Solar water heating systems (known as solar thermal) use heat energy from the sun to work alongside your conventional water heater. The technology is well developed and an effective means of using solar energy in the UK.
Can provide almost all of your hot water during the summer months and about 50% year round
Reduces your impact on the environment – the average domestic system reduces carbon dioxide emissions by around 400kg per year, depending on the fuel replaced.
Flat plate systems
These offer greater installation and flexibility as they can be integrated into the roof for a neater installation. They tend to be more robust and generally considered more aesthetically pleasing. The collectors work by circulating water through the whole panel and therefore are less efficient when compared to evacuated tube types.
Even though these panels can be more expensive they utilise a vacuum to retain heat in the system. The panel comprises a number of individual tubes, each being separately sealed and containing a small amount of a fluid. Heat is extracted by evaporating the fluid in the tube which then condenses at the top, releasing the heat to the fluid circulating in the closed loop. The delivery temperature for evacuated tubes is higher than conventional flat panels and they operate more efficiently
Evacuated tubes Flat Plate
Both the orientation and tilt of the collector will affect your solar water heating system's performance
Is my property suitable?
The ideal orientation for a solar thermal would be due south, although a southwest or southeast facing roof would also be effective. Shade on the panels at any time of the day will reduce the performance. Solar thermal are also ideally suited to swimming pools.
Most systems have an average lifespan of around 20 years and require very little maintenance. A yearly check by the householder and a more detailed check every 3-5 years should be sufficient. Please contact AES for your maintenance requirements: