Our solar panels convert the sun's rays into an abundant source of hot water in your home. And it doesn't have to be a sunny day either. Even in winter, when it's overcast, the panel warms the cylinder so the boiler has less work to do.
An accurately sized panel should provide virtually all your hot water over the summer months. In Spring and Autumn it will provide about half of what you need. Even in the winter it supplies nearly 20%. That should cheer your boiler up!
At the end of a hard day, run yourself a deep bath, lie back and congratulate yourself on the wisdom of your decision. You may even find yourself letting the kids stay in the shower for a little longer. And not minding the third round of washing up after dinner. Hot water’s always handy and there’ll be plenty more tomorrow.
At the head of the panel is a manifold where the heat collects. This is connected via a pump to a coil in the cylinder. When the temperature of the manifold is higher than the cylinder, the pump runs, transferring the heat. It’s as simple as that.
On overcast days when the panel is only warming the water the boiler kicks in, making sure you’ve got the hot water you need.
An evacuated tube panel is made up of a series of double walled vacuum tubes with a copper heat pipe running down the middle. The glass tube has a super efficient oxide coating which lets in light but stops it escaping. The heat pipe has a thimble full of liquid contained in a partial vacuum which makes the liquid boil at only 25 degrees. The steam shoots to the top of the tube, heats up the manifold and, when it has returned to its liquid state, runs back down the tube to start the whole process again.
It’s often possible to install a retrofit solar coil to your existing hot water tank This limits the size of the collector on the roof but means you can enjoy the benefits of solar energy without breaking the bank. Whilst not quite as efficient as the twin coil cylinder of the larger systems, it’s great value for money and offers a shorter payback period. Since the cylinder does not have to be changed, we’ll spend less time in your house which minimises any inconvenience.
Combined with a new, bigger, twin coil cylinder the collector(s) can be as big as your roof allows and will provide plenty of hot water for larger families. It’s an efficient and powerful system capable of providing up to 70% of your hot water.
A bigger tank means you can relax and let them enjoy their shower, there’ll still be enough water for your bath later on.
We can install a solar panel on your roof with a retrofit solar coil inserted into your existing cylinder from as little as £3,850 (inc. VAT). This should be suitable for most families in a three bedroomed property. The price can rise depending on the specification of the system and the complexity of the installation but our tight control over costs allows us to charge this budget price in most cases.
A 30 tube array and a new larger twin coil cylinder is a powerful way to create almost all of your hot water over the summer and at this price, represents great value for money. Modern cylinders have very good insulation and only lose a few degrees overnight. These larger systems are very efficient and provide more hot water for more baths and showers.
A new twin coil cylinder is the most efficient way of harvesting the energy from the solar panel, heating the water from the bottom of the tank. If your tank is old, it may well be worth installing a new twin coil tank – you could even switch to a mains pressure hot and cold throughout the house if we fit an unvented tank or thermal store. It may also be worth considering changing your plumbing and using the cylinder as the hub of your heating system. With multiple heat inputs (gas boiler, solar thermal, log burning stove) and multiple outputs (radiator circuits, underfloor heating, hot water) a large thermal store can be an important building block in a new, flexible, efficient heating system.
Wherever people use a lot of hot water, solar thermal has an important part to play in the energy mix. However, its super efficient nature can be a little too effective if the water isn’t used and we don’t recommend it to people who live on their own or who’s water usage is low. Where solar thermal really scores is with families or homes with many residents – if you romp through a cylinder of hot water a day, this is the technology for you.
If you have a swimming pool and mostly swim in the summer months, then you can look forward to turning your boiler off completely. A well sized system can heat the pool to 12 degrees above ambient temperature and extends the heating season into spring and autumn. What’s more, since heating 75,000 litres of pool water takes a lot of energy, the savings in not using the boiler are really significant. A solar thermal swimming pool system can pay for itself inside five years and there’s nothing to beat the feeling of floating along, knowing the boiler is well and truly turned off
Whether you’re heating water for 10 showers, 100 baths or 1,000 swimmers, solar thermal is a fantastic way to reduce your costs and ease the strain on the existing heating system. After the initial installation costs are covered, the energy the sun provides is free allowing you to demonstrate genuine financial savings and huge carbon reductions. The commercial RHI improves on this and generates an impressive income stream.
Schools, sports clubs, community centres – anywhere people come together for activities, is a good place to consider solar thermal. The economics of this scale of hot water production coupled with the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive means you can turn a liability into an asset with the added bonus of a huge feel good factor – there’s nothing like a free hot bath!