The popularity of installed solar hot water heater (SWHs) in South African families remains low, in spite of awareness concerning the potential benefits of SWHs amongst potential users gradually improving. Factors pointed out are widespread and include: mixed sensations about quality of items, clearness associating with possible savings and unreliable installers or suppliers. On the positive side, it is a truth that this growing market has attracted numerous brand-new entrants in the last 5 years (the market counts about 500 accredited suppliers at present). Lots of suppliers have gained strong competence in selling and installing SWHs. Buyers of new SWHs will very likely benefit from past experience gained by installers.
Typical water heating requirements of property end users account for in between 30 and 50 % of their electrical power expense. Setting up a SWH provides considerable chances to conserve on electricity usage. According to Eskom’s Measurement and Verification program (backed by the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa or SESSA), it has actually been shown that a 200 litres SWH with 3.0 square metres collector saves 3,000 kWh annually (or approximately R3,300, if transformed at average community electrical energy rates).
Likewise, preliminary market research, performed by Frost & Sullivan among personal homeowner that have set up a high pressure SWH, revealed that savings generally vary between 20 to 30 %, despite the fact that most of surveyed people did not know specifically how much they were conserving. This is primarily due to increasing electrical energy prices and also due to the fact that many just do not follow their electrical power usage. SWH owners were convinced they made a fair quantity of cost savings. Furthermore, 84 % of these individuals verified that they were really satisfied with the performance of their system and that it satisfied their prior expectations.
Innovation and Performance
SWH innovation is now proven and it is quickly identifiable which model one ought to install, depending upon the geographical area of the house (and the common climatic conditions), its structure and roofing system position compared to the sun, in addition to water pattern use.
As an example, China has the world’s biggest installed capability, with more than 30 million SWHs already set up thanks to strong federal government policy assistance, a proactive and competitive regional manufacturing market, along with strong coordination efforts amongst regional authorities. Cyprus, Israel, Austria, Germany, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Australia, and the United States are likewise fine examples of countries that prospered to introduce SWHs on a large scale. Much of those countries passed legislation needing SWH installation in new structures, which made up the primary trigger for large scale adoption.
The success of SWHs is described by the fact it enables minimizing dependence on national energy supply, taking pressure off the electricity grid, and at the very same time mitigating carbon emissions.
A SWH’s efficiency depends on the level of irradiation. Seasons and weather condition will impact the quantity of heating produced. On a cloudy day, less heat is emitted and, hence, less savings in electricity. For this factor, a little electrical back-up aspect belongs to the setup to ensure that water is always heated to a minimum set temperature level. Optimal slope and size of the panels are for that reason essential and ought to be completely gone over with the supplier and installer.
Investment Payback Period
Devices and setup costs might appear high, but considering the increasing electrical energy costs, the payback period has actually now reduced to a range of between 4 to 6 years, depending upon the effectiveness of the system set up and water pattern usage. When one makes a decision to buy apollo solar geysers, one must not just consider cost, however rather price and performance. As electrical energy costs will continue increasing, the repayment duration may become even shorter.
Since 2008, in an effort to incentivise the uptake of SWHs to assist with alleviating pressure off a stretched grid, Eskom has been offering rebates to domestic home owners for their purchase of a SWH. The size of the refund depends upon the Q aspect of each SWH model, as determined by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), and varies between R2,858 (100 litres, low pressure) and R8,964 (300 litres, high pressure). The Q factor is a measure of the heat gained in ideal ‘normal day’ conditions in Pretoria, thus suggesting the kilowatt hours of electrical energy it is anticipated to save money on a typical day. Among the downsides is the reality that if a comparable SWH system is installed in Pretoria and Upington, the system in Upington will benefit from the same refund as the one in Pretoria, despite more helpful weather conditions that should lead to more heat and therefore more electricity cost savings, notes Frost & Sullivan.
To date, total SWH set up capacity is approximated at about 215,000-250,000, including low and high pressure systems. According to a technical professional at SESSA, about 162,000 refund claims have actually been received at Eskom and 129,500 have actually been settled. Among those, 41,000 claims count for residential end users that have actually bought a high pressure SWH. Uptake has remained low, thinking about the one million target set by the federal government (to be achieved by 2014), however is anticipated to grow as electrical energy prices keep rising and more people wish to reduce their reliance from grid-supplied electricity.
Finally, according to SESSA’s technical specialist, quality SWH systems should have a 5-10 year guarantee, and 15-20 year life span, leaving adequate years for ‘free’ advantages after investment costs have been recovered.
With the debt consolidation of the market, the ‘fly by night’ providers will be gotten rid of, resulting in much better end quality services and items, and prices will eventually reduce thanks to larger economies of scale.
For those thinking about setting up a SWH, the Eskom Integrated Demand Management site supplies all details regarding the refund programme, along with a list of recognized suppliers and products per region with the corresponding rebate.
Installing a SWH does provide considerable benefits and these will increase with time as electrical power costs keep rising.