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Solar thermal

Solar hot water

Solar thermal panels generate heat for your home and hot water and are not to be confused with Solar PV systems, which exclusively provide free electricity.

Solar thermal panels are installed in a similar way to solar PV, on south or southwest facing rooftops for optimal efficiency. Installation will depend on how much hot water you need for your home, with a calculation of one square metre per person often appropriate.

Less efficient solar thermal collectors will require a greater space of your roof to be covered, and you’ll also need hot water cylinders, controls and necessary pipework.

Plus, with the Government set to bring in the Renewable Heat Incentive, a guaranteed fixed payment for solar thermodynamics, you’ll even earn an income by producing environmentally friendly heat.

What’s important is you’re not misled by dodgy salesman tactics. Consumer watchdog Which? say that tactics are often used to exaggerate potential savings with thermal panels, so comparing quotes is the best way to be sure.

There are currently no free solar panels schemes for thermal available.

Solar thermodynamics

Solar thermodynamics has become the leading product in the market, and they can provide heat for your home in temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. This means you’re assured of continuous hot water throughout the year.

With virtually no maintenance needed to ensure they operate efficiently throughout the year, solar thermodynamics are an effective form of hot water heating, reducing bills by up to 80% annually.

Benefits of a solar thermal panel system

Solar thermal is a different kettle of fish to PV solar panels and their benefits include:

  • Providing you with as much as a third of your annual hot water needs

  • This can save you hundreds of pounds every year on your heating, which take up over 60% of your annual energy bills

  • A possible fixed payment of 17.3p/kWh for seven years under the Renewable Heat Incentive

  • Maintenance costs are very low and warranties normally cover between five and ten years, guaranteeing a successful experience with solar thermal

  • Adding value to your home, with potential buyers attracted by the possibility to save money every year on energy bills

  • Reducing carbon dioxide emissions with a natural, environmentally friendly energy source

Solar thermal quotes

If you want to start cutting your heating bills and helping the environment, just complete our quick solar hot water form and receive up to four FREE quotes from local, vetted and reputable professionals.



Average Solar thermal cost

The typical cost of Solar thermal is £4000. Costs fluctuate based upon the materials and the organisation hired. The upper price range can be as high as £4600. The material costs are commonly around £1000

Average price per Solar thermal job in 2021

Avg. price low

Avg. price low
£3,375

Avg. price

Avg. price
£4,389

Avg. price high

Avg. price high
£5,790

£6300

£4725

£3150

£1575

£0

Prices based on actual Solar thermal costs for your area, as reported by local Quotatis members.

Solar thermal installation cost in your area 2021

Labour cost £2,800
Material cost £1,000
Waste removal £200
Time frame: 3-5 days

Advantages for Solar thermal

  • Save on your water heating bills
  • Low maintenance
  • Environmentally friendly

Disadvantages for Solar thermal

  • Solar thermal panels only heat water
  • Dependent on the climate
  • Upfront installation costs can be high

Solar thermal Manufacturers

Solar thermal FAQs

Does solar thermal work in the winter?

If you’re considering getting a solar thermal system, one of the first things that comes to mind is the possibility of the system functioning properly during the cold months. The short and simple answer to this question is yes, a solar thermal system works in the winter. However, the downside here is that it’ll be a lot less efficient when compared to how it operates during the warmer months or summer. As a result of this fact, you’ll likely need to rely more on your boiler, immersion heater or any other backup heating system during this period as your solar thermal system will fail to contribute as much as it does during the warmer months. So what exactly is the reason why solar thermal is less effective and less efficient in the winter period? Let’s have a look!

As you know, solar thermal system banks on the sun’s energy to heat the water for your home’s use. During the cold months or winter, the sunlight becomes a lot less available when compared to the warmer months, as a result, there’s less sunlight that’s available to be used for its solar energy. And even more so at the periods when the days are shorter or skies are clearly overcast.

Also having a great impact on a solar thermal system’s output is heavy snow. Flat plate collectors normally have the capacity to cope better during snowy conditions as the light that’s able to travel through the snow will heat up the absorber plate - thereby making the snow slide off more quickly. However, the case is contrary with evacuated tube collectors which possesses a form of vacuum insulation that’s crafted to minimize the loss of heat, meaning they can’t generate heat to melt and cause the snow to slide off in a similar way.

How does solar thermal generate electricity?

Are you thinking of installing solar thermal systems in your home or property and wondering exactly how it works to generate electricity? Regardless of your motive, in this article you’ll learn in simple details how solar thermal is how solar thermal doesn't provide electricity for your home.

If you are looking to generate electricity for your home then Solar PV are able to generate electricity simply by absorbing and focusing sunlight in such a way to create a temperature level that’s high enough to generate the much needed electricity. There are two main components that comes with the solar energy collectors of each. These two components include, the reflectors ( mirrors), which works to absorb and concentrate the sunlight onto a receiver. In several types of the solar thermal power systems, a heat transfer fluid is then heated and distributed in the receiver so as to generate steam. Once the steam as been produced, it’s then transported to the turbine where it’s turned into a mechanical energy, which in turn powers the generator to produce electricity.

Solar thermal power or electric systems are usually embedded with a tracking system which keeps the sunlight concentrated on the receiver all day long as the sun changes position in the sky. They also come with a wide array of collectors which works of distribute the heat absorbed to a turbine as well as the generator. A lot of solar thermal power facilities will gave two or more plants with different arrays and generators.

Solar thermal power systems can also have a thermal energy storage system component whose work is to permit the solar collector system to heat an energy storage system during the day while energy storage system’s generated heat is incorporated in the production of electricity at night or during a cloudy weather when there’s not much sunlight.

Is solar thermal cost effective?

If you’re looking to install a solar thermal system in your home, this is usually one of the first concerns several homeowners have. Being fully aware that solar water heating systems are usually more expensive than their counterparts - the conventional water heating systems, the question arises whether or not you’ll be able to save some money from your solar water heating system in the long run. In this article, we aim provide an answer to this important question. Let’s take a closer look!

When it comes to solar thermal systems, the money you’ll be able to save in the long run depends on a wide range of factors. These factor includes:

✓ Your system’s performance.

✓ Your geographical location and solar resource

✓ Your household’s hot water demand

✓ Financing and incentive options that are available.

✓ The cost of fuel that’s being used for your alternative or backup water heating system, if you own one.

✓ The cost of conventional fuels such as oil, electricity or natural gas.

There are several benefits, however, that comes with the installation of a solar water heating system. Since the sun is absolutely free, future fuel shortages and price hikes will have little impact on you. Also, on the average if you decide to fit a solar thermal system your water heating bills is expected to drop about 50 percent to 80 percent. What’s more? The economics are even a lot more attractive when you’re just about to build a new home or refinancing. When you include the price of a solar water system in a 30 year mortgage, it’ll normally amount to very low price per month. Therefore, on a monthly basis you’ll be saving more and paying less.

Do I need planning permission for solar thermal panels?

Most domestic solar thermal panels do not need planning permission and are covered by permitted development rights. There are restrictions on the size and location of these systems. If you live in a conservation area or listed building, or want to install a very large solar thermal system, check with your local authority to see if you will need planning permission.

How much does a solar thermal system cost?

Are you thinking about installing a solar thermal system in your home? If yes, the you’d most likely be wondering the exact amount the system is going to cost. Well, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common question when it comes to solar thermal systems and we aim to answer that in this article. So let’s get started!

Unfortunately, the cost of a solar thermal system can’t be given in a single, accurate answer as they vary widely. However, when getting a new solar thermal system, you can expect to pay a sum within the range of £3000 to £6000 ( this includes a lowered VAT rate of 5 percent). The figures provided takes into account the installation costs as well as all the parts ( such as control panel, solar collectors, hot water tank and pipes).

To determine the price of your system, the quality and type of the panels matter. For instance, according to the Solar Trade Association, a properly insulated twin coil cylinder system would be priced at around £4500. in the same tone, it’s also possible to get DIY solar thermal kits that includes all the required hardware which will cost within the range of £1500 to £250. This however, may not be eligible for government support. In order to benefit from the RHI, your system must be fitted by a MCS accredited installer.

The varying prices of the solar thermal system’s initial cost is based on the specification of each individual house. For example, in situations where the building is having complicated water system, the plumbing cost is expected to increase which will have a serious impact on the overall cost of the solar thermal power system.

Can solar thermal be used for central heating?

If you’re thinking about getting a solar thermal system for your home, it’s normal to consider the possibility of using the system for central heating. So is this viable? In this article, you’ll learn how solar thermal panels can be incorporated for heating. Let’s have a closer look!

Heating and hot water systems, on the average, takes up a sizeable part ( up to 70 percent) of our energy bills. Now take a moment to imagine how cool it’ll be to generate your own hot water for free without having to depend on any supplier which in turn significantly reduces your energy bills. Well, this is exactly the work of central heating systems that are powered by solar. That’s super cool, right? Well, let’s have a look at how this works.

While solar panels generates electricity, solar thermal panels produces heat for hot water production. However, what’s important is the fact that they both make use of the sun’s natural energy to provide us with a free and renewable energy we can use in our homes. Here’s how it works.

Solar thermal panels directed at central heating incorporates the sun’s natural energy to heat water in a storage cylinder which is then available for use at home. These solar thermal panels are exposed to the sunlight by fitting them on the roof of the home. Generally, they’ll include tubes that contains liquid whose job is to collect the heat and then transfer it to a hot water cylinder that’s solar compatible in your home. The heat is generated for free and is also renewable. This is help you save lots of money on oil, gas and even electricity which you purchase to power the cylinder.

Is solar thermal worth it in the uk?

If you’re thinking about installing a solar thermal system in your house, it’s always important to put into consideration numerous factors before you proceed. While some solar thermal systems are suitable for use at home, there are also some that are suitable for businesses or organizations which normally requires a big amount of hot water like hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals and many more. You’ll also find some types available in the market that are suitable for communities to satisfy communal hot water demands.

It should, however, be noted that solar thermal systems do not have the capacity to produce all the hot water demand of a house. In the UK, an average household will need an annual water heating of between 3000kWh to 5000kWh. Whereas, a solar thermal system is only able to meet about 40 percent to 60 percent of this demand.

With that in mind, it’s also worth noting that during the summer months when the solar radiation is at its peak and hot water demand is relatively lower when compared to other seasons, a solar thermal system may be able to provide all of your household’s hot water needs. This implies that during this period you may not find the need to operate your boiler at all. However, during winter or colder months, when you have a higher hot water demands in contrary to a lower solar radiation, a solar thermal system will only be able to take care of about 20 percent of your household’s hot water needs. And that ultimately implies that during this period, you’ll need to rely more on a alternative or backup source of heat like gas, coal, electricity, oil or LPG.

How do solar thermal panels work?

Solar thermal panels work by capturing heat directly from the sun and using it to heat water. This hot water is then passed through a coil to heat the water for your central heating system. Solar thermal systems are compatible with many existing conventional boilers with hot water tanks, and can be set up to feed in to your existing heating system.

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