Are you tired of high electricity bills andundependable power supply whilst you are showering? There is light at the end of your tunnel: solar water heater is the answer.Read on to find out more about this natural source, cost-effectiveand reliable device.


A solar water heater (SWH) is a device that heats water by using sunlight; a solar thermal collector. The heating systems get the energy from thesun which iscollected from solar panels. There is an assortment of aqua basedsolar structures available at variouscosting in different climatic areas globally. These components are widely used inindustries, institutions and residential homes.


Solar water heaters are classified differently around the world: direct and indirect circulation systems, active and passive systems and closed and opened loop systems.

Open loop/Passive/ Direct circulation systems: They pump water through collectors, which is then directed into the house. They are equipped with automatic controller sensor when sunlight is present. However, this system isunproductive in freezing temperatures. It is best suited for a home that requires hot water continuously. It is also known asforced circulation system or thermo-syphon and is exposed to the atmosphere occasionally.

Closed loop/Active/Indirect circulation systems: Is a system that heats water by driving it through a heat-transfer fluid, so that the water doesn’t freeze up. It’s then directed through a heat exchanger and collectors and stored inside the storage tank.Heat exchangers are installed to guard the equipment from hard water and from freezing temperatures.


The heating system several key components, the main features include:

  • Thermal storage
  • System controller/controls
  • Solar collectors
  • Back-up water heater: gas or diesel generated back up source.

The sun heats the water in the solar collectors where the direct sunlight has been collected in the collectors. The water passes through a heat exchanger in the protected storage tank that transfers the heat to the water. It works by absorbing energy from the sun; this energy is then transformed into heat and transported to a water tank, which then effectively heats up your home’s water resource.


Simple steps of SWV installation is first erecting the solar collectors on the ground or roof, and then installing the heat exchanger, water storage tank and the water heater. This is followed by the laying of the pipes and pump before filling the system, once the water is heated it will provide round the clock supply of hot water.Ensure the plumbing mechanisms are made of either stainless steel, bronze, rubber, copper, brass or plastic as these are more resistant to rust. The storage tanks should be lined with plastic or glass as well.



  • Cost savings: Your independency to the power grid is greatly reduced and you save on fuel and electrical bills. The costing of the solar panels is cheaper than conventional domestic installations. Solar water heaters have a longer shelf:a well-maintainedsystem can last over 30 years before requiring anysignificant part replacements.
  • Less space: the panels are less space-intensive, needing minimal storage and installment space.
  • Minimal maintenance: marginal maintenance is required forthistype of system. Though the heaters and tanks will require annual flushing in order to expel any accumulated sediment.
  • Lower carbon footprint: it does not omit nor generate greenhouse toxins or other pollutant gases into the environment, thus ensuring that your home will be more eco-friendlier as a result of using this natural renewable energy.
  • High efficiency: Most of the sun’s energy is converted into the heat energy that is needed to acquire hot water.


  • Initial highcost: thoughsolar energy is free, the equipment and installation cost to harness this energy comes at a substantial cost. The initial investment is quite costly but worth it in the long run.
  • Weather dependent: major drawback of this system is, it solely dependent on solar: the sun.The installation of a backup heater is a necessity for those rainy, cloudy and foggyperiods.
  • Corrosion:especially for open loop systems, rust and corrosion can occur onthe steel/metal parts.
  • Overheating: can happen especially to active systems, when the dimensions of the storage tank are not suitable for the collector.

  1. Water source: Find out if your water source is soft or hard water, as different water have different mineral capacities thus usespecifically designed heating system.
  2. Plumbing:Ensure a professional electrician and plumber sets up your system to guarantee efficiency of your equipment.
  3. Temperature regulators &water pressure system: select the system that can withstand the pressure being emitted from the water point. With the aid of a technician, choose the correct type of systems: pressurized or non-pressurized system, that have an inbuilt thermostatic capacity to aid in temperature controlavoid scalding.
  4. Tank type:buy tanks used specifically solar heated water storageand canendure the heat and retain the heatgenerated.
  5. Installation, after sales service &maintenance: It is imperative to get professional assistance for the installation; also key verify what after sales services are offered.
  6. Location and climate of area: know your climatic/weather conditions before buying a solar water heater. The availability and adequacy of sunlight is vital for this component to work effectively and efficiently.
  7. Warranty & reputable companies: check the warranty before purchasing and find reliable, well known and reputable companies to buy from that will ensure you are purchasing genuine products.

In conclusion,we know the transition from non-renewable to renewable has always been marred by a lot of political, social and economic factors,to overcome these challenges a well-planned long term strategy has to be implemented. products has the prospective to reduce pollution and is a long term investment worth looking into.So, if you are still using electrical or gas water heaters,this is the time to convert and go solar: free energy at your disposal.

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