Supply-only solar thermal panels

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Average Supply-only solar thermal panels cost

The common cost of Supply-only solar thermal panels is £2850. Costs differ based on the materials and the organisation picked. The upper price range can be as high as £4275. The material costs are ordinarily approximately £2800

Average price per Supply-only solar thermal panels job in 2021

Avg. price low

Avg. price low
£3,140

Avg. price

Avg. price
£3,876

Avg. price high

Avg. price high
£5,638

£6200

£4650

£3100

£1550

£0

Prices based on actual Supply-only solar thermal panels costs for your area, as reported by local Quotatis members.

Supply-only solar thermal panels installation cost in your area 2021

Material cost £2,800
Waste removal £50
Time frame: 1 day

Advantages for Supply-only solar thermal panels

  • Solar water heating could provide up to a third of your hot water
  • You may save up to £100 per year on your heating bills
  • Solar hot water systems need little maintenance
  • Solar thermal systems generally come with a 5-10 year warranty
  • It's a green energy with low carbon footprint

Disadvantages for Supply-only solar thermal panels

  • You will still need a way to heat water when solar energy isn't available - usually a boiler or immersion heater
  • Combi boilers are generally not compatible with solar water heating unless you already have a hot water tank or will have one installed
  • Solar thermal can cost more to install than other methods of getting hot water

Supply-only solar thermal panels Manufacturers

Supply-only solar thermal panels FAQs

Does solar thermal generate electricity?

No – solar thermal doesn’t generate electricity. Unlike solar PV, solar thermal panels harness the sun’s energy and convert it into heat which is then transferred into your home.

You can have evacuated tube solar thermal panels or flat plate collectors; evacuated tubes are thought to be more efficient that flat plate collectors. They both work by using the sun’s rays to heat a transfer fluid, usually made from water and a type of antifreeze, which is pumped to a heat exchanger inside a water tank in your home. The heat from the exchanger heats the water inside your tank, then when the liquid releases its heat it’s transferred back to the collectors to start the whole process again.

You’ll need to use your solar thermal panel system with a boiler, collector or immersion heater. This is so that the water can be stored and used for your hot water and heating, and also because in the UK, people generally need to rely on another source of heating in the winter. There are fewer sunlight hours in the winter months, so it’s not often possible for solar thermal panels to generate enough heat from the sun to get your water up to temperature.

Whatever the time of year it is, you might want to heat the water up further than your solar panels can manage. That’s why you’ll still need a form of traditional hot water heating, but you should see savings on your energy bills. If you’re currently using natural gas, you can expect savings of around £60 per year on your fuel bills, while if you’re using LPG it could be as high as £100 pr year

Is solar thermal worth it in the UK?
We certainly think solar thermal is worth it in the UK. While we have cold winters that affects the amount of sunlight we get during those months, solar thermal panels can still generate a little heat in the winter on sunny days, and your back-up boiler or immersion heater can do the rest. The average cost of a 6m2 solar thermal system in the UK is £4,500. While that might seem like a lot of money up front, you’ll be able to make back some of that cost through Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments. The RHI is a Government scheme that pays you for every unit of renewable heat that you generate, and a 6m2 system could earn you up to £525 per year over seven years. That means you could end up paying less than £1,000 for free renewable heat for your home! As well as the RHU, you’ll see a saving on your fuel bills since you’ll be less reliant on your traditional form of heating. If you have a natural gas boiler, you could save up to £60 a year on your bills, while if you’re switching from LPG the savings could be as much as £100 per year. So, we definitely think solar thermal is worth it in the UK! Plus, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to cleaner air for everyone in the country, so you can feel good knowing that you’re doing your bit.
How much do solar thermal panels cost?
How much solar thermal panels cost in total will depend on whether you’re engaging an MCS-registered installer to fit them for you or whether you’re going to do it yourself. We’d always recommend that you get a reputable company to install them for you, since they have all the relevant skills and training to do the best job. However, there are DIY solar thermal panel kits out there that have everything you need to install them. If you get an MCS-registered company to install your solar thermal panels, you should expect to spend between £4,000 and £5,000. If you buy a solar thermal panel kit online, it will set you back between £1,500 and £2,000 - but you won’t be able to claim Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments. The RHI is a Government scheme that pays you for every unit of heat that you generate from renewable sources, including solar thermal panels. If you’re in a 6-person household and you installed a 6m2 system, you could earn up to £525 per year for seven years. That means that you could pay off over half your system with these payments. Plus, if you’re switching from gas fuel, you can expect to save £60 a year on your bills, but switch from LPG and it could be as much as £100 a year. So while the cost of solar thermal panels will be more upfront if you choose to get them installed by an MCS-registered professional, you could make half the cost back in RHI payments and fuel bill savings, so it’s well worth getting them fitted properly.
Can I install solar thermal panels myself?
In theory, you can install solar thermal panels yourself. But it’s best to leave it to professionals. We’ll explain why here. Solar thermal panels work in a similar way to solar PV panels. They use collectors, in the form of evacuated tubes or flat plate collectors, to collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water that’s stored in a hot water cylinder. You can use a boiler or immersion heater as a back-up to heat the water further so it’s at the temperature you want. So should you install a solar thermal system yourself? It certainly seems tempting since you can buy full solar thermal DIY kits with everything you need for £1,500 to £2,000. To have a solar hot water system installed by a professional, you’re looking at between £5,000 and £6,000, so it looks like there’s a significant saving to be made. However, if you want to take advantage of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments, which is a Government scheme where you’re paid for using a renewable energy source to heat your home and/or its hot water, you can’t install it yourself. You need to engage a Microgeneration Certification Scheme-registered installer who can issue you with a certificate to say that the solar thermal panels have been installed correctly. For a 4m2 system that serves a 4-person household, the payments could be up to £375 per year. That means you could pay your system off within 14 years, and that’s not taking into account any of the savings you’ll make on your energy bills. So, while you can install solar thermal panels yourself, it’s much better in the long term to have them installed by an MCS-registered company.
What are solar thermal panels?

Solar thermal panels are panels that can be used to heat your hot water. The collectors, which are either evacuated tube panels or flat plate collectors, harness heat from the sun and transfer it to a heat transfer liquid that heats up water that is stored in a hot water cylinder. You can use a boiler or immersion heater as a back-up in the winter or to heat the water up further to reach the right temperature.

Evacuated tube panels involve a bank of glass tubes mounted on the roof tiles, and while they’re usually more expensive, they’re more efficient than flat plate collectors. They’re exactly what they sound like – flat panels that can be fixed onto your roof tiles or integrated into the roof.

Having a solar thermal system will reduce your energy bills since heat from the sun is free, so you won’t have to rely on your traditional heating as much. You’ll also be doing your bit for the environment – if you have a natural gas heating system, you could save up to 295kg of CO2 every year.

Another benefit to solar thermal panels is that you might be eligible for payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is a Government scheme to encourage people to take up renewable heating technologies. As long as you have your system installed by an MCS-registered installer and you meet a few other requirements, you could receive payments of up to £525 per year for seven years. And since the average solar thermal panel system costs £5,500, you could pay off over half of your system just with these payments. That’s not even considering that you could save up to £60 a year on your energy bills if you have a gas system.

Who makes solar thermal panels?

There are a few trusted companies in the UK that make solar panels. While there are other solar thermal panels out there that are made by Chinese and American companies, we’ll focus on the brands with a longstanding presence in the UK since these are the panels MCS-registered solar companies are likely to recommend to you.

Viessmann, Worcester Bosch, Solar UK and Dimplex make some of the best solar thermal panels in the UK. Dimplex and Viessmann offer both flat plate and evacuated tube solar panels, while Solar UK only offers evacuated tubes. Worcester Bosch’s Greenskies range are all flat plate collectors. Viessmann’s panels come with a 5-year warranty, while Worcester Bosch and Dimplex offer extensive 10-year warranties. However, Solar UK offer a comprehensive 25-year warranty and guarantee that the panels will deliver the same level of performance for 25 years!

We’d recommend choosing evacuated tube solar thermal panels because they are the most efficient. While there won’t be much difference between evacuated tubes and flat plates in the summer, in the winter evacuated tubes are much better at taking heat from the sun than flat plates. Since our winters are long and cold with few daylight hours, we think it makes sense to go with evacuated tubes. However, if your priority is looks over maximising efficiency, you might want to choose flat plate collectors since they sit flat on the roof and look more like solar PV panels, whereas the evacuated tubes will stick out.

How to install solar thermal panels?
We always recommend that you ask an MCS-registered company to install your solar thermal panels so you can take advantage of the RHI and any other schemes that may come up in the future. However, if you’re sure you want to do it yourself or you just want a rundown of what the installers will do, here are the general steps on how to install solar thermal panels:
  1. After the installer’s measured up, given you an estimated output and recommended some systems for you, they’ll arrange date to come to your home to install the solar thermal panels. They’ll also let you know if any scaffolding will be required.
  2. Next, they will start to fit the panels, or collectors, to your roof. Stainless steel brackets will be provided with the system and they will remove your roof tiles or slates to attach the brackets to the rafters. They’ll then replace the tiles and add waterproof flashing to ensure you don’t get any roof leaks, and add the frame.
  3. If you’ve chosen evacuated tube solar thermal panels, the installer will bolt the heat transfer unit to the top of the frame but not install the tubes until nearer the end. This is because the tubes start to transfer heat to the exchanger immediately, and when everything is unconnected this could damage the unit.
  4. If you don’t need a new boiler with your installation, a new dual coil water cylinder, pump and system control system will be fitted. It’s best in a loft or upper floor of your home.
  5. A new thermal store or hot water tank that will store the heat provided by the solar system is much larger than a standard tank but it may fit in the spot of your old one. The installer will ensure that it’s connected to the mains cold water, your other heating source (such as a gas boiler or biomass boiler), immersion heater, temperature sensors and the solar collectors themselves.
  6. Next they will install the pumping station, usually near the water tank. The expansion tank will be installed on the solar thermal loop, which is usually nearby. Its job is to prevent pressure changes that could damage the system.
  7. You’ll get a heat generation meter which must be MCS-certified if you want to take advantage of the RHI, and any control equipment that comes with the system will be installed.
  8. The installers will then bring the system to pressure by pumping the heat transfer liquid into the system up to a pressure of around 2 bar.
  9. Finally, your MCS-registered installer will register your solar thermal system so you can apply for RHI payments of up to £525 per year.
  10. So that’s the process of installing solar thermal panels. Remember – it's always best to use a professional to install any kind of renewable technology.
Can solar thermal be used for central heating?

Yes – solar thermal can be used for central heating. Solar thermal panels work by collecting heat from the sun, either through evacuated tubes or flat plate collectors, and transferring that to a heat transfer liquid that heats your hot water. This can then be used to preheat your central heating.

You’ll need a hot water cylinder to store the water that your solar thermal panels heat up. It’s likely that you’ll need an immersion heater or boiler to heat the water further so you can use it for your central heating, and as a back-up during the longest winter months since the solar panels won’t be able to generate as much heat.

In our opinion, it’s best to use your solar thermal panels for hot water rather than your central heating. That’s because you use hot water all year round, whereas you probably won’t have your central heating on in the spring and summer, when the panels can generate the most heat. For central heating, air- or ground-source heat pumps are a great renewable option, and you can even power them with electricity from solar PV panels if you want to be as eco-friendly as possible.

DIY Solar Water Heater! - Solar Thermal COPPER COIL Water Heater! - Easy DIY (Full instr.) 170F

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