Even in the UK there is plenty of solar radiation available for producing hot water for domestic and commercial applications. Please note that we said radiation and not sunshine. It is a misconception that solar panels will only work in direct sunlight and both the Flat plate and Evacuated Tube collectors we supply and install are capable of heating a domestic hot water cylinder to 60°c even on an overcast day.
How much solar energy do we receive?
The chart to the left shows that in the Northern England we receive an average of 1000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy per square meter of south facing roof per year. As an average household uses in the region of 3,000 kWh a year to heat hot water it is easy to see how even a single 2m squared solar panel can supply a majority of your hot water needs..
What makes up a solar hot water system?
There are a number of components that make up a system.
1 – Panels
Firstly you have the solar panel (or collector). There are two types of panel, Evacuated Tube and Flat Plate. Each have their own benefits and we will discuss your requirements in order select the most appropriate for your situation.
2, 4, 6, 7 & 8 – Solar Station
The solar station is a number of components packaged together to make a neat installation. The main element is the pump (7) and this moves the water and antifreeze through the panel, being heated up as it goes, and returns it to the tank where it is passed through a coil to trandfer the heat into the water stored in the tank. Associated with the pump are isolation valves (6), a filling loop (4) (used when comissioning the system), a pressure guage (2), Pressure relief valve (8) and an expansion vessel (5).
Controller (not shown)
This is the brains of the system. It monitors the temperature of the water at various points in the system in order to determine when to turn the pump on and off and can be configured to gain the optimum amount of energy.