Summer in South Africa is quite something. It brings with it the intense heat that can only be associated with the African sun. But there’s also a lot of excitement involved, because the swimming pool becomes a spot where friends and family gather. People come out of their homes and interact more, because it’s hot and we all want to take a trip to the beach. During summer, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you’re part of the energy efficient geysers club. It’s not like Eskom is going to run a summer promotion or anything, so why should this time of year be any different? Nothing is going to change the outlandish bill that comes to your house every month. But what if we told you, you don’t have to spend anything on hot water?
Investing in Energy Efficient Geysers
There are several ways you can try to get around Eskom’s insane prices. Unfortunately most of these ways will get you into trouble, and most likely a court date of some kind. However, there is one way that won’t see you running into any legal difficulties or pay for hot water. It’s summer in South Africa, which means you just need to look to the sun.
Solar panels didn’t pop up yesterday. They’ve been around for several years and they can turn your Eskom accumulation tank into energy efficient geysers. They offer you the opportunity to stop collecting money for a shady energy provider, and start spending it on yourself. Let’s explore this option, shall we?
The Basics of Solar Geysers
If you were to visit a great online solar shop, such as SolarAdvice, it might be a little overwhelming. There are special tanks to choose from, different solar collectors, and even a variety of kits. Where should you start your journey if you’re only discovering the magic of solar power now?
- Understanding the Collectors (Panels)
Let’s start with the collectors first, which are typically divided into two sections for solar geyser systems. The most popular choice is the monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. These are panels you have probably seen before and they look something like this.
Then you get evacuated tube collectors, which look something like this.
Both of these collectors do the same thing, which is collect radiation from the sun and turn it into energy. However, they function a little differently. Where the panels capture the radiation with the silicone cells, the evacuated collector captures the heat and insulates it within the hollow tubes.
While the panels aren’t as fragile as the tubes (although the tubes are fairly strong) and they are less expensive, the tube options is a little more effective during cloudy days. However, it doesn’t matter which one you choose, because both will keep the hot water running. If you want more info on different panels, read this article on the different types.
- Understanding the Tanks and Systems
You get different quality tanks, this is somewhat obvious. Some geyser tanks are more energy efficient than others, because they are better insulated (among other reasons). The tanks that are featured at the SolarAdvice online store are considered high quality and affordable. For the most part you don’t need a new tank when you want to switch to a solar geyser, because the retrofit kits utilizes the tank you already have.
But yes, there are also different tanks for different systems. When you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover different solar panel systems. Some heat the water directly while others use a heating liquid. There’s also the option of using a pump or letting the system utilize a natural thermo process.
- What about the Element?
If you don’t want to invest in a solar geyser just yet, there’s another option. You can switch the element with a more efficient alternative. The typical resistance wire elements in a tank are the main reasons why your bill is so high. By replacing it with the ceramic alternative, you can still sign up your name at the energy efficient geysers club.
Decide what You Need First
Before you start doing any kind of shopping, take a good look at your geyser. Can you afford a complete new system? In which case you replace the tank as well. Or is your budget better for a retrofit kit? In which case you keep your tank and just install the panels along with the other necessary components. If you’re budget is really small, consider using a more energy efficient element.