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Energetic, economic and environmental analysis of domestic solar water heating systems under the African continent


Given the abundance of solar irradiation in Africa, different types of Solar Water Heating technologies can offer practical and reasonable solutions that are valuable for African people and their environment. However, these technologies' impacts were not quantified, and lack of studies could be in part attributed to the weak implementation of solar water heating systems on most countries in Africa. The aim of this paper is first, a model was developed and validated to investigate and analyze the energy performances of the two most domestic used technologies in the African continent: the flat plate collectors and the evacuated tube collectors. Next, the economic and environmental aspects of these systems are also presented. The study was carried out for 43 countries divided in 5 regions: North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. The energy analysis, in terms of solar fraction, shows that the solar production of domestic hot water varies between 25 and 88% for the evacuated tube and between 10 and 60% for the flat plat collector and this according to the 5 regions mentioned above. Based on the Net present worth, the Benefit–Cost Ratio and the Discounted payback period, the economic analysis shows that these two technologies are beneficial for 16 of the 43 countries studied. That is due to the abundance of other energy resources in the remaining countries.

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Fig. 2



Solar Water Heating


Flat plate collector


Evacuated tube collector


Energy collected (kWh)

Qd :

Energy delivered (kWh)


Energy losses (kWh)


Auxiliary electrical energy (kWh)


Incidence Angle Modified


Typical meteorological year

a 0 :

Intercept efficiency (%)

a 1 :

First-order efficiency coefficient W. m−2 k−1

a 2 :

Second-order efficiency coefficient W. m−2 k−2

T m :

Mean water temperature (K)

T ext :

Ambient air temperature (K)


Solar Fraction (%)


Solar radiation (W. m−2)


Interest rate (%)


Discount rate (%)


Net present worth


Cost-benefit ratio


Discounted payback period


Simple payback period


Annual saving ($)


Cash-Flow ($)


Life Time (Year)


Uniform series present worth


Single payment present worth


Emission Factor (kg.CO2eq/kWh)


Greenhouse Gas

λ :

Rate of inflation (%)

µ :

Thermal efficiency (%)


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The authors extend their acknowledgement to the research component of the German cooperation project GIZ / DKTI IV (Grant number 15.2169.9-001.00) for supporting the development of this work

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Correspondence to M. A. Ben Taher.

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The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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Editorial responsibility: Samareh Mirkia.

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Ben Taher, M.A., Kousksou, T., Zeraouli, Y. et al. Energetic, economic and environmental analysis of domestic solar water heating systems under the African continent. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 19, 2279–2294 (2022).

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  • Economic method
  • Environmental impact
  • Renewable energy