Low Pressure Solar Geysers Vs Heat Pump Water Heaters

Making your home more energy efficient can be done in many ways. In this case, the focus is will be low pressure solar geysers vs heat pump water heaters. Which one of the two will serve you best and save you the most money? Unfortunately there is no straight answer. Instead, your needs and demands are going to determine which one suits your lifestyle better. To help get a better understanding of what you need, here’s a quick comparison.

Low Pressure Solar Geysers

The first big difference you’ll spot regarding low pressure solar geysers vs heat pump water heaters is the energy source. The solar geyser makes use of sun rays to heat the water and it’s a very basic design. There aren’t any moving parts (like pumps) involved, which means less maintenance, but also a slightly weaker stream.

Low Pressure Solar Geysers Vs Heat Pump Water Heaters

In South Africa a low pressure solar geyser kit consists of an evacuated tube collector and the tank. By using a natural circulation process via gravity, the water heated by the tubes move up to the tank. At the same time the cold water moves to the collector. Tube collectors are very popular for water heating, because they are a little more effective during cloudy days. Plus, their circular shape allows for better tracking during the day.

As mentioned, these are basic and straightforward kits. The installation is quick and the overall system is lightweight. Once the geyser is in place, you just need the sun to shine if you want to have some hot water.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters use a different concept for heating water. Instead generating heat, it captures it from the surrounding area. The best example would be a refrigerator that heats your food instead of keeping it cool. Where a refrigerator gets rid of hot air, the heat pump captures it. This heat is then transferred to the water. If you want to get really technical, the solar geyser depends on sun rays while the heat pump depends on actual heat.

its_pool_26_0_heat_pump

Another big difference is that heat pumps still require electricity to function. Even though they make energy usage for heating water more efficient, they can’t operate when the power is out. Plus, it still shows up on the electricity bill. In cases when the surrounding air is too cold, or when hot water is in high demand, it switches to the conventional resistance wire element to heat the water.

Low Pressure Solar Geysers Vs Heat Pump Water Heaters

If you want to be independent from the grid in terms of heating water, the low pressure solar geyser is your best option. Even though water can’t be heated at night, if used wisely the hot water should last the whole day. Add to this a substantial difference in your electricity bill and years of absolutely free hot water, then it makes loads of sense. However, the heat pump does have the advantage of heating water through the night, and you can adjust the settings for the efficiency levels.

Take nothing away from the heat pump water heaters, because the initial installation is slightly more affordable. But in the long run you save more with the solar option and there’s less maintenance. Regardless of which one you choose, you are going to save money, it’s just a question of how much?


solar inverter price

Solar Inverter Price – What To Consider

In these tough economic times, it’s natural that you want to keep an eye on your budget. Apart from earning a good income, you want to cut down on expenses. The good news is that if you’ve invested in a solar array, you’re already cutting expenses. But not all solar array’s cost the same, and some of the parts are more expensive than others. One of these parts is the inverter, and if you’ve looked at a few catalogues, you’ll know the solar inverter price can be intimidating.

Figure out what solar inverter price suits your budget.

In this article we’ll be looking at the aspects that affect a solar inverter price, in addition to what you have to keep in mind before making a purchase. As basic as solar power might be in terms of using it, there are some details you want to pay attention to.

What Type of System are You Using?

There are three main types of system you can use, namely off-the-grid, grid-tied and hybrid. You want to look at a good solar inverter price as well as one that fits the current system you are using. For example, with an off-the-grid system it’s best to go with a heavy duty inverter. Provided that you’ll be running everything on solar power, the inverter has to be able to carry the weight.

With a grid-tied system you’re looking at a bi-directional inverter. It works in such a way that the current can run in more than one direction, allowing you to feed energy back to the grid. Also, you’ll probably be using a smaller load of energy than those needed with off-the-grid systems.

In other words, the capacity of the inverter plays an important role and it will affect the solar inverter price. Even though the inverter is considered one of the more expensive parts within a solar energy system, it’s really something you want to choose carefully. Without it there’s nothing to convert the DC current to AC current.

How much Output do You Need?

This section might get a little tricky, because there is a difference between the capacity of the inverter and the output. The capacity speaks to the max DC energy can be fed into the inverter, while the output speaks to the max AC current you’ll be using to power your home. For example, if you buy a 3kW converter, but your panels are only capable of delivering 1kW, there’s a slight imbalance. If you plan on adding more panels, then you’ve made a pretty good investment. However, getting 3kW from your panels while your inverter can only handle a 1kW output seems like somewhat of a waste. Your not using your system to its full benefits.

Once again, don’t let the price dominate your decision. Of course it’s important to stick to your budget, but investing in a low-quality inverter means having it for a shorter period of time. Always keep in mind that the inverter has to do a heavy-duty job, and it’s the key to transforming the DC current.

 

Grid tied inverters

Grid tied inverters require the grid to be connected. These systems have no storage facility (batteries) and simply take the collected energy from the sun and directly convert it into AC power to support the load (premises used power). A very cost effective way to supplement your electricity costs should you utilize a fair amount of power in the daytime.

Single phase grid tied options

3 phase grid tied options

Inverter / charger

Inverter / charger units are used for storage systems where you would require use of DC power from batteries. Often used in combination with charge controllers that would essentially charge the batteries first then use the remainder of the PV power towards the loads.

Hybrid Inverters

Hybrid inverters are used for grid tied / off grid / storage and generator inputs. All different solar power applications are possible with hybrid inverters, the versatile options. Hybrid inverters accept DC and AC power.

 

 


low pressure geysers

Are Low Pressure Geysers the Right Choice for You?

South Africans have a choice regarding the way they use solar. You can choose to go with a complete, off the grid system. Or you can start small with something like low pressure geysers. Whatever your reason for going solar might be, you can be sure it’s a good one. Not only are you curbing your carbon footprint, you’ll be getting free electricity for years to come.

Low pressure geysers are basic and safe.

There are several reasons why a low pressure geyser is going to be the perfect choice, and this is what this article is going look at. We’ll be focusing on the basic way the geyser functions, and why it might be the solution for you.

The Basic Setup of Low Pressure Geysers

It doesn’t really get more basic than this, because there are no pumps involved, no electricity, and virtually no maintenance. However, you need to be satisfied with a combined unit. In other words, the solar collector and geyser are closely connected.

low pressure geysers

In the picture above you’re seeing the evacuated tube collector, which is a popular choice for a low pressure geyser. But if you prefer panels, those are available too. With a combined setup like this it means the position of the geyser has to move. This is because the circulation process relies on a natural cycle. Thanks to gravity, cold water goes down to the collector while the hot water moves up.

People Who Will Appreciate A Low Pressure Geyser

The first benefit that jumps to mind is the affordability. Given that this particular geyser is so cost effective, it’s a logical economic choice if you have a tight budget. For the second benefit we’ll refer back to the basic design. No pumps or other moving parts are necessary, which means you have less to worry about. In fact, you’re looking at a cut in costs for installation as well, seeing as the complications are minimal.

Last but not least, this is a very light unit that won’t put too much pressure on the roof. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space. In terms of presentation, it’s not the most attractive solar geyser on the market, but that’s the great thing about solar power. You get to choose other systems.

People Who Won’t Like It

The only real disadvantage you might have with a low pressure geyser is the combined unit situation. If you want the geyser to be separated from the collector and be less intrusive visually, you’ll need to look into other systems that involve pumps.

To Sum Up

Low pressure geysers are lightweight, affordable and basic way of reducing the electric bill. Even though it doesn’t look very fancy or sophisticated, it beats the hell out of paying Eskom such outrageous prices. But the great thing is that you have a variety of choices. If the low pressure system isn’t for you, then look into the high pressure and pump options. But if your budget is stricter than you want it to be, then you can’t go wrong with this solar geyser.