Solar Thermal

Harnessing Solar Power – the benefits of Solar Thermal Hot Water Heating Systems

A Grant Solar Thermal System installation
A solar thermal system can help you reduce your carbon footprint

The sun’s energy is free to use all year round so it is unsurprising that homeowners are looking to learn more about this renewable energy. In this article, we will explore some of the advantages of solar thermal systems and the benefits of choosing this eco-friendly solution to heat your home’s hot water.

Solar energy can be incorporated into your home’s heating system by installing a solar thermal system, such as the solar thermal flat plate collectors and kits from Grant UK. These systems transfer the heat energy from the sun into useable energy that can be used to heat the water in your home to provide hot water to your taps. There are many advantages of installing a solar thermal hot water system including cost savings and environmental benefits and, furthermore, these systems are simple to incorporate with existing heating systems and they are low maintenance. If you are interested in learning more about using solar energy for heating your hot water and how it supports sustainable living, then please read on.

Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems: A sustainable solution

A core element of a solar thermal system is the collector (or solar thermal panel) that will be fitted either into or onto your roof. Within the collector there will be an absorber plate and attached to the absorber plate is a pipework system through which a special glycol solution flows. As the glycol solution flows through the pipework within the solar collector it will absorb the solar energy from the sun. The heated glycol solution is then pumped through your solar cylinder where the heat is used to heat the water within the cylinder which in turn will provide hot water at your taps.

Essentially, a solar thermal system can fulfil a significant proportion of your annual domestic hot water demand using purely renewable energy. Such a system can reduce the demand on your fossil fuel boiler (if you have a gas or oil boiler for example) and because it does not produce any emissions either, a solar thermal system will be an environmentally friendly addition to your home.

Advantages of using solar energy for heating hot water

There are many benefits to installing a solar thermal system but here are just a few of them:

  • Clean, renewable energy source: the sun’s energy is freely available all year round, even on cloudy days, and using this energy to heat the hot water within your home will not generate any greenhouse gases either.
  • Energy efficient solution: the Grant solar thermal system has been designed to be highly efficient as a result of the pipework within the collector being cleverly interlocked with the absorber plate, maximising the amount of heat transferred from the sun’s energy into the system.
  • Reduce your reliance on fossil fuels: by installing a solar thermal system, you will become less dependent on fossil fuels for your hot water production, lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your energy bills for external energy sources.

Cost savings with solar thermal heating systems

As briefly mentioned above, a solar thermal system can deliver financial advantages as well. Instead of using your boiler or heat pump to produce your hot water, a solar thermal system will assist your main heat source by fulfilling your annual hot water demand for much of the year. This reduced demand on your boiler or heat pump can result in less fossil fuels or electricity being needed which in turn can lead to savings on your energy costs. It is also worth pointing out that the installation of a solar thermal system is an investment because the addition of this renewable energy system can add value to your property. Finally, it is also worth checking whether there are any Government grants or local funding schemes which can financially support your installation of a new solar thermal system.

Environmental benefits of solar thermal heating

Aside from the financial benefits of incorporating a solar thermal system into your home, the environmental benefits are important. We all have a collective responsibility to reduce our negative impact on the environment so any steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and conserve the finite fossil fuel resources we have, we should try to implement sustainable changes. A solar thermal system does not produce emissions and it uses the inexhaustible free, renewable energy from the sun so it is a great solution for sustainability.

Installation Process: How Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems work

Installing a solar thermal system usually takes on average two days to complete. To demonstrate the steps involved in installing a Grant Solar Thermal System, we have shared a video below which follows the fitting of a two collector in-roof solar thermal system. When installing a solar thermal system, it is important to consider the positioning of the collectors on your property’s roof as well as any shading which could impair the collector’s ability to absorb the sun’s energy. Once the collector or collectors are fitted, it is straightforward to connect the solar thermal system with your conventional heating system, provided your hot water cylinder features two internal coils to enable both your existing heat source and your new solar thermal system to combine.

Watch a step by step video of solar thermal installation

Maintenance tips for solar thermal systems

Solar thermal systems are low maintenance but it is always worth carrying out regular visual inspections of the collectors and getting the system serviced annually by your service engineer. Grant’s Sahara solar collectors have 4mm self-cleaning glass which helps the system to maintain itself but essential system checks should be carried out once a year by a heating professional. To learn more about what is involved in servicing and looking after a solar thermal system, please visit our Home Heating Blog.

Is a solar thermal system for you?

Hopefully this article has highlighted some of the benefits of solar energy to show how homeowners can harness the power of solar into their homes. Whether you are looking to add renewable energy into your existing heating system or you are planning a completely new central heating system, a solar thermal system can help you lower your household carbon emissions while also helping to reduce your energy bills. Grant UK supply an extensive range of kits and accessories to suit in-roof, on-roof and flat root installations so to take your next steps towards more energy efficient, sustainable living, please visit our Solar Thermal range here or find a local solar thermal installer.

Grant 4 panel on-roof solar thermal installation
Grant solar thermal system kits are available for in-roof, on-roof and flat roof installations
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