As the world transitions towards renewable energy sources, solar thermal panels are one of the top options for heating homes.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of solar thermal panels, how they work, and more.
However, if you already know that solar thermal panels are a perfect match for your home and simply need to find a reliable installer, then we can help you with that too.
At GreenMatch, we have an extensive network of qualified solar panel installers across the UK. We can send you up to 3 free quotes from installers in your area. This way, you don’t have to waste hours of your time researching installers one by one and can easily select the best deal.
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You probably know that solar energy can be turned into electricity by using solar panels, but there’s another popular application to the sun’s power. Solar thermal technologies, in fact, turn sunlight into heat instead of power and were actually the first solar energy products to be commercialised in the UK.
Just like solar PV, solar thermal panels help you reduce your carbon footprint and save on your monthly bills by covering your heating needs using a completely free, renewable energy source.
While solar PV panels are much more popular and you’ve probably heard about all of their benefits, you should know that solar thermal panels also come with great advantages:
Solar thermal panels or solar collectors are devices that are mounted on your roof to absorb the sun’s heat and use it to heat up water, stored in a cylinder. The liquid flowing through the panels is a mix of water and antifreeze. The main purposes of this technology are space and water heating, and they’re a very popular solution for swimming pool heating. There are two main types of solar thermal panels:
Heating expenses take a big portion of your monthly bills. Solar thermal systems can provide enough heat to cover all of your needs during the summer months and make a considerable difference in the rest of the year.
On average, such a system will provide 60% of your hot water needs, and more if you slightly change your daily habits to decrease consumption. Installation prices vary between £3000 and £6000, and the Renewable Heat Incentive helps pay back the investment with quarterly payments over 7 years (the current RHI rate is 19.2p per kWh). Solar thermal panels will save you around 10% on energy bills, and savings will increase over time as energy prices rise. More on this can be found in our ‘Is it worth getting solar panels?’ guide.
Considering the long lifespan of these systems (up to 25 years) and the steady rise in electricity and gas prices, you’d be looking at even greater savings in the future. However, you should consider installing solar thermal panels primarily because of the big difference you can make in terms of environmental impact.
Just like solar PV, solar thermal panels work best if your roof is south-facing, but will still be effective on south-west and south-east facing roofs. Moreover, you can choose to install them on the ground instead of the roof if it isn’t suitable, as long as they get direct, unshaded sunlight.
There are a few more things you should consider before making the investment. For instance, electric showers and cold-fill washing machines/dishwashers are not compatible with solar water heating. You will also need a new cylinder, so installing a solar thermal system is especially recommended if you have to replace your existing cylinder or fixing your roof. If that is not possible, you may consider buying a thermodynamic panel which can be retrofitted on any cylinder.
Solar thermal panels should occupy between 1 and 2 m2 of roof or ground space per each person in the household and have an inclination between 20 and 50 degrees.
If you think your house is suitable for solar thermal panels and you’re curious about how much it would cost you, you can request quotes by clicking the button below and filling in our short contact form. You will receive up to 3 personalised, non-binding quotes from our trusted suppliers, completely free of charge. This will spare you the long, tiring process of researching models, suppliers and installers.
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