Safe Gas suppliers of solar water heating systems.
Solar panels or collectors – are fitted to your roof. They collect heat from the sun’s radiation. There are 2 main types of collector.
Flat Plate Systems
Flat plate systems – which are comprised of an absorber plate with a transparent cover to collect the sun’s heat.
Evacuated Tube Systems
Evacuated tube systems – which are comprised of a row of glass tubes that each contain an absorber plate feeding into a mainfold which transports the heated fluid.
Heat Transfer System
A heat transfer system – uses the collected heat to heat water.
Hot Water Cylinder
Hot water cylinder – stores the hot water that is heated during the day and supplies it for use later.
Is Solar Water Heating suitable for my home?
Solar water heating can be used in the home or for larger applications, such as swimming pools. For a domestic system you will need 3-4 square metres of southeast to southwest facing roof receiving direct sunlight for the main part of the day. You’ll also need space to locate an additional water cylinder if required.
Choosing a system suitable to your needs requires consideration of a range of factors, including the area of south facing roof, the existing water heating system (e.g. some combi boilers aren’t suitable) and your budget. We will be able to assess your situation and discuss with you the best configuration to meet your needs.
In England, changes to permitted development rights for microgeneration technologies introduced on 6th April 2008 have lifted the requirements for planning permission for most solar water heating installations. Roof mounted and stand-alone systems can now be installed in most dwellings, as long as they respect certain size criteria. Exceptions apply for Listed Buildings, and buildings in Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites.
In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the devolved governments are currently all considering changes to their legislation on permitted developments, to facilitate installations of microgeneration technologies, including solar water heating. Legislation is expected in all three countries later this year. Until then, householders in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland must consult with their local authority regarding planning permission. Solar water heating systems tend to require little maintenance
Installation and maintenance costs
The typical installation cost for a domestic system is £3,000 – £5,000. Evacuated tube systems are more advanced in design than flat plate, and so tend to be more expensive.
Solar water heating systems generally come with a 5-10 year warranty and require little maintenance. A yearly check by the householder and a more detailed check by a professional installer every 3-5 years should be sufficient (consult your system supplier for exact maintenance requirements).