1. SHISA SOLAR INSTALLERS
The municipality has gone through a selection process to short-list SWH suppliers for you. Our panel consists of suppliers that can offer the SWH unit, install it and offer finance if needed. All the Shisa Installers are Durban based and have a range of SWH units to fit almost any need you may have. Please click the installer link above for more information on these installers.
When you register for the program, we will automatically send your information to our panel of installers, who will then contact you directly to give you a detailed quotation.
2. ESKOM SUPPLIERS
If you would like a broader selection of installers and suppliers, you can also use the ESKOM supplier database. Although this list of service providers are not part of the Shisa Program, they have a very wide range of products to choose from. If you are not participating in the Shisa Solar Program, we stongly suggest you choose one of these ESKOM approved suppliers so that you can apply for a rebate from ESKOM on the cost of your solar water heater.
3. CHOOSE THE TYPE OF SOLAR WATER HEATER
Solar water heaters are either "direct" or "indirect" systems. For more information on what this means see the solar water heater technologies page.
Generally, indirect systems are suitable for all climatic conditions and qualities of potable water, whereas indirect systems are only suitable in areas which do not get frost, and the potable water does not have a high chemical content (i.e. the water is not 'hard' – if you get a lot of scale build up in your kettle then the water in your area could be 'hard').
Direct systems tend to be cheaper than indirect systems.
4. CHOOSE THE SIZE OF SOLAR WATER HEATER
The size of the system you buy depends on your household size. To work out how big your system should be:
- Allocate 50 litres of hot water per person in your household. For example: four people = 200 litres.
- Then add an extra 50 litres to cover general domestic hot water usage. For example: 200 litres + 50 litres = 250 litres.
- Use this total as the minimum holding capacity of your solar water heater.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or cloud cover, a solar water heater with a small collector panel on the roof won't meet your household's hot water needs and the electrical element will kick-in to provide for the shortfall and you won't save much electricity. Likewise, if you live in an area that gets lots of sunshine every day, a big system with big panels will produce more hot water than you need. This can cause the system to produce water that is too hot, which could be a safety risk.
5. CHOOSE THE TYPE OF STORAGE TANK
You can either install a 'pumped' or 'thermosiphon' hot water storage system. For more information on what this means see the solar water heater technologies page.
Pumped systems involve the placement of the hot water storage tank somewhere other than on your roof. Water is pumped from the solar collector panel to the tank. Pumps come in various sizes and can be solar powered.
Thermosiphon systems require the hot water storage tank to be on the roof with the solar collector panel. Your roof needs to be strong enough to carry the weight of the water tank if you choose this system. If the tank bursts, it will be easier to get to and causes less damage than a tank inside your roof or house would.
6. CAN'T I USE MY EXISTING GEYSER?
If you have a new electrical geyser, it may be possible to 'retrofit' a solar water heater to this, and so avoid the cost of buying the hot water storage tank that normally comes with the solar water heater. However, this is not as effective in saving electricity as a solar water heater system installed from scratch with the specially designed hot water storage tank. In many cases, ESKOM will not offer a rebate to 'retrofitted' solar water heaters.