A solar water heater is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way of heating the water. It uses a solar thermal collector and converts the solar energy into heat. It is a great option if you want to save on your electricity bill and also contribute to the betterment of environment. If you wish to learn the advantages of solar water heater and how to select the best one, then you are at the right place.
Advantages of solar water heater
Solar water heaters are definitely worth buying. From saving money to high efficiency, there are so many good reasons to replace your traditional water heaters with solar water heaters. Have a look and decide for yourself:
Since solar water heater doesn’t need electricity or gas to heat water, it helps you save money on your monthly electricity or gas bill. Solar energy is free. You just have to invest money in installation and maintenance.
It is a great way to contribute to the sustainable development by reducing energy consumption. It reduces the carbon and other harmful greenhouse gases emissions. In other words, it reduces your carbon footprint and helps to fight pollution and climate crisis.
Power-cuts aren’t an issue anymore
With a solar geyser, you needn’t be dependent on the electricity anymore. Even during long hours of power-cuts, you can get heated water anytime. It is a great option for areas that suffer long power-cuts.
A solar water heater is highly efficient when it comes to heating water. It can easily convert approximately 80 percent of the solar radiations into heat energy.
A great investment with little or no maintenance
Once you have spent money on the installation, there is little or no maintenance that is needed. It is a great investment. A good solar heater can last you more than two decades with minimal maintenance required. It is cost-effective.
Here’s a list of some of the best solar water heaters in India along with detailed reviews. You can rely on this buying guide while buying a solar water heater.
How to select the best solar water heater in India
Choosing a right solar geyser can be a tedious task, considering so many models are available in the market. However, there are certain factors that you must keep in mind while choosing a solar water heater. They are:
Know the type: FPC vs ETC
There are generally two types of solar water heaters: Flat Plate Collector (FPC) and Evacuated Tube Collector (ETC).
FPCs are metallic whereas ETCs use glass tubes. The major difference lies in the efficiency of both these heaters. ETC is way more efficient when it comes to the production of heat and that is why it is the best option if you live in chilly or rainy region. There is also less heat loss in ETC.
When it comes to cost, FPC is cheaper than ETC. Due to its metallic structure, FPC is stronger than ETC and thus, lasts long. I’d personally suggest you to go for ETC solar heater because it has great performance.
Brand plays a great role while buying a solar heater. Always go for a certified brand that is trusted amongst the customers for its quality and after sale services. Also, a good brand also ensures great performance and will easily last you several years.
Some of the best solar water heater companies in India are:
Your geographical location is also important when it comes to selecting the right solar heater. If you like in a sunny area that receives sufficient solar radiations then you can opt for FPC. It is inexpensive. However, if you live in a region that receives less sunlight, then you should go for ETC. Although it is expensive but it is highly effective.
Liters per day (LPD)
While buying a solar geyser, it is important that you keep your family size and number of bathroom connections in mind. Go for the tank capacity that is sufficient for your family. If you have a small family then 150 – 250 LPD would be fine for you. For a big family, 300 or more LPD is great option.
Installation and after sale service
Find out if the company provides installation service at the place where you live. For example, some of the brands above offer installation service only in a city like Bangalore, Delhi, Gujarat, or Goa. If not, contact a local technician for installing your solar water heater.
Also, make sure you go through the user manual properly. Before making the purchase, enquire about the after sale service provided by the company along with their policies. This will save you from a lot of inconvenience later.
Going through customer reviews can help you to a great extent to get a clearer picture about what product you should go for. It also helps you understand both the pros and cons of a product and thus, make a better choice.
However, for a solar heater you will find less reviews online because of the non availability of the products and again solar geyser is a new thing and it is not widely used among the households in India. Most people preferred the electric geysers because of the cost and lack of awareness.
While buying a solar geyser, make sure it has a good warranty period. Generally, solar water heaters come with at least 5 years warranty, although it can vary from company to company. If you want to have the best experience, be considerate about the warranty offered by the company. You can even enquire about other policies as well.
If getting a solar water heater is not feasible to you, try electric geysers – 5 Best Geysers For Hard Water In India
Climate and solar water heater efficiency: will it work at my place?
As I have already mentioned before, the climate or the geographical location does affect the output of a solar geyser. If your geographical location is close to the equator, then solar heaters are just perfect for you. It will only increase the efficiency of the heat production. Even with a small or passive system, you will get incredible amount of heat.
However, for those who live in cold or rainy areas, installing a solar heater needs certain measure because such regions receive less amount of sunlight. In such situation, a large or active system is best. Go for an ETC solar water heater because it is highly efficient.
Apart from this, it is also important to monitor and prevent any potential freezing risk. So if you live in a cold region, always go for “drain back” tank model. You can also go for a system that comes with automatic temperature monitor feature in order to avoid any potential risk.
Solar water heater maintenance and cost
Once you have installed the solar water heater, it is suggested to get it maintained annually for better and smooth functioning. Scheduled maintenance is a great way to ensure long life of your device.
The maintenance of solar water heater generally includes cleaning, replacing and repairing different parts. The maintenance cost depends on various factors ranging from service provider to the condition of the solar water heater.
But it would hardly cost you much. The maintenance amount is very minimal as compared to the amount that you save on your bills due to solar water heater.
Does solar water heater work in night, winter, or rainy days?
Yes, solar water heater can work in night, winter or rainy days simply because they come with a backup unit to provide you heated water even when there is no sunlight.
In other words, they come with a backup gas or electric heater which doesn’t only heat water in night, winter or rainy days but also increases the temperature of water if it is not hot enough. Although the output might be affected a bit, but the backup will definitely give you great results.
This backup proves to be extremely useful if you need to store water for a long duration. You can even store hot water during day in the well-insulated tank and use it at night.
How long does solar water heater last?
Solar water heaters are made up of high-grade durable material. They usually have a long lifespan. With proper care and maintenance, they can easily last for up to 20 years. They also come with a good warranty period for long lasting performance.
If compared to the electric water heaters whose life span is considered to be 8 – 12, solar water heaters are much more durable. That is why it is important to go for a certified brand that provides long-lasting solar water heaters.
Solar water heater vs electric geyser: which one should I buy?
Both the solar and electric water heater are used for heating water. But I would personally recommend you solar water heater simply because unlike electric geyser, it is highly cost effective. Apart from installation and minimal maintenance, you needn’t spend anything. On the other hand, an electric water heater would cost you hefty amount of bill.
A solar geyser is also more eco-friendly as it depends on the renewable energy. Although an electric geyser needs less maintenance but a solar water heater has longer life span. Also, unlike electric water heater, it is well-equipped for power-cuts as well.
Related – best geysers for kitchen
Solar water heater price in India: is it expensive?
Solar water heaters come in a wide price range, depending on different factors like the brand, capacity, type, etc. In India, the price for a solar water heater normally comes between Rs. 10,000 and 1,10,000, and even more. You can find the cheapest as well as the most expensive solar water heaters in the market.
Considering this, solar water heaters are pretty affordable. You need to invest in installation and annual maintenance as well. But the savings on monthly electricity bills prove to be a payback.
To purchase a solar water heater at the best price, it is important to have a clear idea of your requirements, ranging from the type of solar water you need to the amount of capacity suitable for your family.
Solar water heater subsidy in India: can I avail it?
According to MNRE, you can easily avail subsidy and low interest cost for your solar water heater. However, the amount and procedure is different for each state.
For general states, the subsidy is 30%, whereas for special hilly regions or north-eastern states, it is 60%. It is advised that you go through the subsidy rule and procedure of your respective state.
The MNRE also provides other incentives like loans, rebate, capital subsidy etc. In order to avail subsidy, you have to go to MNRE approved solar water heater company.
Solar water geyser is one of the great investments that you can make. It won’t only help you save money but is also a great step towards a better future. With this buying guide, you will easily be able to choose the best solar water heater for your family. Just keep in mind your requirements and you are good to go.
Racold Solar Domestic Alpha Pro Water Heater is a great option if you are looking for an advanced solar heater.