SOLAR HEATING SYSTEMS
There are two different types of Solar heating systems, Photovoltaics (PV) and Water.
SOLAR PV SYSTEMS
Solar panel electricity systems or PV, capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting
THE BENEFITS OF PV
- Cut your electricity bills. Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced.
- Get paid for the electricity you generate. The UK government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme pays you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it.
- Sell electricity back to the grid. If your system is producing more electricity than you need, you can sell the surplus back to the grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
- Cut your carbon footprint. Solar electricity is green renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.
HOW DO SOLAR PV PANELS WORK?
PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on your roof or on the ground.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That’s the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit solar tiles.
SOLAR WATER SYSTEMS
Heat water for your home using energy from the sun.
Solar water heating systems use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater is then used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.
HOW DO SOLAR WATER HEATING SYSTEMS WORK?
Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to warm water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
There are two types of solar water heating panels, they are evacuated tubes (like in the picture above) and flat plate collectors. Flat plates collectors can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.
A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back up to heat the water further to reach the temperature set by the cylinders thermostat when the solar water heating system does not reach that temperature. (The cylinder thermostat should be set at 60 degrees centigrade.)
Larger solar panels can also provide energy to heat your home as well – though usually only in the summer months when home heating is unnecessary.
THE BENEFITS OF SOLAR WATER HEATING
- Hot water throughout the year: the system works all year round, though you’ll need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months.
- Cut your bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced.
- Cut your carbon footprint: solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions
MORE INFORMATION ON OUR SOLAR SYSTEMS?
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