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The appeal of installed solar hot water heater (SWHs) in South African households stays low, despite awareness relating to the potential benefits of SWHs amongst prospective users slowly enhancing. Factors cited are extensive and consist of: blended feelings about quality of products, clearness relating to prospective savings and undependable installers or providers. On the positive side, it is a truth that this growing market has brought in lots of new entrants in the last five years (the market counts about 500 certified providers at present). Lots of providers have acquired strong knowledge in selling and installing SWHs. Buyers of new SWHs will extremely likely benefit from past experience gotten by installers.
Common water heating requirements of domestic end users account for between 30 and 50 % of their electricity costs. Therefore, installing a SWH provides substantial opportunities to minimize electrical energy usage. According to Eskom’s Measurement and Verification program (backed by the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa or SESSA), it has actually been proven that a 200 litres SWH with 3.0 square metres collector saves 3,000 kWh per year (or approximately R3,300, if transformed at typical community electricity rates).
Preliminary market research study, carried out by Frost & Sullivan amongst personal house owners that have actually installed high pressure solar geysers, revealed that cost savings usually vary between 20 to 30 %, even though the majority of surveyed people did not know exactly how much they were saving. This is primarily due to increasing electricity prices and likewise since many merely do not follow their electrical power usage. Nevertheless, SWH owners were persuaded they made a reasonable amount of savings. 84 % of these people affirmed that they were extremely satisfied with the performance of their system and that it fulfilled their prior expectations.
SWH innovation is now shown and it is quickly recognizable which model one ought to install, depending upon the geographical place of your house (and the common weather conditions), its structure and roofing system position compared to the sun, along with water pattern use.
As an example, China has the world’s biggest set up capacity, with more than 30 million SWHs currently installed thanks to strong federal government policy assistance, a proactive and competitive local manufacturing industry, as well as strong coordination efforts among regional authorities. Cyprus, Israel, Austria, Germany, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Australia, and the United States are also good examples of nations that prospered to introduce SWHs on a large scale. Much of those nations passed legislation needing SWH installation in new buildings, which made up the main trigger for big scale adoption.
Undoubtedly, the success of SWHs is explained by the truth it permits lowering dependence on nationwide energy supply, taking pressure off the electrical power grid, and at the same time mitigating carbon emissions.
A SWH’s performance depends upon the level of irradiation. Seasons and weather will impact the quantity of heating produced. On a cloudy day, less heat is given off and, hence, less cost savings in electricity. For this reason, a little electrical back-up aspect belongs to the setup to ensure that water is constantly heated up to a minimum set temperature. Maximum incline and size of the panels are therefore vital and must be completely gone over with the provider and installer.
Financial Investment Payback Period
Devices and installation costs may appear high, however considering the increasing electricity prices, the payback period has actually now decreased to a variety of in between 4 to 6 years, depending upon the performance of the system set up and water pattern usage. When one decides to purchase a SWH, one ought to not only consider price, however rather cost and performance. As electrical energy rates will continue increasing, the payback duration may become even much shorter.
Since 2008, in an effort to incentivise the uptake of SWHs to help with alleviating pressure off a stretched grid, Eskom has been using rebates to property home owners for their purchase of a SWH. The size of the refund depends upon the Q factor of each SWH model, as figured out by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), and ranges in between R2,858 (100 litres, low pressure) and R8,964 (300 litres, high pressure). The Q aspect is a procedure of the heat gotten in ideal ‘typical day’ conditions in Pretoria, thus indicating the kilowatt hours of electrical power it is expected to save money on a typical day. One of the downsides is the fact that if a similar SWH system is set up in Pretoria and Upington, the system in Upington will benefit from the exact same refund as the one in Pretoria, in spite of more useful climatic conditions that should lead to more heat and hence more electrical energy cost savings, notes Frost & Sullivan.
Set up Capacity
To date, overall SWH installed capability is estimated at about 215,000-250,000, including low and high pressure systems. According to a technical expert at SESSA, about 162,000 refund claims have been received at Eskom and 129,500 have been settled. Among those, 41,000 claims count for residential end users that have bought a high pressure SWH. Uptake has actually stayed low, considering the one million target set by the federal government (to be achieved by 2014), but is expected to grow as electrical power rates keep increasing and more individuals want to lower their dependence from grid-supplied electricity.
According to SESSA’s technical professional, quality SWH systems must have a 5-10 year guarantee, and 15-20 year life expectancy, leaving ample years for ‘free’ benefits after financial investment costs have been recovered.
Likewise, with the consolidation of the market, the ‘fly by night’ providers will be gotten rid of, leading to better end quality services and products, and rates will eventually decrease thanks to larger economies of scale.
For those thinking about setting up a SWH, the Eskom Integrated Demand Management site supplies all information relating to the refund program, along with a list of accredited suppliers and products per region with the corresponding rebate.
Setting up a SWH does provide considerable benefits and these will increase with time as electricity rates keep increasing.