Maximising solar power
Searching for an appropriate solar water heater for your family? Why not give the Solarmax solar water heater a look?
Made in Germany, Solarmax is able to produce hot water at more than 90 degrees Celsius, as opposed to conventional ones that heat water to about 60 degree Celsius.
Solarmax Trading Sdn Bhd managing director Pou Men Tsair said Solarmax is able to heat water at a higher temperature because of the presence of borosilicate glassware - commonly known as Pyrex - tubes in the heater.
"There are 15 to 30 tubes in the heater which are sprayed with a
coating of nitrogen aluminium to absorb and convert infra-red radiation into heat. The coating is also able to minimise heat loss," he said.
Pou said each tube in the heater is actually two-in-one. The air between both tubes is sucked out, creating a vacuum that minimises heat loss to less than seven degrees Celsius.
The heater works on the "thermosyphon principle", whereby cold water from the main pipe descends to the bottom of the tubes while hot water rises. The tubes are placed at a 30-degree angle for hot water to rise to
the storage tank.
He said unlike other solar water heaters, Solarmax's storage tank is not pressurised. As such, water will not press against its tank, so there will be no leakage in later years.
Since Solarmax is able to heat water up to 90 degrees Celsius, it automatically eliminates the e-coli bacteria found in water.
Additionally, the heater is able to function with an average temperature of 55 degrees Celsius even on hazy and cloudy days without any electrical back-up, unlike conventional solar heaters.
"The circular surface of the tubes is able to harness the sun's energy for more than eight hours. Standard solar heaters are only efficient when the sun is directly overhead, due to their flat surface," he said.
The round tubes also result in zero maintenance as dirt can be easily washed off, unlike flat surfaces. There is also no issue with corrosion, as Solarmax's body is made of stainless steel.
Pou said his heater is 40 per cent lighter than conventional units, weighing in at between 45kg and 60kg when empty.
"While some solar water heaters require a crane to hoist it onto a roof, we need only two persons to lift it. Solarmax measures 2.3 metres in length and is between 1.3 and 2.8 metres in width and comes in 280-, 350-, 450- or 600-litre capacities," he said.
Solarmax costs between RM4,000 and RM8,000, depending on capacity. Pou said this is half the price of a standard solar water heater of the same capacity. It also comes with a 10-year warranty. - Eileen Ng
For more information,call 03-6273 3910.
- Property Times 24 April 2004 issue -