Thrust on green concepts, increasing power cuts and better awareness on solar products have resulted in high demand for solar water heaters in the last two years.
Some companies in Coimbatore say that sale of solar water heaters has gone up four times during the last one year.
Most of the recently-constructed houses have provisions to install solar water heaters.
The demand is mainly from those who are just constructing a house or from those who have the provisions for these heaters.
A basic solar water heater consists of a collector and a storage tank.
The efficiency of the collectors is defined by the performance level.
An average solar collector has an efficiency level of 72 per cent, says A. Mahesh, Managing Director of Cascade Helio Thermics.
The technology adopted by solar water heater manufacturers has improved and the developments include four cavity evacuated solar tubular collectors, two cavity heat exchange evacuated solar tubular collectors, super-high pressure solar ETC collectors and special tanks for hard water. Though the frequency of break down is minimum in the solar heaters, if there is a break down, it should be attended to immediately.
Those who buy a solar water heater should be cautious.
They should check for Bureau of Indian Standard or MNRE mark, the warranty, availability of Government subsidy, the operation specifications, and the capacity of the product.
Those who use hot water throughout the day should go in for high-capacity tanks. Consumers who have installed the solar heaters should also take precautionary measures during rainy and winter seasons. They should try to avoid using the solar heater in the evening hours.
The cables and joints should be checked for insulation. Most of the solar water heaters have in-built electrical heater and these should be ready for use in winter.
Mr. Mahesh also suggests that consumers should avoid buying heaters with tubes of low efficiency level. There should be insulation for the vent. During winter, the solar water heater works as an electrical water heater and hence it should have rust proof support structure.
Source: The Hindu