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Old 13th November 2008, 13:25   #1
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Default Solar water heater

I just got a solar water heater installed at my home. I did not find any thread on this topic so I am starting one.

While I have written full experience on my blog, I was not, till recently, aware of was that there is an excellent support/subsidy given by government agency that include:
1. Outright subsidy
2. Low rate loans @2% per annum
3. Monthly rebate in electricity bills

All this actually makes use of solar water heater a zero cost option at worst. Technically the newer heaters offer better corrosion protection and supply hot (and I mean hot) water round the clock.

Any others who would like to share their experiences?
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Old 13th November 2008, 13:41   #2
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How long does it take to break even vis-a-vis the initial investment ?
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Old 13th November 2008, 13:51   #3
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Total net investment Rs45k (after subsidy of Rs10k) for a 200lts storage heater. Monthly saving in electricity bill (annualized) Rs900 plus monthly rebate in electricity bill Rs200. Monthly saving Rs1100. Work out the ROI.

I have taken loan of Rs36k for 36 months at annual rate of 2%. Monthly installment Rs1000 plus average interest on reducing balance Rs30 (Starting interest Rs60)

So net I am in positive cash flow right from day one with net investment of ~Rs9k. I estimate repair and upkeep at par with normal water heaters so is not factored.

Plus a huge contribution towards environment.
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Old 13th November 2008, 13:56   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
While I have written full experience on my blog, I was not, till recently, aware of was that there is an excellent support/subsidy given by government agency that include:
1. Outright subsidy
2. Low rate loans @2% per annum
3. Monthly rebate in electricity bills
1. Outright subsidy - Haven't heard this before.
2. Low rate loans @2% per annum - Is available, but there is a catch. Only state-owned banks give this loan and they have quite a few caveats loaded, which makes the process quite cumbersome.
3. Monthly rebate in electricity bills - We get Rs. 40 per month on our electricity bills.

With just the rebate on electricity bills, it's quite tough to break even. It would be a lot easier to check the monthly gyser bills and then try and equate the same, it would then make sense.
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Old 13th November 2008, 14:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
With just the rebate on electricity bills, it's quite tough to break even. It would be a lot easier to check the monthly gyser bills and then try and equate the same, it would then make sense.
Did that on my blog post. A 2kW gyser run for just two hours a day consumes 4 units and I have three in my home so consumption is 12units @Rs4.55 --> Rs55 / day --> Rs 1650 / month. Since I run heaters for only six months this becomes Rs825/month annualised. Add electricity rebate Rs200 (I am in Haryana. It is Rs100 for a 100ltr unit)

Subsidy cheque has been received and encashed. So can not be doubted. Yep the low interest loan is from PSU banks but if your papers are in order this is not a issue.
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Old 13th November 2008, 16:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Any others who would like to share their experiences?
Nice to know someone else on T-BHP also has solar water heater.



We had solar water heater for eight years now. It is from NRG technologies ( Vadodara ). Capacity is 200 ltrs. We have to fill in some coolant type oil or liquid into it and it heats up the water. Was working well for six years. This year dad ordered a new one with vaccum tube heater. The skeleton stand is assembled at our terrace right now.

About our present heater:
1) Panels are huge and if regularly cleaned will give great service.
2) Cleaning must be done in when temperatures are low i.e. early morning or late evening or in night.
3) The oil/coolant will flow into the panels, get heated up in turn heat up the water. Simple.
4) The misconception that hot water round the clock wont be available is not applicable to our solar heater and I think since 10 years these heaters are avilable. No need to worry about this. At its peak performacne, we got hot water at 5 A.M.in winters, the water was so hot that we had to add cold water.
5) The pipe carrying heated water must be well insulated. This is very, very important for the efficiency. Otherwise in winters when the water reaches you for the first time, a lot of hot water will be wasted just as the pipe will be cold. If almost all the pipe is well insulated, it will work the best.
6) I dont know how, but two years ago, it developed a leak in the panel and but even today if we put in distilled water, it works good for 4-5 days.

The replacement solar heater is better. The small pipes in heating panel are vaccumed and so maximum amount of heat is taken in but the loss is not much. Longer life and less maintainence are expected.

I think that using solar heater might not be inexpensive, but gives you satisfaction about not using the electricity.
And now with the type of heates avilable, they have longer life, more efficiency and inturn will help save money also.
Recommended for those who have space to put one on terrace.

O.T.
Well, we had/have four solar light kits. The batter is the size of Ambassador size and lights for 12 hours if only one low power light ( it came with two lights for each kit ) was used or 6 hours for two lights. We bought them 10 years ago.
We also have one solar cooker.
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Old 13th November 2008, 16:40   #7
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We have a solar water heater 150 litres in our nagpur house for the last 15 years!!
not spent anything on repairs or service to date.
We have a solar water heating sytem 10000 litres in our factory for 5 years, no breakdowns or repairs.
we now also have a 400 litres heater at another house for 6 months. Am Very Happy contributing my little bit to the environment.
Just need to clean/wipe the panels once in 15 days.
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Old 13th November 2008, 16:48   #8
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I am having a 200 litre Solar water heater since 5.5 years and so far, no issues at all. Govt gives subsidy on the water heater. Nationalized banks also provide soft loans on the installation and your monthly EMIs will be negligible. I closed the loan a few months back and I was paying an EMI of around 600 for a period of 5 years.

So far, I have not even spent a pittance on maintenance. On rare occasions when we do not get hot water, I have an electrical connection built into the solar. I use it as a geezer at that time.

I am wondering whether we can go for some kind of Solar lighting for our house. If anyone has any idea about that, kindly provide me some information.

Last edited by deepakhon : 13th November 2008 at 16:50.
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Old 13th November 2008, 17:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon View Post
I am wondering whether we can go for some kind of Solar lighting for our house. If anyone has any idea about that, kindly provide me some information.

I think I can just give idea.
I dont know much now, but earlier when we had bought lightning kits, the kit would come with a metal box in which there would be a batter of the same size of Ambassador.
It came with two lights that are energy saving lights. 12 hours max if only one light was lit and 6 hours if both the lights are used.
You will have to fix the solar panel on terrace. Size is not very large and approximately about the length of a tennis racket or slightly more than than. Width also has similar approximations.
Connection is simple. The battery box will have clear indications of " Panel " means the input from solar panel, and the other will lights. Simple negative and positive connections.
You will need to maintain the batteries though. Put in distilled water, etc.
Also the panels are not very heavy. So when you are putting it on the terrace, make sure they dont get blown away in high winds. Out of our four panels, three are damaged because they were literally flown in wind and fallen on ground. This can damage the panel permanently.
Another similar problem is monkeys.
If fixtures of panels is proper and you get sufficient time to maintain the batteries once a month, no problems.
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Old 13th November 2008, 17:11   #10
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Thanks for the idea. I will check if this is a viable option for me.

In our residency, there is no "monkey problem" as such. But the bigger worry I have is the stealing of panels. My classmate, who stays pretty near my home had this problem. They were worried about why their Solar water heater was not giving them hot water when the weather was perfectly sunny, until they went up and discovered that there were no coils in the solar panels at all.
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Old 13th November 2008, 23:59   #11
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i think u should check the site of nepc for this .they are making inverters powered by solar panels but the setup is costly and the rate is depended on the power u require
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Old 14th November 2008, 00:34   #12
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Solar Heater is now a common thing.

Back in my native, we took have a Solar heater installed. But we got it installed 3years back. It's running fine till now. But I cannot recollect the expenses as it was installed during house renovation.

Anyway's its a very useful thing to have for a house.
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Old 15th November 2008, 22:35   #13
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Something about the solar lightning.
1) The battery is 40Ah.
2) Lead cell ( not very sure )
3) The battery box comes with charge controller.
4) The max ( when we bought ) the photovoltic panel could give was 36W, but the Volts vary.
5) The life of photovoltic panel is around 20 years.
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Old 16th November 2008, 06:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swifty2008 View Post
Solar Heater is now a common thing.
Surprise. I know that is existed for a long time but did not try as there is too much FUD floating out there. The reason why I started this thread was to get inputs for other users and to create awareness.

To me it makes economic and environment sense.

Solar voltage cells on other hand is still a grey area. While they work, and I have used them commercially, they do have two apparent problems:
1 High cost. These are dropping and are likely to get within commercial range within next five years.
2 High pollution impact. This is true for all the semi-conductor industry today and perhaps that is why western countries are happy to let these factories get established off-shore.
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Old 16th November 2008, 20:23   #15
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Interesting! What happens on some cold winter days or rainy season where the sun dosent come out much. Back to the EB?
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