Buying a new solar water heater? Choose the right one to meet your needs. Solar water heaters have become an essential part of every home in Karnataka with Bangalore leading the way. If you’reconsidering installing a new solar water heater or thinking of replacing the existing one, there are many choices at various price points in the market. Choosing the right product to meet your needs can be difficult. We outline the important things to keep in mind to choose the right solar water heater for your home:

Water quality

Hard water is the curse of many homes in Karnataka, creating an unsightly and damaging build up of limescale and other corrosive sediments in your solar system. The bad news is the problem is only going to get worse as more and more new homes rely on bore well water (this is already the case for almost 50 per cent of residences in Bangalore according to data from leading solar water heater manufacturer Emmvee Solar). As a result, choosing a solar water system that is tough enough to perform in these conditions is critical. The two most important features to look for in a solar water heater system for hard water areas are heat exchanger (HE) technology and a high quality glass enamelled tank. Glass enamel is resistance to corrosion because of glass like properties of the enamel. Enamel coating is applied on steel to protect steel against high corrosion caused by hard water. The enamel is also hygienic and does not allow bacterial growth, making it fit for direction consumption. A traditional solar water heating system circulates water around the copper tubes inside the solar collector.

Here hard water can quickly lead to blockages that reduce the heating performance and ultimately require expensive maintenance or replacement. A heat exchanger system is the only effective way to avoid this problem as instead it heats and circulates a specially formulated fluid that in turn indirectly heats the water. Secondly, a durable and resistant tank is essential to avoid the leakages caused by corrosion from hard water. The best available tanks are glass-enamelled tanks as they provide the strength of steel with the corrosion resistance of glass.

High pressure

When designing your new home you probably decided to go for some of the latest bathroom fittings like modern shower panels. However to realise the true benefits of these systems requires your hot water to be at high pressure - and not every solar water heater can deliver this. Choosing a system that is designed for pressurised applications and uses the highest quality components such as safety valves is essential.

Many home owners will have come across dealers selling ETC (Evacuated Tube Collector) solar water heaters. There are many products available in the market which use very low quality ETC tubes imported from other countries and claim to offer a low cost option but you should look at total cost of ownership. Easy breakage of the glass tubes increases system down-time and poor integration of the tubes and tank can often compromise its durability. A quality tank and flat plate collector (FPC) remains the best option for long-life high performance water heating.

Guarantees and after sales service

A good solar water heater should last up to 10 years, so ensuring your solar water heater manufacturer offers adequate guarantees and will also be around to honour them is a big concern. According to Emmvee Solar, there are many fly-by-night operators who are around for a year or two offering seemingly cheap prices and long guarantees but quickly disappear – customers should choose carefully.