What is solar thermal heating?
A solar thermal heating system is one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy available. These systems simply harness the free heat provided by the sun to efficiently heat the water needed for your home. It can then be used in your taps, radiators and even swimming pools. Despite the sun not shining as much as we’d like in the UK, a well designed solar thermal system can store energy to be used later on when it is not producing as much energy.
Designing your solar thermal heating system
At ecoames we pride ourselves on designing the perfect solar thermal system for the needs and budget of our customers. Whether your requirements are to produce hot water for use in the home, or to heat swimming pools and radiators, you can be certain that ecoames will provide the best system for your personal needs and the environment.
Do solar thermal systems work all year round?
The most common solar thermal system is designed to heat a cylinder of water to be used for the buildings hot water needs. During the summer months, you can expect 100% of your hot water to be generated through solar energy. Through this period, you should be able to switch off your boiler altogether and rely solely on the solar heating system, greatly reducing your carbon footprint and increasing your self sufficiency.
However during the winter months when there is less intense sunlight during the days, your solar thermal system will of course produce less hot water. Even so, you can expect up to 70% of your overall annual hot water usage to be supplied by your solar thermal heating system.
Solar thermal store systems
A thermal store is a way of storing and managing the renewable heat produced from your solar panels until it is needed. In a domestic setting, these tend to be from 200 litres. In a commercial setting a thermal store will typically hold between 500 to 5000 litres. Thermal stores can also be called a buffer or accumulator tank.
Thermal stores work very well with solar thermal water heating systems as they allow solar thermal heat to be used for space heating as well as heating water. On a sunny, a solar thermal array may harvest far more heat than would be needed for hot tap water alone. Combined with a thermal store also supplying space heating, this extra solar energy can be put to good work.
With a professional design and control strategy, a thermal store can also be designed to prioritise solar thermal heat above all other sources. This will mean that if solar heat is available, no other heat source will come on.
Solar Thermal FAQs
What are the benefits of solar thermal heating?
- A better energy rating for your property and a higher house/business value
- More hot water is available during the summer
- Lower CO2 emissions
- Fuel savings of around 30% with domestic hot water systems
- Fuel cost savings of around 50% with a larger solar thermal store
How much energy does the sun give us?
In the UK approximately 900-1000kwh of energy falls on every square meter! This is very similar to that experienced across the countries of Northern Europe, like the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. These countries have had active solar thermal industries for more than 20-30 years, with a track record of systems that function reliably and produce very good solar yields.
This means that any solar thermal heating system in the UK will also have a very high success
Why are so many homes and businesses installing solar thermal systems?
One of the main reasons is for energy security. Many people want to maintain control over their fuel bills, given the uncertainty regarding future energy prices. Another motivation is to lower their carbon emissions, especially as businesses are now starting be held accountable for their carbon emissions. And of course, every solar thermal system that is installed helps save the environment!
One of the major government incentives is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which pays you for every KWh you produce from your solar thermal system.
Call and speak to one of our experienced advisers for more information – 0333 7720 746
Do you offer maintenance?
At ecoames, all our solar thermal heating systems come with a ten year warranty. In that time they will require little or no maintenance. This is thanks to designing the system well, before it is installed. Once we have installed your solar thermal system we will fully commission it, only asking to return on the system’s fifth year in operation to carry out safety checks and to top up any fluids if needed. This is carried out as part of our maintenance service with no cost to you.
How does the installation work?
Contact our customer service team on 0333 7720 746 to arrange a free quote and discuss any queries you may have. At ecoames we will always find out your personal requirements, and from there we can assess the suitability of your property and help you choose the best system for your needs.
Once a quote has been agreed and a technical survey has been carried out, our installation team will arrange with you the best time to install your system and get it up and running, making sure that you are happy with how to operate the system.