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.