If you have had a solar water heating system installed in an area with rainy/cloudy winter months, you may need to make seasonal adjustments to the timer that controls the system’s electrical backup.
Now that the Western Cape has started experiencing its typical Winter rainfall again, this has meant less hours of sunshine for solar water heating systems to achieve the desired water temperature. Those of you who have installed a solar water heating system in recent months have probably been enjoying solar heated water every day without much need for electrical backup. You may need to adjust the backup settings now that winter is here.
Most solar water heating systems have an electrical backup that is controlled by a timer to switch on at certain times of the day if the solar water heating system has not achieved the desired temperature. Typically the timer would be set to switch on twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon/evening, depending on your hot water needs and usage patterns. During summer it is often not necessary to use the electrical backup at all, and many of our customers actually switch off the electrical backup completely. But a few rainy days in a row can mean that your hot water is not as warm as you would like it. This is easily rectified firstly by ensuring that the electrical backup is activated (i.e. not switched off at the mains), and then by adjusting the timer that controls the electrical backup so that it switches on earlier or to stays on for longer.
If your timer is set correctly, you should not be inconvenienced by the clouds and rain, and there will not be much impact on your overall electricity usage. You can refer to your owner’s manual for information on how to set your particular timer model, or alternatively email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.