Heat your water for less with Solar Thermal
On average, UK households spend £228 a year^ just on heating water. But you could reduce your energy bills with a solar thermal system that captures the sun’s energy to help heat your water instead. It works all year round and could provide up to 90% of your hot water needs in summer. Call now to see if solar thermal is right for you.
^ Energy Saving Trust, 2013
Solar thermal panels act as an upgrade to your existing heating system, producing hot water by harnessing energy from the sun. The system's "collectors" absorb solar energy and transfer it into thermal energy to be used in a hot water cylinder or thermal store.
Solar Thermal - Domestic Hot Water System
- 1 Cold water enters the system from mains supply.
- 2 If the collector is warm enough, the pump will be activated by the solar controller.
- 3 Solar fluid is then pumped round the collector, heated by solar energy.
- 4 This fluid then passes in to a cylinder heating up the water via a coil.
- 5 If required, a second coil brings the water up to the pre-set temperature via an existing boiler.
- 6 Hot water is now available through the taps.
What makes up the solar thermal system?
Solar collectors. There are two main types of solar collector:
Flat-plate collectors consist of dark-coloured absorber plates. The plates are enclosed within a glazed, insulated box that behaves like a mini-greenhouse to retain heat within the collector.
The benefits of a flat plate are:
- More versatile - can be mounted horizontally, vertically, on the roof and in roof
- Cheaper to manufacture
- More robust design and less likely to overheat
Evacuator tubes consist of rows of parallel tubes, each containing a glass thermal absorber. During production, air is evacuated from the tubes allowing it to reach a higher temperature, in all sunshine levels.
The benefits of evacuator tubes are:
- More efficient at generating and retaining heat
- Cheaper to manufacture
- Easy to repair. Failed tubes can be replaced without any major disruption
Solar cylinder, pump and controller
The hot water cylinder installed will have a ‘twin coil’ heating system. The lower coil is heated through the solar panels while the upper coil is heated through your existing boiler.
Pump & Controller
The system is managed through a solar controller that manages the pump speed. The controller reads temperature sensors in the cylinder and the collector, and regulates the rate at which solar fluid is pumped through the system.
How much will it cost and what are the benefits?
Prices start at £4,400 but depend on the number of solar collectors, size of cylinder and the suitability of your existing hot water system.
- Once installed there is little or no maintenance needed
- Solar collectors come with a 20 year performance guarantee
- The Solar controller will mange your system automatically
- We recommend a service every 5-10 years to replace the solar fluid