Are you worried about the hefty electricity bills caused by using a geyser?
Solar-powered water heaters are your answer as they provide heated water by utilizing the sun. These heaters sit on a surface that gets plenty of sunlight, and India being a tropical country, has a bright sun.
Most of the popular solar heaters also have a functional storage capacity that is perfect for bigger households in 2021. These are cost-effective while also being friendly towards the environment.
Currently, the Supreme Solar 200 LPD Solar Water Heater is the best solar water heater in India which is also one of the cheapest products with great functionalities. Along with its high capacity, it is quite effective in heating the water quickly. If you happen to have a family of 2 to 4 members, this heater holds enough water. The product has a long life because of its superior construction. So, let us know a bit more about it and other similar water heaters.
The 5 Best Solar Water Heaters in India (2021)
|PRODUCT||TANK CAPACITY||WARRANTY||CHECK PRICE|
|Supreme Solar Water Heater||200 L||5 Years||Amazon|
|GreenLife Solar Water Heater||100 L||5 Years||Amazon|
|Saur Shakti Solar Water Heater||200 L||5 Years||Amazon|
|V-Guard Solar Water Heater||200 L||Amazon|
|A+ Sun Power Solar Water Heater||100 L||3 Years||Amazon|
Reviews of the Best Solar Water Heaters
Here we have selected the most amazing products that are very useful and work flawlessly in 2021. All of these water heaters are manufactured by well-known manufacturers in the Indian market.
1. Supreme Solar 200 LPD Solar Water Heater
Brilliant Design for Effective Water Heating
Supreme as a company produces several types of water heaters. The heater is simple and perfect for Indian households, especially for mid-sized families. Stainless steel is durable, and it helps to keep the water warm for longer. Supreme also provides powder coating to make it weather resistant, especially from rain. The tube length of 1800 mm makes the heater useful for all types of households.
Electric Backup is Available
At times, the sun may fail to show itself in the winter days. The electric backup of either 2 KW or 3 KW comes helpful under such conditions. We will recommend you to install it for emergencies.
Made for Indian Households
In India, we need products that will work with the weather. The water heater from Supreme helps in quick heating as long as the sun is there. Because of the well-insulated tank, this water remains hot throughout the day. A capacity of 200 L is suitable for Indian families, as we need plenty of water throughout the day.
2. GreenLife GI Solar Water Heater
Perfect Design for Household and Commercial Use
When we go to buy solar-powered water heaters, there is generally a choice between commercial and domestic models. GreenLife has made it easier by creating a single model that can be used for both purposes. The sturdy tubes, as well as the well-insulated tank, provides well-heated water. On top of that, the heater lasts for a long time because of quality materials. The in-built electric heating facility comes handy on non-sunny days.
Fabulous Long-Lasting Design
People often complain about electric heaters getting ruined quickly. They wouldn’t need to worry about purchasing the GreenLife solar water heater. There is epoxy coating inside the tank as well as outside the tank for an increased lifespan. The sturdy construction of the equipment and the frame can survive through all weather conditions.
Assurance from the Brand
GreenLife has been producing water heaters for a long time. The company is aware of its client base who wants a quality product. So, they have included a five-year warranty to assure the customers about the quality. The company is also prompt when it comes to dealing with complaints about any of their products.
3. Saur Shakti Stainless Steel Solar Water Heater
Well-insulated Design to Keep the Water Hot
As you are buying a solar water heater, it is evident that the water needs to stay hot. Saur Shakti provides a high-density PUF insulation in the heater’s tank. It helps the water to remain hot even at night, so you get to have warm water throughout the day. The container is also made of galvanized iron which prevents scaling and corrosion.
Quality Materials Used in Construction
Galvanized steel is excellent, and it provides durability to this solar water heater. Even the 3T glass tubes wouldn’t get damaged in any weather conditions. Sudarshan has also paid attention to the stand, which provides the right stability. Because of the high absorption power of the tubes, water gets heated quickly and reaches the tank. The whole body of the heater can withstand the pressure making it an excellent choice for every household.
Solar Heater from a Trusted Company
Sudarshan, the company which makes the Saur Shakti heater has been producing them for 30+ years. The company is also accredited by the Government of India. So, you will be buying a product from one of the best companies. They also have well-trained professionals who will install the heater, and take care of problems.
4. V-Guard Win Hot Series Solar Water Heater
Great Design with Necessary Features
We should always buy those products which have an adequate design. V-Guard has remembered to make this heater durable as well as compact with its work. The evacuated glass pipes can absorb more heat to do its job quickly. Proper PUF insulation is present in the tank which is made of high-grade stainless steel. It even has a food-grade layer, so the heater water is safe for your body. We will recommend you to get the ISI Electric backup heater so that the heater can also come useful on cloudy days.
Ideal for Indian Households
Indian houses need a water heater that is durable and compact. On top of that, we would like a low-maintenance product. V-Guard has tried to abide by these requirements by making a water heater that is perfect for households. It saves your money as it runs on solar energy. Because advanced technologies have been used, this water heater will be helpful even in the future.
5. A+ Sun Power 100 LPD Solar Water Heater
High-efficiency solar cells
This solar water heater from A+ does a fabulous job of heating up water as fast as possible. It does have multi-crystalline solar cells that trap the sun’s energy to use in heating. You are bound to receive this hot water throughout the day, which is a must, especially in the winters.
Good design with better durability
Durability is a must in all solar heaters and A+ provides it in this product. It will remain well-maintained even in the harshest of weather. As it uses toughened glass in the pipes, you can remain assured about its quality. You should take timely care to make this solar heater last for a long time.
Are solar water heaters worthy in India?
Yes, solar power heaters are worthy in a tropical country like India. Most of our locations get a good amount of sunlight which helps to heat the water. Desert areas like Rajasthan get help from water heaters, especially in the winters. As Indian households are bigger, solar heaters with larger tanks can increase sustainability.
On top of that, solar heaters help people to save money. In different parts of India, the Government has made it mandatory to install such heaters. The ample amount of sunlight helps people to have hot water for free and cut down on electricity bills. As pollution has increased in India, solar water heaters can help us to have a better environment.
Considering all these factors, the Ministry of New and Renewable Evergy, Govt. of India published a market assessment that proves the potential and worthiness of solar water heaters in India.
How does a solar water heater work?
Most of us have heavily relied on electronic products right from our childhood. Though we have heard about renewable sources of energy, the mechanics are still new to us. So, the basic idea about any solar-powered machine is that they run on the heat given out by the sun. Some technology helps to trap this energy and use it to do any job. In the case of a solar water heater, the task is to warm up the water. Thermal energy gets transformed into heat energy.
There can be different mechanisms, such as direct systems or even indirect systems. The primary mechanism is based on the way of collecting solar energy, and then utilizing it through circulation. Generally, all solar water heaters contain a surface for obtaining thermal heat. There is a tank to store the heated water, and there is also a circulating pump.
Solar water heaters are generally placed on rooftops to get the maximum amount of sunlight. As solar energy is converted into heat, it triggers the circulating pump to bring in water. Then, after the water is heated, the insulated tank receives the water. They are safe for the environment as no electricity is utilized.
Most of these heaters also come with an electric backup. The electrical mechanism comes handy on days of weak sun. You can still have hot water without needing to compromise.
Types of solar water heaters and applicability
1. Active Solar Water Heaters
An active solar water heating system has two or more pumps that can help in circulating the water. The system generally comprises a collector, one or two pumps, a storage tank, a backup heating mechanism, and some controls. Active solar water heaters are better against overheating.
Many heaters also happen to have antifreeze in their system. Controllers do form an integral part of any active system to help in protection against overheating or freezing.
Active solar water heaters come in 2 sub-categories- Direct and Indirect.
a. Direct Solar Water Heaters
Active direct water heaters run in a loop where the water gets heated directly and reaches the tank. There is no antifreeze or overheat protection in these systems. They are great for on-spot heating, especially in tropical countries like India. It is best to avoid installing them at a place that can get too cold.
There are two types of direct water heating systems:
Collector based System
As we have noted before, solar water heaters need to have a surface to trap the heat. So, in a collector heater, the system collects the heat to warm up the water. The water would not be boiling as a part of the heat gets lost due to conduction and convection. The two popular collectors based system includes:
Flat Plate Collectors:
Most of us think of flat plates when solar heaters come to our minds. There are horizontal pipes called headers running on the top and bottom of the flat plates. It also has small vertical pipes called risers which carry the liquid that needs to be heated.
Once the liquid is heated in the risers, it transfers to the top header that leads to the tank. Some models may even have serpentine pipe connections. Low iron, tempered glass make up the flat plates, and they are either glazed or unglazed. Tempered glass makes these systems last for a long time.
We recommend buying glazed flat plate solar heaters as they work much better and have better insulation.
Evacuated Tube Collectors(ETC):
This is the system where sturdy evacuated tubes carry the water. The main reason for using this system is to avoid the heat loss seen in the flat plates. A vacuum is created between two tubes to prevent heat loss through convection. There is a coating of thermal absorber on the tube’s inside to make them better heat conductors.
You should avoid purchasing ETCs for places that receive hailstorms as the system has glass tubes. ETCs are also great for winters because they prevent loss of heat.
Heat Pump Systems
Heat pump solar water heating systems are included with both a solar collector system and a heat pump. The heating system works either on solar power or the heat pump. An electrical control system is integrated with the system.
It decides whether to use a solar or a heat pump according to the choice of users and weather conditions. These systems are mostly used in Industrial purposes and cost more than the other systems we have mentioned earlier.
B. Indirect Solar Water Heaters
Indirect systems are heating mechanisms where solar energy is indirectly transferred. It is done through the help of heat-transfer fluids. Propylene glycol is the most commonly used heat transfer fluid, and it is either used on its own or along with water.
As the heat-transfer fluid is an antifreeze, the mechanism works great for cold climates. So, the liquid gets heated up, and then it transfers it to the water. This system also comes with overheat protection that provides durability.
2. Passive Solar Water Heaters
Passive systems are different than indirect solar water heating systems. These are the low-budget options that do not have a pump to drive the water down the pipes. Instead, the system relies on heat-induced convection for the transfer of fluids.
One of the simplest forms of passive solar water heating is to paint a water tank black. As there is no overheating protection, the water can get pretty hot.
Collector-cup-storage passive water heaters are usually known as integrated collector storage systems. In these systems, water is heated and collected in the same tank. There is a batch collection plate which receives energy from the sun and heats the water. These days the tanks may also come with insulation to prevent heat loss. These are used during the daytime as the temperature starts to decrease after the sunset.
B. Thermosiphon systems
The thermosyphon system includes a storage tank that is separate from the collector. The pipes of this system are in an inclined position as a pump isn’t present to transfer the water. The thermosiphon is a passive system based on natural convection.
As the heated water rises due to convection and gets stored in the collection tank. A new batch of cold water enters and the whole process repeats in a loop. These systems have a storage tank on top of the inclined pipes and collectors to make the process easier.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Water Heaters
Whenever we are talking about any system, the advantages provide us with reasons for purchasing the item. Solar water heaters have existed for a long time, but people may not use it.
Benefits of using a solar water Heater
Here are some advantages which provide us with facts to use the system more:
Safe for the Environment
Solar water powers stand on the fact that they use renewable energy. An ample amount of sunlight is available to us for free. Compared to this, we need a lot of non-renewable resources to produce electricity. So, if we set up a solar water heater in our home, it is good for the environment. There is no pollution attached to these water heaters, and they are straightforward to use. If you choose the right solar heater, it will work wonderfully even on the cloudy days.
They are recommended for people who want to become environmentally sound. There is no carbon emission in the solar water heaters making it safer for nature. In India, some states like Haryana have made it necessary to install these water heaters.
One of the best things about solar water heaters is their cost-effectiveness. You are going to save a tonne of money as there is no wastage of electricity. The system relies on an energy that is abundantly found on earth. Some of the heaters do come with electrical backup for emergencies, but not much electricity is needed to run the pipes.
The water heaters are like a one-time investment, and most of them do not even cost much. They last for years when you properly maintain them. A system that uses antifreeze or vacuum will need a service every five or ten years to keep them running well.
Some people think that solar heaters aren’t as efficient as electrical heaters, but the idea is wrong. Solar heaters can perform quite well, and active systems also give you control over them. Because of insulated interiors, the water remains warm. Modern systems also include technologies to cut heat loss caused by conduction and convection. Most heaters are able to heat water up to 70°C which is perfect for household and commercial purposes.
Electricity is not Required for Operation
A solar water heater would not require electricity. Apart from cutting down on the energy costs, the heaters can also run in times of power cut. They are great for commercial purposes where electricity is already expensive. These heaters also work great for places that generally have power shortages.
Long Lifespan with Minor Repair Works
Solar water heaters last for a long time. Companies already need to make tough weather-resistant systems as it needs outdoor installation. So, because of that, you get to purchase a heater that may last for over 20 years. You will need to take proper care of the system and do the minor repairs which do not cost much.
Drawbacks of Water Heaters
Solar waters have some minor disadvantages that can be a let down for some people. So, let us have a look at them:
Requires big Space
Solar water heaters have a collection surface, so they aren’t very small. You will need to accommodate them on a rooftop to absorb as much heat as possible. Direct sunlight needs to fall on the system for it to work in the best possible way. It will take up some of the roof space, but you do get hot water without the use of electricity.
Systems Won’t work on Cloudy or Rainy Days
As sunlight is the main form of energy taken up by solar heaters, you wouldn’t get hot water on cloudy or rainy days. This can be a let down for those households who use hot water on an everyday basis. We will recommend you get a heater with an electrical backup which helps in such days of emergency. Also, solar water heaters aren’t recommended for places that do not get much sunlight.
Solar Water Heaters Vs Electric Geysers
When it comes to India, electric geysers are our first choice as they are easily available. Most of the appliance shops have them, and installing them is quite easy. Thinking about an alternative is quite new, and we do think that solar water heaters are a good contender. Let us check out some of the points that make these different.
|Parameter||Solar Water Heater||Electric Geyser|
|Electricity||The first and most obvious point is that solar water heaters run on solar power whereas geysers run on electricity. As solar heaters run on solar power, they can provide hot water even during power cuts.||Geysers do require a lot of electricity which transfers into huge energy bills. You can buy one after checking the energy star rating, but a solar heater wins when it comes to cost-effectiveness.|
|Size and Storage||These take up more space because they have a conductor to absorb solar energy. But, solar heaters tend to have bigger storage compared to usual geysers.||Geysers are small, and they can be installed in the bathroom.|
|Environment Safety||Solar water heaters are environmentally safer because they do not use electricity.||Geysers run on electricity, that too a huge amount of electricity so they aren’t eco-friendly.|
|Heating Time||Solar heaters do take a longer time to heat water compared to electric heaters that do the work instantly.||Geysers heat up the water faster and come handy at places that generally remain cloudy.|
|Safety||They are safer than geysers as the former doesn’t require electricity.||We need to install geysers safely away from our kids and pets because there is always a threat of shocks. No such precaution needs to be taken with solar water heaters as it requires no electricity.|
|Durability and Maintenance||It has also been seen that solar water heaters have a longer lifespan when compared to geysers. The former can easily run for 20 – 25 years, whereas the max lifespan of a geyser is about 15 years. Maintenance costs are also low in the case of solar heaters compared to that of any electrical appliances.||Much more maintenance is also needed in the case of electric geysers. There is always a threat of short-circuit in the case of geysers, so one needs to keep an eye on voltage fluctuations.|
|Cost||When it comes to cost-effectiveness, solar heaters win the race. You may need to shell out a little more money while buying a solar water heater, but they will last you a long time. On top of that, there is no need to pay monthly electricity bills like in the case of geysers.||Electric geysers need better maintenance and will cost you significant amount of money for electricity usage.|
|Effect of Hard Water||Geysers do not usually get any major problems due to hard water.||Geyers are easily damaged in areas with hard water.|
Buying Guide for solar water heaters
While looking for a suitable water heater, several perplexing questions may haunt you. The answer to which is the best solar water heater is never an easy one. Every household or space will have different requirements. So, here are those ten points which you should check before getting the solar water heater.
Determine the Purpose
Why are you thinking of buying a water heater? Would you use it for domestic or commercial tasks? Would you use the water for heating your house? There are many more questions which you need to ask for determining the correct purpose. This step comes first as it helps you to determine the required amount of water and the type of heater. At times people regret buying a smaller model without thinking about the near future.
Amount of Required Hot Water
One of the first things to note about any water heater is the amount of water that it would produce. Would a 100 litres tank be sufficient for you? Or Would you need a heater with a storage of 500 litres? You can decide the amount by counting the number of members in your family. A bigger household will require a much larger tank compared to a family consisting of 2 or 3 people. We highly recommend you look into the storage capacity to avoid buying a heater which may become redundant.
The Location of Your House
The geographical location of your home is quite important while choosing the type of solar water heater. People who live in the sunnier part of India can easily get away with a passive water heating system. People living in the hills will need an active system. So, you should do a bit more research about the location of your house. Another thing is the freezing risk which may damage water heaters. We will recommend you to get a system with antifreeze as well as controls to avoid crucial problems. Make sure to locate an exact area where you would like to install the solar heater.
Type of Solar Water Heater
As we have discussed above, different types of solar water heaters are available in the market. Determining the type is crucial, and you should take a lot of time searching for things. After finding out the specifications of your location, you will need to choose between active and passive systems. Passive solar water heaters are simpler than active systems. You will also need to choose between the type of collector that works best for your location. Evacuated tube collectors work great for Indian households, especially for areas that get an ample amount of sunlight.
Type of Tank Present in the Heater
Would you need hot water throughout the day? If yes, then it is better to go for a heater with an insulated tank. Insulated tanks have an extra layer on the inside which can keep water hot for 24-48 hours. Some companies even add a layer on the top to increase the duration. You should also check the material used to make the tank. Stainless steel is great as it doesn’t destroy over the years.
Durability and Construction
No one likes to buy a shady product that crumbles in no time. So, you should always research more about the materials used in a solar water heater. We will advise you to go for systems with a powder coating or epoxy coating as they help prevent weather erosion. It should have a sturdy metal frame or stand which will stay in place for a long time.
Setting a Budget
People often overlook setting a budget, and they end up getting tensed on hearing the installation charge. We will always recommend you to stay on a budget. Solar water heaters will cost you a little more initially, but you will save money over time. So, think about the budget that you can afford and choose a model accordingly. While you are setting the budget, do not forget to include the installation charge.
Choosing a Brand
Yes, it is quite important to go for a brand even while purchasing a solar water heater. You want to buy a legitimate solar heater which does its work perfectly and lasts for a long time. We have mentioned products from brands such as GreenLife, Supreme, and V1. Branded products come with quality assurance, and they can also help you out if the system gets into any trouble. The Indian market is full of generic solar heaters with tall claims. We advise you to buy legitimate, branded products.
Warranty is a Must
The warranty period is a must when it comes to investing in something like a solar water heater. Generally, companies provide a warranty for five years. Do look into the warranty coverages provided by a particular company to get the best service. You can always contact a company to know more about their policies. A mistake that people do is to hire unprofessional people for repair jobs on heaters. Always refrain from doing so, especially when your product is within warranty.
We have the boon of the internet, which allows us to read views from other people. It is necessary to read about solar water heaters before making a random buy. There are different review websites where people note their views. Some can also give you pretty good tips for buying a good heater. If you happen to live in an area where many people use solar heaters, then do ask neighbors and friends. We have also provided reviews of some of the best solar water heaters in India.
Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Water Heaters
We would like to say that it is not advisable to drink solar-heated water. Doctors have been skeptical about drinking the water as they may have minerals from the pipes. Also, the ultraviolet rays from the sun are not seen in the best way.
But, it is okay to utilize the hot water in other household needs. It is also advised to drain the tank from time to time, or else the same water may get recycled. One can use it as bath water or for washing clothes. In turn, having a solar water heater at your home provides a cleaner and better environment. So, do not think much about it.
Yes, they can work during winters. You should make sure that the heater’s location gets a good amount of sunlight throughout the year. If you are living in a cold place, make sure to choose a model with antifreeze. With proper controls, you can prevent the heater from acting crazy.
The tank also needs to have good insulation to keep the water hot for longer periods. So, keep these in mind, and we are sure that you are going to get hot water in winter. Some heaters also come with electrical backup to provide enhanced heating on gloomy days.
No, technically it cannot work at night because it primarily runs on sunlight. What you can do is to keep the storage tank full to use water at night. Utilize the hot afternoon for heating the water. Make sure to get a model that has a well-insulated tank to retain the heat.
Another important point is the electrical backup provided in the heater. If you need to have hot water at night, the backup can be used. But, we will suggest you go for an electric heater if you have a regular requirement for hot water at night. Keep in mind that using the backup will increase your electricity bill.
We will advise you to contact a professional from the company when you want to descale the solar heater. If you want to limit the scaling, then it is best to use a licensed water softener. Systems with antifreeze often have scales along the tubes. A professional knows about dealing with the parts of the heater. It is best to get a yearly consultation from the brand regarding the heater’s maintenance.
Do not attempt to scale or repair your machine in any DIY technique as it may lead to the warranty being void. But, definitely wipe down the tubes from time to time, and remove any foreign items that may have fallen on the heater. We are sure this will help in increasing its lifespan.
Sometimes you will need to drain the heater, especially when there is stagnant water for a long time. Some heaters come with sensors that tell it to auto-drain. So, if the heater has sensors, then make sure to check their healthiness. There is an airflow system in the heater which shouldn’t get blocked.
Read the user manual to get a better idea of your heater. If you think that it is problematic, do not forget to call for professional help. We will always advise you to refrain from toggling with unknown settings. Make sure to maintain the health of the heater to keep it running.
So, here are some of the things that you need to know about a solar water heater. They are not as complex as it seems. You will love to have one at your house. They cut down on your monthly expenses and provide you with perfectly heated water in 2021. As the environment needs to be nurtured, we do think that more people should come ahead and install solar-powered water heaters. We hope that our suggestions will help you to purchase the best solar water heater available in the Indian market.
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Soumya is the author of this article and editor-in-chief of Homeplace. Being an engineer with more than 7 years of working experience in various consumer goods industries with exposure to product development, manufacturing, maintenance and quality control, he is an expert in this field. He decided to combine all his experience blended with scientific analysis and research done Homeplace team into this blog. Comment below or contact if you have any query.