Solar water heating systems use the sun’s free energy to provide domestic hot water all year round.
Even in Britain, where the sun shines all too infrequently, solar energy can account for around two thirds (65%) of your annual hot water needs.
Naturally, that means a significant saving on your yearly heating bills – and you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint, bringing your property’s carbon dioxide emissions down by over 500kg every year.
So solar water heating isn’t just great news for you, it’s great news for the planet too.
If you’d like a quote on a solar water heating system from a qualified local installer, simply complete our request a quote form.
How Solar Water Heating Works...
As with all solar installations, the first key component is the solar panel. The panels used for solar water heating though, are not the same as those used to generate electricity.
To generate electricity, you need pholtovoltaic solar panels – solar water heating requires plates known as solar thermal collectors.
These solar thermal collectors come in two forms; flat plate collectors and solar evacuated tubes. As the names suggest, one is a flat, single plate and the other made up of around 20 long thin glass tubes.
Flat Plate Collectors
Solar Evacuated Tubes
In effect, the two perform the same job – though evacuated tube collectors are generally acknowledged as being marginally more efficient in cold weather.
Whichever type of solar panel is used (your installer will advise), they will be sited on your roof – preferably facing in a southerly direction. Rest assured, solar water heating is one of the simplest forms of solar installation, so doesn’t entail great upheaval or inconvenience.
The panels are specially coated to absorb the sun’s energy, transferring this heat into a special fluid contained in copper piping.
Once this fluid is heated up, it is transferred into a hot water cylinder.
The fluid, which is usually treated with anti-freeze to enable year-round use, never actually comes into contact with the water, it simply transfers its heat as it passes through the cylinder.
With your water heated and ready to use straight from the tap, the solar heating fluid returns to the thermal collector to do it all again...
Benefits Of Solar Water Heating
By using free energy to heat your domestic water, you can save hundreds of pounds on your annual bills. The environment benefits too, through the reduced carbon emissions and the reduced strain on fossil fuels.
But as an extra incentive still, the Government has introduced a scheme known as the RHI (renewable heat incentive). This rewards house owners financially for using renewable energy sources (such as solar water heating) in the home – and in effect replaces previously available solar thermal grants.