Solar water heating systems use energy from the sun to heat water in a central heating system. Thermal ‘collectors’ are fitted to your roof, and use heat from the sun to heat water. This water is stored in a hot water cylinder for use for space heating or for hot water from taps. A conventional boiler or electric immersion heater would normally be used in tandem to top up the water temperature when required.
Benefits of Solar Thermal
• Hot water throughout the year: The system heats water throughout the year, even in winter.
• Cut your bills: Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced. Also, reducing your dependence on fossil fuels helps protect you from unpredictable increases in energy prices from suppliers. Typical savings for a well-designed system are around £80/year when replacing an electric immersion heater, or £55 when replacing gas heating.* However with the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive, the savings may be substantially more. You may also be able to get help with the installation costs of a new solar water heating system through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.
• Reduce your Carbon Footprint: Solar thermal is a green, renewable heating system and can help reduce the CO2 footprint of your property. Typical carbon savings are around 510kg CO2/year when replacing electric immersion heating, and around 230kgCO2/year when replacing gas.*
*Figures provided by the Energy Saving Trust. Correct as of Dec 2011
Am I suitable for Solar Thermal installation
Ideally the property should have a roof with a pitch that faces east to west, through south. This will ensure that the collectors are exposed to the maximum level of direct sunlight throughout the day.
You will need a minimum of 5m2 of unobstructed roof space. The panels don’t have to be mounted on a pitched roof; they can be fixed to a frame on a flat roof, or hung from an unshaded wall.
If a dedicated solar water cylinder is not already installed then you will normally need to replace the existing cylinder, or add a stand-alone cylinder with a solar heating coil. Most conventional boiler / hot water cylinder systems are compatible with solar water heating.
Our expert survey team will assess your current setup and determine its suitability for solar thermal installation.