Modern solar thermal systems can be a cost effective addition to your building’s hot water system.
Whether as a pre-heat solution, for communal and distributed systems or for individual dwellings, there is a fully integrated package suitable for your project.
Understanding Solar Thermal – What is the difference between flat plate panels and evacuated tubes?
Flat plate panels are a thin panel of metal that acts as an absorber positioned just below a sheet of glass, and a heat retaining fluid. The metal panels absorb the sun’s heat which is then transferred to the fluid and pumped through the system. Flat panel systems are very robust and long lasting – you can actually stand on them and they wouldn’t break.
Evacuated tubes are glass tubes painted with reflective coating- a vacuum is created within them except for thin strips of twisted metal which act as an absorber. The vacuum that surrounds the outside of the tube greatly reduces convection and conduction heat loss, therefore achieving greater efficiency than flat-plate collectors, especially in colder conditions. However, the tubes are expensive to replace if broken
A fully-integrated and commissioned system can:
- Provide up to 70% of hot water demands
- Heat water throughout the year
- Integrate with most other types of heating system
- Require little maintenance
- Reduce CO2 emissions
Solar hot water systems (flat plate and evacuated tube), up to 200kWth are eligible for the RHI payments. The rate is slightly lower than for other RHI eligible technologies, but still well worth the investment.
Find out how Bosinver Farm Cottages used solar thermal for their new pool.