FAQ of solar water heater

FAQ of solar water heater

1. Is solar water heating a viable alternative to gas or electricity?
Solar should not be seen as a alternative to gas or electricity, but rather a supplement. Solar cannot totally replace the need for gas or electric heating as there are sometimes days when there is little sunlight. When averaged over a year, a correctly sized solar system can provide 60%-70% of a household's hot water needs. Providing more than this is unadvisable, as too much heat will be produced in the summer. The hot water system system can easily be automated so hot water is guaranteed regardless of sunlight levels.

2. How long will it take to recoup my investment?
Newfriend solar collectors are much more affordable than many other solar hot water heaters. For a household of 4, the price of a full system may not be too much more than a new electric or gas system. Depending on you location (solar levels) and current hot water usage the annual electricity or gas saving will differ. However in a normal household that spends 25% of its electricity bill on hot water heating, the full cost of the purchase may be recouped as quickly as 4-5 years in reduced bills. You will definitely make considerable savings during the life of the solar hot water heater.

3. Can Newfriend solar collectors be used in cold conditions?
Yes. Newfriend solar collectors can be used in temperatures as low as -30oC, although performance is greatly reduced in such extreme conditions. Good heat output is still achieved in mild sub-zero conditions.

4. What happens if one of the solar tubes is broken?
Firstly, tubes are very strong and not easily broken, but if the worst should happen, solar tubes can be replaced very easily. They are inexpensive and available though your local Newfriend distributor. The Newfriend solar collectors can operate with several broken tubes, but the efficiency will be reduced, so it is recommended that broken tubes be replaced immediately.

5. Will water be heated on a cloudy day?
Yes. Although the heat output of the solar collector is reduced on overcast days it will still be able to provide heating. If it is a heavily clouded day or raining, then more gas or electric boosting may be required to maintain water at the required temperature. This system will be automated so you don't have to worry about running out of hot water on a rainy day.

6. Can I use a solar collector with my existing hot water system?
Normally yes. Simple retrofit valves can often be used to allow solar to connect to your existing cold water inlet. If your tank cannot accept the solar input directly an additional storage tank can be installed to pre-heat the cold water prior to entering the existing tank.

7. Are the solar collectors noticeable on the roof?
If only the collector is mounted on the roof it should blend into the roof design quite well. Newfriend solar collectors are very thin and can be flush mounted on a roof. From a distance they look somewhat like a skylight. You may have to check with your local council regarding building restrictions when installing your solar collector. Click here to view installation photos.

8. Can Newfriend solar collectors be mounted on a flat surface?
Yes they may be mounted on a flat roof, or on the ground by using a stainless steel Flat Roof Frame. The collector should be installed at a minimum of 20o angle to ensure optimal heat pipe operation.

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