When choosing a Solar Water Heating System you need to weigh up the pros and cons. The following should be considered before making the choice of installing a Solar Water Heating System. Also see Pros and Cons of a heat pump.
Advantages of installing a Solar Geyser System:
Free and renewable source of energy
Reduce dependence on fossil fuels
Rebate allowed for approved accredited Eskom Solar Water Heating
Electrical Power is not required*
Depending on the type of Solar Water Heating configuration no mechanical devices required (i.e. pumps)
Depending on the Solar Water Heating configuration risk of consequential damage is reduced
* Heating of water on overcast day(s) or additional hot water requirements alternative boosting such as electrical element or gas heating is required.
* Solar Water Heating System that require little or no electrical power need to be designed and installed correctly for the relevant household which may result in additional costs.
Disadvantages of installing a Solar Geyser System:
Relatively high upfront costs
Requires excellent freeze protection measures (indirect systems need to be installed in most regions throughout South Africa)
If a indirect system is used the heat transfer fluid (gycol) in the system needs to be replaced periodically i.e. maintenance
Higher degree of complexity for the installation required
Possible Roof strengthening is required
Aesthetics of the SWH on the roof structure maybe a problem
Roofing structure should be orientated true north** (roof orientation)
Suns radiation falling on solar collector between 9am and 3pm should not be obstructed by shadows from buildings, trees etc.
Pre-assessments of the site generally need’s to take place before installation is carried out.
Existing geyser is replaced unless it is used as a pre-feed
Increase in insurance premiums maybe required
** Variation of 45 degrees East or West of North is allowed with little effect on the SWH system performance. Roof frames can be used with additional costs.