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What is Solar Thermal?

Solar thermal uses heat energy from the sun to provide domestic hot water.

Solar Thermal collectors can help you to save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Once installed, a Solar Thermal system helps you to save on your energy bills by reducing the amount of energy you have to buy in to provide hot water.

A typical Solar Thermal system consists of panels or ‘collectors’ attached to your roof that absorb heat from the sun. This is then transferred to the water in a hot water cylinder via a cylinder coil. An immersion element or secondary coil and boiler ensure you always have the hot water you need.

The requirement for a hot water cylinder means that a Solar Thermal system is more suited to homes that feature a Regular or System Boiler than to those homes with a Combi Boilers where a hot water cylinder is not already installed.

What type of Solar Thermal is best for me?

To design a solar thermal system, we need to calculate the amount of hot water required per day. For domestic hot water systems, this means looking at the number of occupants, how many showers and baths are taken a day, and also considerations like shower flow rates.

Planning permission is not normally required for a domestic system unless your home is a listed building or in a conservation area. If in doubt however you should check with your local planning authority before work starts.

We generally recommend flat plate collectors. Although not as efficient as evacuated tubes, they are more reliable and need less maintenance. For an average home with four occupants, we normally recommend around 4m² of solar collector with a 250 litre solar cylinder having at least 80 litres of dedicated solar volume. It is critically important that sufficient space to dump the energy is available and that the occupants of the property regularly consume hot water.

We also calculate solar generation based on roof pitch and orientation, and using data from the collector data sheets (better quality collectors will collect more heat energy).

Benefits of Solar Thermal:

  • Use sunlight to generate electricity
  • Save on your energy bills
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Smart Export Guarantee available

If you are interested in having a solar Thermal system installed or maintained, don’t delay, call Air Earth Energy today on 01761 414 356.


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