these collectors. In most close coupled systems a pump is not required. Heated water rises naturally through the solar collectors and enters the storage tank. When this happens, cooler water at the base of the storage tank is forced out and flows down to the bottom of the collectors. This cycle is continuously repeated while the sun is shining. Most commercially available solar hot water systems employ this cycle, commonly referred to as ‘thermosyphon flow’.
This system works on the same principle as the close-coupled thermo-syphon system, except that the storage tank is located within the roof space . The base of the tank must be situated at least 300 mm above the collectors.
The tank is located below the level of the collectors, usually at ground level. Water must therefore be pumped from the tank to the collectors and back by a thermostatically controlled pump. Pumps are not expensive to run, costing between one and two cents per hour. This system can be used when the roof structure isn’t strong enough to support a close-coupled system.
With the Solar Solutions split system the only thing visible on the roof is the flat plate or evacuated tube collector panels. Ideal when the home owner prefers the tank not to be visible on the roof. The storage cylinder can be mounted at any desired location. Depending on the location of the cylinder, pumps and controllers may be required to regulate the flow of water between the cylinder and the collector. An electric backup element cuts in on those days when the sun refuses to shine, so there is always plenty of hot water on tap, no matter what the conditions.
220V Circulation Pump
• High quality, robust bronze casing
• Easy installation
• 15mm ports
• 3 x adjustable speed settings
• Long term maintenance free operation
• Low operating noise
Geyserwise Max Controller Unit
With GeyserwiseMax, you start to save electricity and money immediately!
Between 40% and 60% of your electricity bill is often calculated as the geyser costs. With Geyserwise you can save up to 70% of the geyser costs on your electricity bill!
We replace your conventional thermostat with a digital thermostat. The unit can be used for a number of functions, including:
- setting your geyser to come on at specific times – up to 4 settings per day
- clear and accurate temperature displays and settings
- protection features
- Save up to 30% of your electricity bill
- Move your geyser usage to off peak periods
- Detect hot water pipe leaks early
- Detect scale build-up in your geyser – optionalPrevent your geyser from over heating
- Automatically turn your geyser off during periods when not in use
- Need hot water during the off period settings, easily over-ride your settings with one click
- Easily add on and manage a Solar Heating system with GeyserwiseMax
- Reduce your carbon footprint
For safety reasons and to avoid any further damage the unit will display an error code and shut the system down under the following conditions;
- Earth Leakage
- Element Failure
- Overheating > 85°C
- Sense Heat Failure e.g. scale build-up, leaking pipes
- Probe Failure
- Supports telephone remote control on/off, ability to interface with alarm systems