Solar thermal works by capturing the sun’s energy.

Using flat plate collectors or evacuated tube collectors, glycol is passed through the collectors and absorbs the heat energy emitted by the sun.

A south facing roof is the most ideal place with a pitch of 45° and with no obstacle obstructing the sun, as it rises in the east and sets in the west. Solar thermal can provide you with up to 70% of your annual hot water demand saving you money on expensive emersion heaters or fuel for your boiler.

Evacuated Tubes

The evacuated tubes are more suited to the British climate as we have fewer sunnier days than on the continent but then again the last two years we have had stronger summers.

evacuated tubes

Advantages of evacuated tube collectors:

  • Can provide up to 70% of your annual hot water requirements
  • Frees you from the rising cost of fossil fuels
  • Improves your home’s energy rating
  • Increases the value of your home
  • Long service life. If a tube becomes damaged, a replacement can be fitted with minimal cost and fuss
  • The only power requirement is a 40W pump which only runs when the sun shines. Therefore using the panel produces virtually no greenhouse gases.

Better suited to the northern European climate, as the lower air temperatures cause larger heat losses from flat plate panels.

On average, an evacuated tube solar panel will gather around 30% more energy than a flat plate solar panel with a similar aperture area and be operational for a larger part of the year

Flat Plate Collector

The flat plate collector can be mounted in between the tiles or on top of the tiles.

flat plate collector

It is most efficient if your roof faces perfectly due south.

If it is slightly off then the evacuated tubes can work to up to 10 degrees off south.

Advantages of flat plate collectors

  • Blends in seamlessly with your roof
  • Can provide up to 70% of your annual hot water requirements
  • Frees you from the rising cost of fossil fuels
  • Improves your home’s energy rating
  • Increases the value of your home
  • The only power requirement is a 40W pump which only runs when the sun shines. Therefore using the panel produces virtually no greenhouse gases.
  • Long service life
  • Large aperture area for greater output on sunny days
Solar Thermal was last modified: October 29th, 2014 by rossandtom