When you’re talking about heating water (as opposed to powering light bulbs or stereos), the sunlight doesn’t need to become electricity.
It needs to become hot. And turning sunlight into heat is no problem.
The core of a solar water heater is a solar collector (flat plate or evacuated tubes) and a storage tank (geyser).
Cold water travels from the geyser to the collector via either a natural thermosiphoning, or with the help of a pump.
The water is heated up as it travels through the collector and hot water is transferred back to the geyser where it is stored.
Instead of heating water, the solar collector heats a "heat transfer" fluid, such as antifreeze. The antifreeze then flows into the sealed piping of a heat exchanger, where it is surrounded by water. The water picks up the heat from the antifreeze (but never mixes with it), and is then pumped into a geyser. An alternative to to an indirect system would be Evactuated Tubes.
Water moves through the solar collector and into a geyser with the help of electrical pumps and controls, or via a natural thermosiphoning process.
| You may need...
Depending on whether or not you stay in a frost prone area you may need a direct or indirect Solar Water Heater:
| How solar works
The heating up of a geyser accounts for a good chunk of a homes energy use, on average about 40% - 60% of your electricity account is contributed to your geyser.
Solar Water Heating is about as green as hot water can get and is an excellent clean energy source: its fuel, sunlight, is limitless, free and emits nothing when converted into energy.
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Kyalami Business Park, Midrand.
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