Innovation through the effects of solar water heating (SWH) in Africa

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Energy is a useful component that has a positive impact to Africa’s socio-economic development. Its effect on households can therefore not be overlooked. Past studies revealed that, the role of the Solar Water Heater is to utilize the energy generated by the sun to heat water. The heating of the water is achieved via the collector. The tubes are filled with water which is heated during the day light hours and this hot water is stored in the main tank. The hot water rises in the tube and is replaced by the cooler water, which is at the lower level of the main tank. This cycle is repeated continuously throughout the day thus heating the water in the main tank. As hot water is drawn from the system, cold water is subsequently supplied. This paper is based on the review of the related literature to show the effects of solar water heating and the usage of innovative technology in residential homes. In particular, the description of SWH product, demand side management potential of solar water heaters, and the innovation diffusion reasons. Then, the conceptual framework as it relates to the innovation diffusion theory will be presented. Lastly, the development of the research problem is outlined. Using a theoretical framework, the paper is able to present the advantages and disadvantages of SWH in Gauteng, South Africa.

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    • Fig. 1. Solar water heating tank
    • Fig. 2. Collector – evacuated glass tubes
    • Fig. 3. Support stand
    • Fig. 4. Solar water heating configuration
    • Fig. 5. Energy usage in a household
    • Fig. 6. Five stages in the decision innovation process
    • Fig. 7. SWH adoption model
    • Table 1. Comparison of solar water heaters to a conventional water heater
    • Table 2. SWH environmental implications
    • Table 3. The results of test of the relationship between relative advantage of solar water heater and adoption
    • Table 4. The results of test of the relationship between complexity of solar water heater and adoption
    • Table 5. The results of test of the relationship between observability of solar water heater and adoption
    • Table 6. The results of test of the relationship between trialability of solar water heater and adoption
    • Table 7. The results of test of the relationship between perceived risk of solar water heater and adoption