Harvest sun! Solar water heater in Kenya

Use of hot water is mandatory to most Kenyan population since it accompanies cooking, bathing and to some extent washing. Being a necessity and with an ever growing Kenyan population, there has been an increase in demand for hot water.

With electricity prices unstable and supplies unpredictable, the use of electricity has been a nightmare for Kenyans. While the use of carbon fuels in heating water have been on the rise, there has been an international concern that their use be minimized to reduce emissions causing global warming and ozone depletion. In summary, there is a need to shift to renewable green energy of which solar is the prime component.

Since Kenya is positioned fairly below the Sun, it receives more than sufficient sunshine which when properly harnessed, can provide enough energy to run even more advanced industries, let alone the hugest solar water heater panels. These challenges associated with the existing power sources for heating water have given the population of solar water heater users in Kenya an opportunity to expand beyond limits. Some of the benefits and demerits associated with solar water heaters in Kenya are:

Pros

Ecofriendly – it has no emissions hence does not pollute the environment. It also promotes conservation of natural resources.

Reliable – since Kenya is favorably positioned along the equator, the quantity of sunshine received makes the solar water systems confidently reliable.

Less costly – once bought and installed, the solar water heater cost literally zero money, save for little maintenance cost which comes after some durations.

Cons

Weather dependent – due to climatic variations, not all regions receive same amount of sunshine. This makes use of solar water heater unreliable in such areas though this challenge can be overcome by use special solar water heaters (evacuated tube collector) which are very delicate and expensive.

Maintenance cost – since all machines experience breakdowns, some repairs may be expensive.

Vandalism prone – those installed in less secure places can be vandalized or stolen due to their portability.

Components

The most essential parts of a solar water heater one needs to know before acquiring are:

Solar collectors – this converts sun rays into heat energy. It is dark/black panel in color.

Heat transfer fluid –it transfers heat from collectors to storage. The fluid can be mobile/ flowing water in warm regions while in cold region, an at-freeze fluid is used.

Heat exchange – it transfers heat from the fluid into the domestic home water supply.

Storage tanks – keeps hot water before it is used.

Pumps – regulates the flow of transfer fluid between the collector panel and storage tank.

A compact picture of a solar water heater panel

Factors to consider when acquiring solar water heater in Kenya

Before purchase solar system from solar water heater kenya, important factors to note are:

Cost – with the current economic challenges, it is better to acquire an affordable, efficient solar panel of size proportional to your budget.

Source of water – since most Kenyans are not connected to soft water, an option of acquiring an indirect solar water heater (majorly for hard water) needs to be explored.

Size and capacity – the number of people to be served by the hot water is keyto determining the size and capacity of the solar water heater. For family uses, a smaller solar water heater is enough while for commercial purposes (hotels, guest’s houses and hospitals) a larger heater is necessary.

Conclusions

Beyond reasonable doubts, solar water heater has proven to be the only solution this energy challenge for water heating. It is an idea whose time cannot be postponed. It has to be embraced in totality to save our pockets, environment as well as precious natural resources.

For more information on this, visit https://www.solarwaterheaterkenya.com

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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