Solar thermal systems, also known as solar water heating systems, make use of the sun’s energy to warm domestic hot water. A standard immersion heater or boiler can be utilized to warm water, or to give hot water if solar energy is not available.
The Top Advantages Of Solar Water Heating
- Hot water all year round – however, you will need to warm the water further with an immersion heater or boiler during the colder months.
- Lower energy bills – after paying for the initial installation of a solar system, energy bills will be lower since sunlight is a free source.
- Lesser carbon footprint – solar water heating systems are green renewable systems that contributes to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
How Do These Systems Work?
Solar hot water systems make use of solar panels, also referred to as collectors which are fitted onto your roof. They collect energy from the sun and utilize it to heat up your water which is stored in the hot water cylinder. An immersion heater or boiler can be utilized as backup to warm up the water to a higher temperature or during colder months.
Two Choices Of Solar Water Heating Panels:
- Flat plate collectors – integrated into your roof or fixed onto the roof tiles.
- Evacuated tubes – a bank consisting of glass tubes which are mounted onto roof tiles.
Is Solar Water Heating A Good Option For Your Home?
There are a few considerations:
- Have You Got A Sunny Spot Where The Solar Panels Can Be Installed?
You will require about five square metres of space on the roof that gets direct sunlight for most part of the day. The panels can be affixed to a frame onto a flat roof, mounted on the roof or hang from a wall.
- Do You Have Adequate Space For An Extra Or Larger Hot Water Cylinder?
If no dedicated solar cylinder is installed already, you will typically need to add a dedicated cylinder that has a heating coil or replace the present cylinder.
- Is The Current Boiler Compatible For Solar Water Heating?
Most traditional hot water cylinder and boiler systems are compatible for solar water heating, however if you have a combination boiler that does not have a hot water tank, then this would not be the case. A reputable accredited solar installed can assess your home and help you select the best setup according to your needs.
The maintenance costs for solar water heating systems are usually minimal. Most solar water heating systems has a 5-year to 10-year warranty and necessitate little maintenance. Once installed, the installed must leave written information about maintenance check that must be carried out periodically to ensure it is working properly. An essential step is to check for any water leaks. Anti-freeze leaks will generate a potent smell even if you do not see any liquid. If this is the case, contact the installer.
Also, if you are not getting any hot water or the pipework of the solar systems is cold once the pump runs on hot, sunny days, then you must contact the installer. Your system must be checked thoroughly and by an accredited installed about every three to seven years, or as per the installer’s specifications. The pump must also be checked by an installer. Pumps typically last more than ten years.