CTS Renewables | 0800 019 7255

Solar Thermal - How It Works

Solar home

Solar thermal, also known as solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, installed onto your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up a fluid, which is pumped along pipes to your hot water cylinder, transferring the heat into the water up to a pre-set temperature. A standard boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back-up for the odd day of increased hot water usage to increase the temperature on very cold winter days.

We only supply closed-loop solar thermal systems. Using a heat transfer fluid similar to antifreeze means it will still circulate in very low temperatures and never touches the water that comes out of your tap.

A solar thermal system works most efficiently from March to October reducing the need to switch your boiler on, and in winter the solar thermal panels will reduce your boilers running time.

Solar thermal systems require a hot water tank to store hot water for evening use. Fitting a system with a Combi boiler is possible but can be self-defeating as a hot water tank is required, we would suggest you consider replacing the boiler completely.

Solar home

In Detail

A solar thermal system consists of a solar collector, a hot water cylinder, a pump and a controller. A boiler or immersion heater will be required to back up the system.

There are two types of solar thermal panel: flat-plate collectors and evacuated-tube collectors.

Evacuated-tube collectors are generally accepted as being the most efficient, reaching the heating temperature quickest and will produce slightly higher yields in autumn and spring.

Flat-plate glazed collectors are more resilient and need very little maintenance. They are generally accepted as being the most aesthetically pleasing option as they can sit level within the roof structure if an 'in roof' system is used, giving the impression of a Velux type window.

Solar home

The most appropriate hot water cylinder uses a twin coil heating system. The lower coil is heated by the solar panel and the upper coil by a conventional boiler.

The whole system is managed by the controller. It reacts to the temperature of the fluid in the solar collector and the water in the cylinder to automatically determine the rate at which the fluid is pumped around the system.

Maintenance costs are very low. It is advised that you inspect your panels every year for signs of damage and wear and have the entire system checked over by a professional every 3-5 years. Solar Thermal systems are designed to last in excess of 25 years, but the antifreeze fluid will need to be replaced on average every 8 years.

For more information of the cost and benefit on Solar ThermalClick Here or alternatively contact our office Click Here