“A lesser known solar panel solution is available. Welcome to the world of solar heating panels.”
Unlike photovoltaic (PV), solar heating panels harvest the latent heat energy in the atmosphere which is used within your home to contribute to water heating and sometimes space heating.
PV solar panels use the sun’s photons to generate electricity. Contrary to people’s belief, this does work well in our climate, despite our overcast climate. However, solar thermal is a good green energy source as it is not dependent on the intensity or longevity of the sunlight.
There are basically two types of solar heating panels:
- Evacuated solar tubes.
- Flat plate collectors.
Flat plate collectors can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof line. Once installed your boiler or immersion heater will be used as a back up to heat the water further to reach the temperature set by your thermostat if the solar water heating does not reach your required temperature.
Your cylinder heat controller should be set at 60 degrees C.
Also, known as solar thermal panels, means that even during bitterly cold winters like the one we are experiencing now, renewable heat energy is still generated. Of course, the warmer the outside air temperature, the efficient, heat energy collection becomes, from March to October, solar will do all of your hot water needs.
There are no planning permission issues anymore. Unless you live in a listed building or in a designated National Park, you won’t need planning permission for solar thermal panels. Even in restricted areas, planning permission is usually granted.
Solar heating panels are probably the most suitable green energy technology for homes in the UK. Unlike solar PV, solar heating technology works when temperatures fall below freezing. The majority of fuel energy used within the home is to power central heating and hot water systems.
The addition of solar thermal panels should greatly reduce your household’s dependence on fossil fuel energy such as oil, electricity or gas. The government’s new RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) feed-in tariffs, which was confirmed by the recent spending review, means that the cost of your installation will be covered with the income generated from the scheme.
"Feel the pride."
Stuart Lovatt on
Founder of Heat My Home.