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Has anyone actually installed one?  What savings are you getting?  Are your geysers almost off grid?

For 2 of us we have a 200L geyser, I want to convert.  Reasons for considering Geyserwise PV:
- DIY installation possible (No plumbing required)
- At around 17k is is chepaer than EV.
- ROI is about 4years if almost no Eskom is needed.

An help is appreciated as this all very new.

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That looks nice but I would personally rather go for something like attached. Instead of relying on the sun to generate enough energy to heat the water with an element, this thing let the sun heat the water and circulate it through the geyser. It also has the management unit which only switch the pump on at certain temperatures and the geyser element when absolutely necessary. Best of all is that this thing only cost something like R6000.

 

 

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On 2020/06/11 at 11:57 AM, wimmelman said:

Has anyone actually installed one? What savings are you getting? Are your geysers almost off grid?

For 2 of us we have a 200L geyser, I want to convert. Reasons for considering Geyserwise PV:
- DIY installation possible (No plumbing required)
- At around 17k is is chepaer than EV.
- ROI is about 4years if almost no Eskom is needed.

An help is appreciated as this all very new.

While I am no expert on the matter i would think in a typical use case you would still be feeding in power in winter. This highly dependent on how much hot water you are using while evacuated tubes may be far more efficient, I think they will eventually lose to PV panels due to the constantly dropping prices. 

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On 2020/06/11 at 11:57 AM, wimmelman said:

Has anyone actually installed one?  What savings are you getting?  Are your geysers almost off grid?

 

In summer yes. Winter is more challenging.

The Geyserwise PV system is smart. DC is used to heat the element so no inverter is required..

The advantage of evacuated tubes are they work better in cloudy conditions.

Check out this thread on the subject: https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php/296042-Evacuated-tubes-vs-plate/page2

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@wimmelman there is quite a large benefit in going the PV heater option. 

I personally don't have one, but I have an electrician friend that has been installing these for many years. You don't get the problem with cold weather effecting your plates (hence the benefit of evacuated tubes vs plate), the cooler weather actually gives more PV as the panels are cooler. 

Also you can install this yourself, where with the thermal options you need to get a plumber to do the installation.

There are some more on this discussion in the thread below from a few weeks back:

[edit] sorry the link wont paste for some reason. Just search for the thread "The Elon Range" in this forum

 

Edited by Louisvdw
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On 2020/06/11 at 11:57 AM, wimmelman said:

Has anyone actually installed one?  What savings are you getting?  Are your geysers almost off grid?

Short answer: Do not have one. Looks like you could possibly save some money with something like the geyserwise PV conversion but there are many variables to consider.

 

On 2020/06/11 at 11:57 AM, wimmelman said:

For 2 of us we have a 200L geyser, I want to convert.  Reasons for considering Geyserwise PV:
- DIY installation possible (No plumbing required)
- At around 17k is is chepaer than EV.
- ROI is about 4years if almost no Eskom is needed.

longer sermon:

Overall I assume the goal is to save money (compared to not having hot water if there is no Eskom due to load shedding etc)? If yes, just first try and check if the geyser is such a big contributor as you think and if it is also look at ways to improve it without installing any devices yet. 

If you can monitor electricity consumption of the geyser in relation to your total electricity consumption you could find that the geyser uses less electricity than you think (and therefore slower ROI assuming the geyserwise/PV will cut that part of you electricity use dramatically). In our 2 person family the geyser is only responsible for about 20% of our electricity consumption....

Something like an Efergy energy monitor can be useful (if you are able/comfortable putting the current transformer (CT) part into your DB). I quite like the more basic version that does not connect to the internet buut there are a number of alternatives available. If you go the Efergy route, getting the the "three phase" kit can be a more cost effective way to be able to measure 3 different circuits (not at the same time though) without having to move the CT around the whole time). Cost will be around R1500+ which many people can not/prefer not to spend since they are trying to spend less money in the first place.

If you already know they geyser is the biggest culprit that you can do something about then something like the geyserwise looks like it could save you some money after a while. Just keep in mind that even if 10 people post here that they made huge savings  - it may be less/more in your case. Your local weather will influence if nothing else the theoretical availability of at least sun light to help in the first place (also differences like geyser not well insulated?... average temperature of water entering the geyser maybe much colder than for other people?..prefer geyser temperature at 70 degrees while others prefer 50 degrees ...other people take 5 minute showers but you prefer 2 hot full baths every day...etc). Your usage pattern of hot water from the geyser will also influence it. If you  use water from the geyser in the morning then solar has most of the day to warm up the new water without using eskom (even if the weather is a bit crappy). If you then again use hot water in the late afternoon and/or during the night then the geyser may have to use eskom to warm up the water for the morning....

the links from @Richard Mackay and @Louisvdw are well worth looking at.

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8 hours ago, introverter said:

If you can monitor electricity consumption of the geyser in relation to your total electricity consumption you could find that the geyser uses less electricity than you think (and therefore slower ROI assuming the geyserwise/PV will cut that part of you electricity use dramatically). In our 2 person family the geyser is only responsible for about 20% of our electricity consumption....

20% of your electricity to power your geyser sounds low. (unless you have a solar system or a heat pump)

I was under the impression that one's geyser consumes a hellava lot of your electrical power.
So to check this I installed a kWh meter (Elster A100C) in the supply to the geyser.
After many months and having set the thermostat at absolute minimum as well as switching the supply manually twice a day (just to get to set point) my Kwh units average out at 4 per day. Even at R2 per unit that is only R8 per day..

With a bill of R1000 per month this is a quarter of my electricity. This apparently is good going because geysers typically use a third of your power. 

Edited by Richard Mackay
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3 hours ago, Richard Mackay said:

20% of your electricity to power your geyser sounds low. (unless you have a solar system or a heat pump)

I was under the impression that one's geyser consumes a hellava lot of your electrical power.
So to check this I installed a kWh meter (Elster A100C) in the supply to the geyser.
After many months and having set the thermostat at absolute minimum as well as switching the supply manually twice a day (just to get to set point) my Kwh units average out at 4 per day. Even at R2 per unit that is only R8 per day..

With a bill of R1000 per month this is a quarter of my electricity. This apparently is good going because geysers typically use a third of your power.

Geyser is also 20-25% of my consumption according to my Energy meter. I think this whole "half your house energy is your geyser" is just a push from people selling geyser  kits. 

I never turn mine off an its set to 60c if i recall. 

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9 hours ago, calypso said:

Geyser is also 20-25% of my consumption according to my Energy meter. I think this whole "half your house energy is your geyser" is just a push from people selling geyser  kits. 

I never turn mine off an its set to 60c if i recall. 

How are you measuring the kWh the geyser consumes?

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16 hours ago, Richard Mackay said:

20% of your electricity to power your geyser sounds low. (unless you have a solar system or a heat pump)...

 @Richard Mackay, seems like you are in the 20-25% range too. Like @calypso I am somewhat wary of the "geyser is an unseen MONSTER" perspective. By the way, another interesting (and lively at the time) discussion on the matter of geyser gadgets and tricks over here.

In our case we have no heat pump, no solar; also no timers/external control/logic devices (not sure if the brain should count as a device...). 150L kwikot (3kW element ) geyser, thermostat set to what is indicated as ~50 degree. Geyser under pitched tile roof above insulated (thermoguard?) ceiling. Geyser (loosely) fitted with (not the best) geyser blanket. No insulation on any pipes but also no pipe runs exposed outside house. Efergy energy meter (only updates every 6 seconds) connected to geyser circuit  - compare with total house kWh numbers from measurement on mains breaker.  I believe that we are however now at the limit of what savings can be had purely by adapting our use/habits related to the geyser. 

In terms of adding PV to our geyser it will likely only make any significant contribution to reducing eskom costs if suspending heating of the geyser by about 15:00-1700 (?) every day will still leave us with acceptably warm water by the next morning. I will still try to simulate sun light hours only heating with manual geyser switch offs now that we are heading into winter to get a sense of standing losses in worst case scenario in our case but when left to fend for itself our geyser does not (h)eat much during the useful PV hours. 

Running only on Eskom (no timers etc.) this is what our average geyser element activity looks like (i.e. most days/graphs look something like this). The small green "speed humps" indicate no electricity consumption. 

Average.jpg.37663205dac474b20c38367f35d11a88.jpg

but sometimes we get this

Peak_AM.jpg.2328cd38be4f82d87d85be6d74c61cec.jpg

and other times this

Peak_PM.jpg.0e75c8d2418040b3acd4bc077cfefc5e.jpg

not much heating happening between 09:00-17:00...and there are some indications that even during mild weather the element is generally called on to "top-up" the water temp somewhere between 03:00-06:00 before any water is drawn.

Something that the variability in our graphs also make me wonder is, other than potential ambient condition differences, whether some geyserwise related savings are actually due to the geyserwise thermostat/temp probe maybe being more accurate/consistent than standard thermostats...

Edited by introverter
spelling..grammar.. the usual
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I have checked my electricity consumption for the last 9 months to date. The total per day is 14.0 kWh.

The geyser consumption over that period is 4.25 kWh per day

This then is makes the geyser 30% of the total..  (and I'm doing my best to keep it as low as possible!)

Edited by Richard Mackay
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On 2020/06/13 at 7:29 PM, Richard Mackay said:

I was under the impression that one's geyser consumes a hellava lot of your electrical power.

I think a big factor is the family size like 2 people versa 4 people as it can instantly double the KWH for the geyser. In my case my electric geyser consumption was just over 50% of my total usage for four people. (I have gas hob and use gas heaters just for interest sake). I installed a 200Ltr EV tube geyser and sometimes have to feed it some extra power in the winter. Summer normally is not a problem.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Gerrie said:

I think a big factor is the family size like 2 people versa 4 people as it can instantly double the KWH for the geyser. In my case my electric geyser consumption was just over 50% of my total usage for four people. (I have gas hob and use gas heaters just for interest sake). I installed a 200Ltr EV tube geyser and sometimes have to feed it some extra power in the winter. Summer normally is not a problem.

Even though I take some sales brochure claims with a bit of salt  I definitely think a very effective way to increase your monthly electricity bill is with an electric geyser. My first preference remains to first look at ways of decreasing demand/use since it gives an immediate saving at very little cost but there is definitely a point where it becomes impractical (with children...teenagers maybe impossible?) and then if one has the means to look for alternative sources to use that (again if working with an already constrained budget lower demand should translate to smaller outlay on whatever the solution is).   

15 hours ago, Richard Mackay said:

 The total per day is 14.0 kWh....The geyser consumption over that period is 4.25 kWh per day

This then is makes the geyser 30% of the total..  (and I'm doing my best to keep it as low as possible!)

If I reduce my shower time any further I suspect other people will start maintaining more than 2m social distancing....

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I found that using those cheap (but well made) shower rose works the best for reducing your hot water usage. All these fancy shower heads use way more water which equate to more electricity. They cost less than R100 and last forever.

https://www.builders.co.za/Bathroom/Showers-%26-Shower-Accessories/Shower-Rose-%26-Hand-Showers/Builders-Chrome-Plated-Shower-Rose/p/000000000000024162?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs4SIwfSD6gIVwrHtCh2bOwg5EAQYASABEgJfRfD_BwE

 

In my previous house we had a solar geyser (flat plate). Installing it did bring about 1/3 saving. If some people do shower at night then the hot water is depleted by morning, so then it will use the normal element to heat.

Now be have a heat pump. Bit more of an up front cost, but we don't have to be as careful with the water usage as with solar. It's a bit more convenient. 

Edited by Louisvdw
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3 hours ago, Louisvdw said:

Now be have a heat pump. Bit more of an up front cost, but we don't have to be as careful with the water usage as with solar. It's a bit more convenient. 

Good point! The figure I have read is that the same heating is generated with a third of the power.

Is it possible to generate hot water on demand with heat pumps? Geyser storage of hot water has it's disadvantages (e.g. heat loss. My geyser loses 10 deg overnight)

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The heat pump comes with a controller similar to a Geyserwise, so you can set it to when you want hot water and it only heats until you get to the requested temperature.

It still use a water tank for storage. Some new ones come with a built in tank - single unit, or like mine you fit it to a normal geyser tank.I have not seen any that are instant without a tank.

Mine is set that I can use the normal element as a backup (say something brake or what ever), but I have not used that. 

The heat pump gives 3.5Kw heat using 900w electricity. This is for a 150L tank. It works very well for 4 people.

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Already had a look there,trying to figure out what the costs would be for a service, replacement parts would be anybody have pricing on these units? Install costs? Weighing the options vs the pv units

1 hour ago, Richard Mackay said:

Have a look at this thread: Everything you wanted to know about Heat Pumps  

 

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1 hour ago, Gelo said:

costs would be for a service

30 min Labour, so probably a call out fee that includes the first hours labor, roughly R450. 

 

1 hour ago, Gelo said:

replacement parts

Never needed to replace anything, so if something break the price will depend on what part broke. 

1 hour ago, Gelo said:

anybody have pricing on these units? I

 

1 hour ago, Gelo said:

Install costs?

You have my number, send me picks of your installation area and include the  distance to your exiting geyser and ill send you a quote.  

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