Guide to Solar Geysers
Solar Geysers Installations
The most popular solar geyser system that we install is the split system. In this installation the geyser ramains hidden in the roof, not on the roof. A modern looking collector is installed flat onto the roof. This method is popular because it does not have a big geyser and pipework visible on the roof.
The second method of installation is the thermosyphon system. With this method the geyser and collector are both installed on the roof, the geyser is installed just above the collector. No pump is required and heat transfers naturally due to the heat rising principle.
The most popular size of electric geyser installed is undoubtedly a 150L electric geyser. Electric geysers are heated on demand so as soon as you start using hot water, the element starts to replace the lost heat. When installing a solar geyser, the geyser needs to store enough water to allow normal usage without having to heat itself up again until the sun is available the next day. This means that solar geysers need to be a little larger than an electric geyser. Ideal situation would be 150L for 1 - 2 persons, 200L for 3-4 persons. 300L solar geyser for 5 or more persons. But do not worry, if the geyser is a little smaller, a little more utility power will be needed to keep the water warm when it runs low. You will never have a cold bath.
Converting an existing geyser to solar
Converting a standard electric geyser to solar is called a retrofit. Copper pipes are installed from the geyser inlet, through the collector via a pump and back into the geyser. Each time the water temperature in the collector is hotter than inside the geyser, the pump will circulate the water pushing the hot water from the collector into the geyser. The quality of the pump is important, as this is the only moving part in the system.
What are the costs
The cost of the installation is related to the long list of installation materials required by the plumbing regulations. There are the major components such as geyser, solar collector, geyserwise / SR81 / SR868 controller, water pump, non return valves, drain valves, temperature/pressure valves, isolation valves and mixing valves. Then there is a long list of consumables such as piping, insulation, elbows and pieces etc.
How hot will the water get?
The water at your tap will always be the same temperature at 55 degrees as set by the mixing valve. A mixing valve takes the hot water from the geyser and cold water from the supply and mixes it with together to ensure that the temperature at your tap remains at 55 degrees or as set by the setting on the valve. This is done to protect the user from the unpredictable temperatures in the geyser.
The controller will limit the temperature inside your geyser to 70 degrees as the geyser is rated at 70 degrees. Once 70 degrees is reached, the geyser controller will stop pumping hot water fro the collector into the geyser.
Installation normally takes one full day.