Solar water heaters are cost effective and environmental friendly. Save for the installation cost solar water heaters operate at no cost at all. A unit of solar heater comprises of a water tank and a collector which are commonly mounted on the roof. Apart from occasional cleaning of the panels to remove dust solar heaters requires minimal maintenance.
In India the government is offering incentives to citizens who are willing to invest in a solar water heater. Through commercial banks a client is able to secure a cheap financial facility to finance a purchase of the heater. This initiative has encouraged a number of households, businesses, and institutions to install solar water heater. With increasing demand of the heaters, manufacturers have expanded their production capacities while new firms are making a foray.
To ensure quality, manufacturers are required to collaborate with banks providing the finance. If the heater malfunctions then the bank fails to make any payment. This low-interest type of subsidy has been a success compared to capital subsidy introduced in the 1990s. Capital subsidy proved costly because of the cumbersome system of supervising its implementation.
Solar water heater can be categorized as being either open-loop or closed-loop system. Open-loop system has a pump that is used to circulate water to the collectors. While this system is efficient it is prone to breakdown if the water in the system has impurity or it is acidic thus causing damage to the system. Closed-loop system has a pump that circulates the heat and transfers fluid to the collector. A heat exchanger is used to perform this function of transferring heat from the fluid to the water for use.
Apart from immediate benefits like low electricity bill, users of solar water heater accrue long term gains. With a solar water heater the frustrations of power outage is eliminated. In the larger picture if majority of the citizens swap their electric water heaters with the solar ones, the country will save on foreign exchange used to import fuel. For investors installation of a solar system increases the resale price of the property.
Comparing all the different options available to a consumer namely electric, gas, coal or firewood heaters, solar water heater present by far the most convenient, cheap and safe mode of heating water in the house. This is the reason that the Indian government has put in place a multi-pronged strategy to increase the use of solar energy by making it affordable.