"A popular solar technology before PV.
A different perspective.
Before the advent of photovoltaics, solar heating was King.
Free water heating from the sun is not for everyone.
The problem is that many people have Combi boilers with no storage tank. If this is your situation, then I would recommend PV solar panels instead.
A common misconception is they only work on hot sunny days. This myth is untrue, although they do operate at peak temperatures on those days.
As more people encounter high energy bills, solar panel adopters will keep those outgoings low far into the future.
Questions about solar heating panels
Most homes are suitable. If you have an S/SE/SW or east/west facing roof space, then great. Your internal plumbing needs to be checked for compatibility too. Check your roof orientation
How much will a system cost?
The cost of a solar heating system depends on several factors. Your water tank size determines the number of panels required though. We only recommend PV
How do solar heating panels work?
A solar heating system heats up due to the sun's short-wave radiation output converting to long-wave radiation. This process creates heat.
- The variable speed controller circulates based on temperatures within the panel.
- The pump circulates a Glycol solution through the hot collector and back-down through a heat exchanger.
- The system automatically shuts down when not in use, or when the collector temperature is lower than the cylinder.
Do solar heating panels work in the UK climate?
The UK receives 60% of the sun's radiation compared with the equator. Each square metre of the UK receives between 900 to 1,300 kWh annually. All can be captured and diverted into your hot water tank with evacuated tubes.
What about Combi boilers?
Combi boilers aren't possible in most cases. We would need to re-install a hot water tank. Most homes with Combi's won't have the space to install a hot water tank.
Can I install solar heating myself?
In most cases no. However, if you're Part P electrical accredited, then it may be possible to install in a DIY capacity.
All solar heating panel installations must be carried out and commissioned by an accredited MCS-installer only.
Is there a danger that it could get too hot?
The system may never rise above 85° Celcius.
Why update my hot water tank?
Older 'copper' hot water tanks run exceptionally inefficiently, especially after many years of use. Limescale will reduce performance even further.
When installing a solar heating system, it's essential to establish a modern more efficient tank to get the most out of your system.
Will it contribute towards my central heating?
We would need to check your management system is suitable. In most cases, solar heating can contribute to your central heating via underfloor heating.
How long will it take to install?
Only a few hours in most cases.
Do I require planning permission?
Listed buildings, conservation area homes, national parks may require permission. Please consult with your local planning officer.
Does solar heating work on cloudy days?
This question depends on the density of the cloud. In average cloud density, solar panels use passive energy. With dense cloud cover, probably not.
Can you upgrade my hot-water tank?
Does your tank has an unused twin-coil? In most cases, we update the hot water tank to allow a secondary connection to the evacuated tube system.
How long do solar heating panels last?
A system will easily last twenty-five years.
"We chose to have the solar panels installed as we already have free hot water from an existing solar heating system. This is truly making our home into a green home - and we feel proud that we're now on the way to becoming 80% energy independent."
Mrs. Gregson, Weston-super-mare.