The largest consumer of power in any house is the geyser or boiler. The home shares this characteristic with average sized offices and business premises. Every homeowner or office manager has a unique love-hate relationship with this unit. It has its place (right at the top) as a provider of the good things in life. More often, this pleasure comes at a heavy, even affordable cost.
Technology has evolved to get us to the era of prepaid electricity and it has developed too to get us to the era of reliable solar water heating technology.
A reasonably priced and durable solar water heating unit on the market in Zimbabwe is the Evacuated Tube type. This is a basic thermo-siphon geyser which employs heating tubes to enhance its heating efficiency. Below are its major financial attributes:
The Costs – Solar Powered Vs Mains Powered Water Heaters
For argument’s sake, let us say a standard 200 litre mains electricity powered geyser will use 2 x 1.5Kw (3kw) elements. Assuming (very conservatively) that the geyser is used three times per day, requires an hour to reach an optimal temperature and is kept strictly to this regime, the unit will consume 9 Kilowatt-hours per day.
This will translate to 270 kilowatt-hours per 30 days. Taking the grid tariff of US$0.10 per kilo-watt hour, this geyser will cost US$27-00 per month and US$324-00 per year to run.
Of course we know the above costs are just academic as we always seem to pay way above those rates but let us use those to make a comparison between mains powered and solar powered water heaters
The purchase price of a basic 200 litre unit is US$ 595-00 (compared to US$450-US$500 for a mains powered unit) and installation price US$ 285-00 (compared to $70 for a grid powered unit). The total cost of purchasing and installing a solar powered unit comes to US$880-00. The running costs are US$0-00 and it has a generally trouble free lifespan of about 10 years. Factoring in the costs of the mains powered geyser above (assuming tariffs remain the same), the payback period for a solar geyser will be 2 years and 8 months. The next 6 years and 4 months, ever available and cost-free hot water!
Clamore Solar would like to hear from all homeowners/office managers who would turn their backs on the solar powered water heater and instead chose to pay more for the interrupt-able grid electricity powered geyser. Anybody?
CLICK HERE to download our solar geyser brochures.