What are Solar Thermal Kits?

Solar Thermal Kits - sometimes referred to as Solar Water Heating Systems - work by harnessing free natural heat from the sun to then heat up water within your home providing you with a supply of hot water. When solar energy is unavailable you don’t have to bath in cold water as a conventional boiler, or immersion heater can be used as a backup supply of energy to warm your water.

Using a solar thermal kit within your home will ensure that you have hot water throughout the year regardless of the weather outside due to the backup heater/ boiler. Imagine not having to use energy for most of the year to heat your water throughout the home, if you can’t imagine it then your energy bills will show you how much money you could be saving on a monthly basis. You’ll make back the money you paid for the initial installation in next to no time  and considering how long solar thermal kits last a solar thermal installation can be an amazing investment.

If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint then remember that solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and a solar thermal kit will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that you produce. You can do your bit for the environment by reducing your footprint and limiting your energy usage.

How do Solar Thermal Kits work?

The systems work by using solar panels (otherwise called collectors) which are fit to your roof and harness heat from the sun, this is used to heat up water which is collected and stored in the hot water cylinder. By having an immersion heater or boiler as well, this can be used as a back-up to heat water further if your required temperature isn’t reached.

In a solar thermal kit there are two different types of solar water heating panels: Evacuated tubes and flat plate collectors.

You can choose to have larger solar panels which can also provide some contribution to the heating with your home as well, but the amount of heat provided through this method is generally quite small and generally isn’t considered worthwhile.

Solar Thermal Kits

Is a solar thermal kit the right choice for my home?

You’ll need to consider the amount of sunny space you have available for the solar panels. You will need five square metres of roof space in order to accommodate the panels and this should face East to West through South in order to receive the direct sunlight required to heat your water. Although panels are generally attached to the roof they can also be fixed to a frame on a flat roof or even hang from a wall should roof space be an issue.

Not only do you need space for the panels, but you’ll also need space for the hot water cylinder as part of the solar thermal kits. With your current boiler you will need to ensure that it is compatible with solar water heating. Most modern boilers and hot water cylinder systems are compatible but it is something you’ll need to consider. A lot of combination boilers which don’t have a hot water tank may not be compatible with this method of energy supply.

How much can I save with solar thermal kits?

There will be an initial cost for installing a solar thermal kit into your home, but the savings are moderate making it easy to make back your initial investment. The system can provide almost all of your hot water in the summertime and help contribute in the colder weather depending on the amount of sunlight available.

Solar thermal kits are long term investments and once paid for will continue to save you money for a long period of time.