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Water Heating Panels


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I am doing some research for my employer. He wants to know what is the best solar panels for water heating in the Cape Town climate. The flat ones or the tubular ones (my apologies I do not know their correct names :D )?


He wants to hear from people who have installed them and not necessiraly from the suppliers who sell them.


Can anyone help with links to forums where this would have been a discussion amongst consumers as I cannot seem to find anything.



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Welcome :)

The best one IMHO is the vacuum tubes.

I would mount them at 45 to 50 degrees to get the most out of winter sun and limit the temp somewhat during summer.


The newer flat panels is slowly getting better, but their only advantage above the vacuum tube is cost.


There is a new way of doing solar heating now by using electrical solar panles connected to a normal geyser element.

I think it could be a waste of power when the water is on temp.


Hope it helps.

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Ok, the flat plate is just some copper pipes stuck to a black sun absorbing background. The suns heat on the black heats the water in the pipes.

The vacuum tube also works when overcast, so it is way more effcient at converting the suns energy into heat.


There is no way in hell he will be able to run a cost effective solar only water system in CPT with our winters.

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