PV solar panel installers and EV enthusiasts of the United Kingdom.
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How does this work?
Work alongside your boiler.
Evacuated tubes work on the same fundamental principle of how your car feels warmer during the day. Under the right circumstances, heat builds up, and it is this principle that solar tubes use, but much more efficiently than your family car.
This super-efficient technology tubes that collect and retain heat through solar radiation that hit our roofs every day of the year.
The principle of solar heating has been around throughout human history and can even be used to sterilise water. If you leave unsterilised water in a plastic bottle for a few hours in the sun, then the sun's radiation will decontaminate water - making it safer to drink.
Today, with the advantage of modern technology, we can use this same principle to heat our hot water tanks or thermal stores. Commonly known as a solar collector, the efficiency of this technique is also boosted by a smart management system that continually monitors and makes adjustments depending upon the level of heating.
This type of system is so efficient that restrictions to temperatures of 85 degrees Celsius apply. And, if that weren't amazing in itself, the system works well on some midwinter and snowy days too. Contrary to popular belief, solar heating panel's ability ain't connected to the outside air temperature. The collecting glass tubes trap and store radiation waves directly from the sun, and it's this ability that makes them ideal for northern European climates.
From my experience, evacuated tubes work best alongside a conventional boiler and will significantly increase the lifespan of that boiler as a result of reduced usage and can easily save you a tank full of oil annually.
Now, this is where it gets interesting because of the increasing cost of traditional fuels, a solar tube system installed today, will still be providing you with significant savings and free hot water for the next three decades if adequately serviced.
Now, this system is not for everyone, and one of the problems encountered today is with people who have had a Combi boiler installed in recent years and lost their storage tank. If this is your situation, then I would recommend photovoltaic solar panels instead.
Most plumbers today would recommend a Combi boiler installation, but for no other reason than, it's an easy installation for them to do. Long-term, solar heating technology will be far more useful to you.
I look at the bigger picture like this. The long-term trend for traditional fuel is predominantly upward, and this is why your energy company cannot price fix for any longer than two years.
If or when the fuel to power a Combi (no matter how efficient) becomes too unaffordable for most, my family can at least enjoy a lovely warm shower for free.
"Feel the pride."
Founder of Power My Home.