Solar water heating
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Solar Water Heating:
Solar water heating
For the environmentally conscious this can be a great way to heat your water! In just one hour the earth receives more energy from the sun than can be used by humans in a whole year - so why not tap into this resource to heat your water?
The energy itself is free and readily available now is the capacity and the technology to capture it and use it! You can reduce the need to use fossil fuels by using daylight to heat your homes hot water and therefore you are reducing the impact you are having on the environment.
It works by using heat from the sun that shines on panels on your roof - these panels have collectors which absorb and retain heat and transfer this to a liquid which then warms up. This liquid, in the most common systems, goes trough a coil in a hot water cylinder and from there to your hot tap. Usually this occurs in conjunction with a small pump that assists to move water around the system. So it is made up of the 3 main components of solar panels, plumbing system and a hot water cylinder.
The pump is activated by the electronic control system when the temperature inside the collector is higher than the temperature inside the tank. If there is any overcast weather and additional energy is needed then this can be generated either via electricity or a conventional boiler.
There are two types of solar water heating panels:
Evacuated tubes - a bank of glass tubes mounted on the roof tiles.
Flat plate collectors, which can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.
Solar water heating may be right for you if:
- you have a sunny place to put the solar panels - not necessarily on the roof - they can be fixed to a frame on a flat roof or hang from a wall - but you will need around 5 square metres of space which faces East to West through South
- you have space for a larger or an extra hot water cylinder - most people usually have to replace their existing cylinder or add an extra cylinder with a solar heating coil.
- your boiler is compatible with solar water heating - many are - however if your heating system has a combi boiler and you don't have a hot water tank then it will not be currently.
Our plumbers at Coleraine Plumbers can assist you to assess your home and help you choose the best solution to meet your needs.