What is solar thermal?

Solar thermal provides hot water by way of one or more panels made up of liquid filled, glass tubes. They are positioned on a sunny roof/ wall or other location, generally positioned to the south or west. The sun heats up the liquid and this heat is transferred to a heat store, generally a hot water tank, which then provides hot water for your property.

Solar panels can easily provide 60% of the hot water and 20% of the heating demand of most family homes. This can produce a 5% return on investment under the Government Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

In the summer months (Jun-Aug) the sun will provide enough energy to meet all your hot water needs. In spring and autumn months the sun will provide 50 – 75% of the heat for your hot water and even in the winter, the sun will contribute 25% of the heat you need for your hot water. (This is in an average year). To make up the extra heat needed we either need to use an existing boiler or an immersion heater or think about a combination of one or more of the eco alternatives below:

Heat pumps can supply central heating and hot water and can utilise the electricity produced by solar PV panels.

Solar panels linked to a wood stove that is then linked into your central heating or underfloor heating by way of a heat store.

What do I need to install solar thermal?

A sunny position which is not blocked by trees or other barriers. Facing south or west to gain the most from the warmth of the sun. It can be on top of a roof, on a wall or any other suitable place.

Can I integrate the panels into my existing system?

Yes. If you have a gas/oil based heating system then they can be added.

Can I combine them with other renewable heating solutions?

Yes they can be integrated into a wood based heating system.

Are there any maintenance costs?

Once installed the panels should be checked and cleaned on an annual basis.

Can I get any government grants for the installation?

Yes you can apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the government will pay you for the heat you generate.

Can I get a grant for solar thermal if I already have the RHI for solar, biomass or an Air Source Heat Pump?

Yes you can. Take a look at the RHI site for further details.

If you would like to install solar thermal into your property please contact us on 07968 123636 or send us an email.