Solar water heating systems use free energy from the sun to heat domestic hot water.
A conventional boiler or immersion heater is then used to back up the system to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.
Many people have the misconception that solar panels will not work sufficiently in the UK as we don’t get enough sun; this isn’t true, in fact the UK receives 60% of the solar energy or radiation that the equator receives.
Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to warm water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
The solar thermal systems that Eco-Exmoor provide are called flat plate collectors. Flat plates collectors can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.
On sunny days, temperatures of 70 to 90°C can be reached. Even on cloudy days in winter, some hot water will be produced as the system utilises heat rather than light.
In the winter, the system will pre-heat the water in your cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back up to heat the water further to reach the temperature set by the cylinders thermostat when the solar water heating system does not quite reach that temperature.
Larger solar panels can also provide energy to heat your home as well.