FAQs

Q. What is solar energy?

A. Solar energy takes advantage of the sun’s rays to generate heat or electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner. Can’t beat the sun for being oh-so-cool!

Q. How do solar photovoltaic cells work?

A. In layperson terms, photovoltaic cells are comprised of a semiconductor material such as silicon. Added to the silicon are the elements phosphorous and boron which create conductivity within the cell and activate the movement of electrons. The electrons move across the cell when activated by the sunlight’s energy into the electrical circuit hooked up to the solar panel.

For more information, visit our PHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTRIC SYSTEMS page.

Q. What is the difference between solar panels versus building integrated photovoltaic products?

Solar panels are flat panels of photovoltaic arrays mounted on a roof or a pole to capture the sun’s rays.  Building integrated photovoltaic materials are PV arrays that are integrated into the building material itself, primarily windows, roof tiles or walls.

Q. How much does a solar electric power system cost?

A. A 2kW solar electric system will cost approximately R….. That total includes the cost for all components – solar panels, panel mounts, and inverter – and labor associated with installation.

Go to our SOLAR POWER COST page for more information, visit our SOLAR CALCULATOR page to get an estimate, or find a SOLAR POWER INSTALLER to size and price the right system for you.

Q. How much will I really save on my utility bills from a home electric solar power system?

A. Of course this is a relative question. It depends, in part, on how much electricity you use and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. That said expect to generate excess electricity in the summer (when days are long) which can potentially offset the energy you use from the grid in the winter. A combination of energy efficient appliances and light bulbs can help reduce your homes energy bill by over two-thirds.

Find out more about the costs and potential savings from a residential solar power system in our SOLAR POWER COST section.

Q. What’s the difference between solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems?

A. While both types of solar systems capture energy from the sun, solar photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic panels to produce electricity. Solar hot water, or thermal, systems capture sunlight to heat water for domestic use, to heat a swimming pool, or for a radiant heating system.

Q. How much maintenance do solar energy panels require?

A. Solar photovoltaic panels require little maintenance – no need to wash or dust. It is, however, important to place panels where they will remain clear of shade and debris. Thus you will have to wipe them off if too much snow or leaves fall on them.

Solar hot water collection arrays don’t need much attention either. It does help to periodically use a window wash brush, biodegradable soap, and water to clean the tubes.

Q. Can I use a financing system?

A. Yes. Consider using a home equity loan for the purchase and installation costs of a solar photovoltaic or solar hot water system to take full advantage of federal tax deductions. Solar energy systems are viewed as a major home energy savings upgrade and there are financial tools out there that reward you for your efforts. Remember, installing a solar energy system is comparable to any other upgrade you might do to your home, such as installing a new deck or remodeling a kitchen.

Find more information about ways to finance your home’s solar power system in our SOLAR FINANCING OPTION section.

Q. Do I need special insurance requirements?

A. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies usually suffice to meet electric utility requirements. Electric utilities usually require that homeowners who take advantage of net metering sign an interconnection agreement.

Q. How can I calculate the cost and payback time from a solar power installation?

A. You can estimate how much a solar electric or solar hot water system may cost if you determine your current energy needs and costs and compare against your future anticipated use. Once you have a sense of how much energy you use, you can evaluate the cost of purchasing and installing one or both of the technologies.

Q. What components do I need to install a grid-tied solar electric system?

A. You will need a photovoltaic array to capture the sun’s energy, an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) produced from the photovoltaic cells into alternating current (AC) used by your home, and a house utility meter – called a net meter – that can record both the electricity produced from your home’s power system as well as any power you may use off the grid. These three system components are then connected through a series of wiring. The photovoltaic panels are secured to your roof with panel mounts or are installed on poles that can be adjusted for sun angle.

A. How many solar panels do I need for an electric solar power system?

A. The size of the photovoltaic system is correlated to your home’s energy-use needs, available space for a system, and overall costs for the system components and installation. Solar contractors in your area can help determine the best size for your solar photovoltaic system.

Find out how to estimate your home’s solar electricity needs by checking out our SOLAR COST section.

Q. What other factors are important to consider when installing a home solar energy system?

A. The location of your home and the local climate will play into where you place and how you install your solar electric or solar hot water system. Wind speeds, heavy snow loads, and salt water can all affect a solar array. Understanding how those inputs effect performance will determine the types of mounts or how the arrays are angled. A solar pro in your area is likely quite knowledgeable about your local conditions and can help you design that works well for you.

Q. What is photovoltaic’s (solar electricity) or "PV"?

A. What do we mean by photovoltaics? The word itself helps to explain how photovoltaic (PV) or solar electric technologies work. First used in about 1890, the word has two parts: photo, a stem derived from the Greek phos, which means light, and volt, a measurement unit named for Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity. So, photovoltaics could literally be translated as light-electricity. And that’s just what photovoltaic materials and devices do; they convert light energy to electricity, as Edmond Becquerel and others discovered in the 18th Century.

Q. How can we get electricity from the sun?

A. When certain semiconducting materials, such as certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity.

Sunlight is made up of photons, or particles of solar energy. Photons contain various amounts of energy, corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. When this happens, the energy of the photon is transferred to an electron in an atom of the PV cell (which is actually a semiconductor).

With its newfound energy, the electron escapes from its normal position in an atom of the semiconductor material and becomes part of the current in an electrical circuit. By leaving its position, the electron causes a hole to form. Special electrical properties of the PV cell—a built-in electric field—provide the voltage needed to drive the current through an external load (such as a light bulb)

Q. What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?

A. A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.

Q. How long do photovoltaic (PV) systems last?

A. A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years. The basic PV module (interconnected, enclosed panel of PV cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed and maintained properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation.

Q. Why should I purchase a PV system?

People decide to buy solar energy systems for a variety of reasons. For example, some individuals buy solar products to preserve the Earth’s finite fossil-fuel resources and to reduce air pollution. Others would rather spend their money on an energy-producing improvement to their property than send their money to a utility. Some people like the security of reducing the amount of electricity they buy from their utility, because it makes them less vulnerable to future increases in the price of electricity.

If it’s designed correctly, a solar system might be able to provide power during a utility power outage, thereby adding power reliability to your home. Finally, some individuals live in areas where the cost of extending power lines to their home is more expensive than buying a solar energy system.

 

GEYSER SUMMARY

THE TYPES OF SYSTEMS THAT WE HAVE ARE:

 

  1. Low Pressure ( from 100, 150, 200,300 and 350L)
  2. High Pressure ( from 100, 150, 200 and 300L)
  3. Coiler Pre-heating system ( 200, 300 and 350L
  4. Split system   (from sp10, 18, 20 and 24)

 

1. LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM:
  • Uses vacuum tubes and water is heated directly on the tubes.
  • Normally the water doesn’t have sufficient pressure, it’s advisable to install a booster pump to enhance pressure.
  • It has a small feeding tank which feeds the main tank.
  • It comes with a drain cock
2. HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM:
  • Cold water in the tank is heated by the copper rod inside the tube.
  • Comes with a drain cock, t/p valve and air release. (Optional mixing valve).
  • Can install a backup element.
3. CHP SYSTEM:
  • Hot water from the tubes is used to heat cold water inside the copper coil.
  • It’s got a small feeder tank which feeds the main tank.
  • Can install a backup element.
4. SPLIT SYSTEM:
  • It must be connected to an existing electrical geyser.
  • The heat collector absorbs heat through tubes and heats up the cold water which goes to the tank. Water is circulated by the use of circulating pump.

 

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

 

Q. Why is my geyser always overflowing?

A. If it’s a high pressure then it might be your t/p valve or air release. If it’s low pressure then it could be overflow pipe or problem with the ball valve in the feeding tank.

Also check the pressure valve (if overflowing then it might be worn out).

Q. Why is there only cold water coming out?

A. It could be your element, thermostat or system controller is not working.

Or a case of non-return valve malfunction.

If it’s a split system also check if the circulating pump is pumping.

Q. Why is the system controller LCD not coming on?

A. It’s worn out therefore needs replacement.

Q. Why is there a symbol E1 flashing on my system controller?

A. It’s probably an error in connection and need some assessment especially the wire.

Q. Why is water leaking from the tubes?

A. If its high pressure it’s probably the bullets and if its chp or low pressure then it’s the inner rubber inside the tank.