What is a solar thermal system?

An installation of a Grant Solar Thermal installation featuring 4 on-roof collectors

Solar thermal systems are an excellent addition to any heating system, using the free energy from the sun to help fulfil your home's hot water requirements.

How Grant solar thermal hot water systems work

The first thing to highlight is the difference between solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal – both harness energy from the sun but solar PV panels generate electricity whereas solar thermal collectors generate hot water.

Grant supplies solar thermal systems which can be the perfect partner to an oil boiler or air source heat pump and can sustainably provide a home’s hot water demand almost all year round with zero carbon emissions.

At the centre of a solar thermal system is the collector – depending on the hot water requirements of a property will determine the number of collectors that need to be fitted. Within each collector is a heat transfer sheet which interlocks with a pipework system that contains a special glycol/water solution. As this solution passes through the collector, it is heated up by the energy provided by the sun. This fluid then circulates from the panel to a cylinder where the heat is transferred to produce hot water.

Solar energy is available throughout the year, not just in the summer. Grant collectors can operate in direct and diffused sunlight so even when it is cloudy, they are able to work.

Learn more about our solar thermals systems on our FAQ page.

Installing a Grant solar thermal system

Furthermore, with various collector mounting arrangements available, solar thermal systems can be installed on a variety of roof types from conventional sloped roofs to flat roofs.

When installing solar thermal collectors, it is important to consider several different factors including the orientation of the property, the inclination of the roof, and any trees that could shade the collectors.

To get optimal performance from your solar thermal panels, fitting them on a south facing roof is best as this will ensure they are absorbing as much sunlight as possible during the day.

Before deciding to purchase a solar thermal hot water system, homeowners should discuss these considerations with their installer.

Please click here to read more about Grant's Solar Thermal System range

Grant UK solar thermal on roof kit installation
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