India: Vacuum Tube Collector on the Balcony

windows collector of Hykon IndiaHorizontally installed vacuum tube collectors for flat owners and residents of high-rise apartments in India. Security standards for overhead mounted vacuum tubes have not yet been developed.

Photo: Hykon


Rapid urbanisation in India is leading to a shortage of space in large cities. As a result, potential users do not find open space for solar water heaters. To overcome this barrier, the company Hykon India from Kerala state has introduced a forced circulation system with vacuum tube collectors that can be horizontally installed on balconies or in windows of flats and individual villas where conventional rooftop water heaters are not adaptable. Another advantage: The tank can be set up anywhere inside the bathroom or on the balcony, instead of placing it just above the collectors.

Hykon is one of the major suppliers of solar systems in India with a nationwide network of 14 branch offices and 50 distributors. The company decided to use heat pipes for horizontal installation. “We have given the tubes a small gradient to allow the fluid to move inside the heat pipe”, explains Hykon chairman and managing director Christo George. He admits that efficiency won´t be as high as with vertical orientation. Output could be reduced up to 20 %, says George. To get the desired quantity of water, the size of system has to be increased proportionately - which results in an increase of investment costs, too.

The Hykon window collector systems range from 150 to 250 litres per day. The equipment has the approval of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, so that consumers can benefit from low interest loans and subsidy programmes on a state level.

Hykon, an ISO 9001 registered company, was founded in 1991 with just 5 employees. It branched out into an aspiring group of seven companies with diversified business areas ranging from power electronics, renewable energy, energy efficient products and transformation technology.

For 2010, it aims at an ambitious turnover of 0.3 billion Indian Rupees (INR) from solar water heating technology alone.

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The text was written by Jaideep Malaviya, a specialist for solar thermal technology. His office is based in Pune, India. E-Mail:



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