Understanding Solar Thermal

Understanding Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal renewable technology can deliver up to 60% of your annual hot water requirements

Solar water heating systems use thermal panels, called solar collectors, fitted to the roof. These collect free heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.

A conventional boiler and/or immersion heater can be used as a back up to heat the water further and for times when sufficient solar energy is not available.
Solar thermal installations can be used to claim regular payments as part of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

How Solar Thermal works

How a Solar Thermal system works?

  • Heat Transfer Fluid is able to circulate through the Solar Collector – tank loop
  • Solar collectors, normally mounted on a roof, capture the energy released by the sun to warm the heat transfer fluid.Once the temperature in the collectors reaches a predetermined level. (around 6ºC hotter than the hot water cylinder), the pump station starts.
  • The heat transfer fluid circulates through the system giving up heat to the hot water store.
“For a family of four, a well designed solar water heating system should contribute around 1,500kWh and 2,000kWh, which will be equivalent to 50 to 65% of the household’s water heating energy needs.”

Annual energy cost savings

Solar water heating systems can achieve savings on your energy bills. Based on the results of our recent field trial, typical savings from a well-installed and properly used system are £60 per year when replacing gas heating and £70 per year when replacing electric immersion heating; however, savings will vary from user to user.

Solar thermal systems qualify for payments made through the government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme (index linked for 7 years).

Advantages of solar thermal heating

  • Using natural energy from the sun, a household can generate 50–65% of their yearly hot water demand.
  • Save on fuel bills.
  • Eligible for RHI payments
  • Reduce your carbon footprint.

Solar thermal maintenance

Maintenance costs for solar water heating systems are generally very low - most solar water heating products come with a five-year or ten-year warranty and require little maintenance. A periodic (3-yearly) check is recommended to check the Glycol levels and ensure everything is working properly. Once fitted your installer should leave written details of any maintenance checks, ensuring everything is working properly.