How solar heating panels work in the UK?
Last updated on June 6th, 2017 at 12:38 pm
“Solar heating panel technologies have recently been overlooked with the advent of feed-in tariffs being unveiled for their cousins PV electric panels.”
Solar thermal panels, as they are also known, have now got their own feed-in tariffs scheme recently, called the Renewable Heat Incentive, so a much brighter future is on the horizon for both of these once overlooked technologies.
There are two types of solar heating collectors available, called flat plate solar collectors and evacuated solar tubes. A collector is a device which collects, stores and builds up heat for use elsewhere.
In the case of solar heating panels, these systems are used to provide hot water and in some cases, space heating with under-floor heating. This is all done using the power of the sun, which bathes our country in solar radiation every day.
A common misconception about solar panels is they only work on a hot sunny day. This is untrue, although they do work at peak performance on such a day, the unique selling point for solar heating panels is that they work extremely well even under cloudy conditions too. Diffused sunlight caused by cloud cover can still be captured, stored and used throughout most of the year.As solar radiation hits the panels or tubes, heat builds up within and once a specified temperature is reached, an internal pump is activated by the management system, and the heat is transferred into a cylinder using a special heat transfer fluid. This continued heat build-up mechanism allows your cylinder to heat up to temperatures of around 50-80 Degrees Celcius when in operation.
Stuart Lovatt the founder of Heat my Home adds, “This technology has improved so much in terms of efficiency and quality, especially the evacuated tubes, that old misconceptions about solar panels have been swept away. As heating hot water is a large chunk of a household expense, an investment in this technology will be a sound one”.
Solar heating is considered an environmentally-friendly way to obtain hot water for your domestic and commercial uses, including heating swimming pools, which will lower your carbon footprint as the world tries to reduce the effects of climate change.
The value added to your home after an installation is yet another incentive to equip your property with solar panel or evacuated tube equipment.
solar heating panels financial benefits
Solar heating has great financial benefits too, allowing up to 70% (south England) or 50% (Scotland) of your home’s hot water needs, providing savings on your energy bills and generous feed-in tariff payments for the next 18 years through the government incentive scheme.
Solar panels in general are only installed by approved MCS solar panels installers using equipment certified under the Micro Generation Certification Scheme to give you peace of mind for the next 30 plus years, the length of time this technology is designed to last. A brief service check is provided by your installer every 3 years to check the system and check the PH balance of the solar fluid.
The savings provided by your solar heating panels are set to become even more valuable and noticeable as energy costs, which are predicted to rise by 60% over the next ten years, become the norm in our daily lives.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt June 7, 2011
Founder of Heat My Home.