Solar Geyser: Everything you need to know

Solar geyser is an efficient and cost-effective way in which to heat your home’s water.

Did you know geysers can account for the majority of your electricity bill every month? Solar geysers, on the other hand, can reduce your bill by up to 60%. This means they are becoming a very popular home installation for many South African homeowners.
But how do you choose the one best suited for your home and your needs? It is first important to know how they work.

How do they work?

Very simply, they use the sun’s energy to heat up the water. The water in the pipes is heated by a process known as convection. This is when the water stored in the panels heats up and rises into the water tank above. The hot water in the tank then moves into the cylinder, usually located inside the house.
If the geyser is located in the ceiling, a circulating pump is needed to circulate the water between the tank and the panels.

Pros and Cons

The pros of a solar heater far outweigh the cons due to the environmental impact they have:

  • They are environmentally friendly
  • They use sunlight instead of electricity to heat water
  • The benefit of hot water, even during load shedding

The cons of the system, however, should not deter you from considering installing one in your home:

  • Expensive installation despite a low operating cost
  • They can be temperamental due to the weather – the water will not be as hot on a cloudy day as on a very sunny day
  • Electrical heating is therefore still required on a cloudy or cold day

Solar Geyser on roof

Do solar geysers work in Winter?

During the winter months when the sun’s heat is not as strong, they do generate less hot water. The solution is to leave the electrical element on for longer in order to heat the water to the desired temperature. While this may use slightly more electricity, the costs of running a solar water heating system is still significantly less than those of a conventional geyser.

How much is a solar geyser in South Africa?

The price of the water heating system is largely dependent on your household needs. The two systems, direct or indirect, will also help determine which geyser to install as well as the price.

  • Direct systems: pump water into solar panels. The water is heated and stored in the geyser. They can use either solar panels or evacuated tubes.
  • Indirect systems: use a specially designed type of anti-freeze. This circulates through solar panels to heat the water, and then flows to a geyser. They also operate with solar flat plate or evacuated tubes.

Which solar geyser is the best?

Before deciding on a water heating system for your home, it is worthwhile to first do research and speak to the experts about which geyser will best suit your needs.

If you install solar panels on your roof they’re going to be exposed to harsh weather conditions throughout the year. Strong winds, the baking sun, snow and hail can damage cheap solar panels as they’re not durable enough to withstand weather conditions long term.
Solar Geyser

In short

Making a move towards a greener future is in everyone’s interest and solar systems, despite the expense at the beginning, are a worthwhile investment.