Our need for energy is rising steadily with our standard of living. Are solar heating panels the answer? Our resources on earth are becoming increasingly exhausted and we are putting a strain on our environment. The sun is the energy of the future - assuring a life on earth for future generations. Daily hot water requirements can correspond to around 65% of your total water consumption. When spread over the whole year, this amount of water amounts to considerable energy and cost. A sensible use for solar energy is hot water supply with the help of solar heating collectors.
Every year in the British Isles over 1000 kWh of solar energy is received on each square metre of surface area. An average home requires approximately 3000 kWh per year for hot water supply.
Solar thermal systems are generally composed of panels that convert sunlight to heat. The systems may be used to heat domestic hot water or a swimming pool, or to even make a contribution towards under floor heating. Solar heating panels are one of the most cost effective ways to reduce your utility bills and make a positive contribution towards the environment. In fact the amount of pollution reduced by installing a domestic solar heating system is equivalent to taking one car off the road (i.e. about 1500m 3 CO 2 per annum).
There are two types of solar heating collectors; the conventional flat plate collector and the more efficient vacuum tube collectors.
Evacuated solar heating panels are more efficient than conventional flat plate type collectors and will perform considerably better in cold, cloudy and windy conditions - unfortunately too common in the UK and Ireland. The higher efficiency of evacuated solar heating tubes mean less area is covered on the roof by the solar heating panels - a desirable feature appreciated by most customers.
Having less solar heating panel area on the roof reduces the fluid content of the solar heating system enabling quicker response to solar radiation.
Vacuum is the best possible insulation for a solar heating panel. It safeguards the collector from moisture, condensation and pollutants - resulting in improved durability and all-year-round performance