South Africa has one of the highest exposure rates to solar energy in the world. Our good weather and clear skies ensure a steady supply of energy which can be harnessed to provide heating of water. In Johannesburg about 800W of energy falls on 1m² of area EVERY hour during the day. To put it in perspective, it takes about 3000W to heat 200l of water in 1 hour to 50ºC, so there is plenty of energy available if you can convert it to heat. And it's free and endless (renewable) on a human time scale!
The SolarMate solar water heater is a domestic or industrial water heater which uses the energy of the sun to provide up to half the heating energy required to heat a litre of water to boiling point. This translates to a dramatic reduction in the cost of providing heated water through conventional means such as electric geyser. The payback period is typically less than 3 years and you start saving money from the day you install a SolarMate; see 'How it works'
The SolarMate is a South African designed, patented* and manufactured product. It is supplied with a 5 year warranty in 3 basic colours, black**, grass green** and terra cotta**, to match the colour of your roof; see images on top of the page. It is easily installed by a plumber or even by the average do-it-yourself person. Two connectors at the back feed water into and out of the system which is connected to a conventional geyser supply.
The Solarmate operates at a pressure of 4 bar (400kPa); see Specifications . Standard units heat 100 litres of water and they can be connected in series to heat 200 litres or more. An average household of 4 would use a 200 litre installation. The SolarMate can be connected in line with an electric geyser or it can be used as an exclusively solar powered water heater; alternately it can be fitted with an electric heating element and replace a conventional geyser.
The SolarMate is maintenance -free. Just a strong spray with a garden hose of the glass lens once per month before 8am or after 4pm during the dry (rain free) months is enough to keep it working efficiently.
It is therefore suitable for rural low cost applications, current urban/industrial use already supplied with conventional geysers or as a new environmentally friendly installation.
**Standard PLASCON colours or similar