Solar Thermal

Solar thermal panels use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.

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The benefits of solar water heating

  • Hot water throughout the year. The system works all year round, though you’ll need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months.
  • Reduced energy bills. Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced.
  • Lower carbon footprint. Solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.

How do solar water heating systems work?

Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back-up to heat the water further to reach the temperature you want.
There are two types of solar water heating panels:

  1. Evacuated tubes – a bank of glass tubes mounted on the roof tiles.
  2. Flat plate collectors, which can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.

Larger solar panels can also be arranged to provide some contribution to heating your home as well. However, the amount of heat provided is generally very small and it is not normally considered worthwhile.