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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.

Typical installation of 2 x 100 litre black SolarMate units

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

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