Frequently asked questions
Q – Are solar heating systems expensive?
A – No. And they don’t have to be expensive. Although some high pressure salespeople have been known to offer systems for £12,000 reduced on the day to £8000, you can actually have just as good a system or better installed by us from £3000 + without the high pressure!
What’s more a solar system will add to the resale value of your home
Q – Will water be heated on a cloudy day?
A – Yes. Although the heat output of the solar collector is reduced on overcast days it will still be able to provide heating. If it is a heavily clouded day or raining, then more gas or electric boosting may be required to maintain water at the required temperature. This system will be automated so you don’t have to worry about running out of hot water on a rainy day.
Q – How long will it last?
A – Typically solar systems will last 20 years or more. There is very little maintenance required, a visual check each year and every 5 years replace the antifreeze in the sealed systems.
Q – Is solar energy free?
A – As you know nothing is free in this world but..! If you take a new build home and compare the cost of installing a solar system with the cost of installing a boiler system then the installation costs are broadly similar. However from this point the similarity ends. For every kW of energy you use the solar system will be FREE but with gas oil or electricity you will also pay £0.15 + per kW plus VAT and energy prices have risen 3 times in the last 18 Months by an average 12% each occasion.
Q – My roof doesn’t face south can i have solar?
A – Typically solar panels are installed to the roof but in some instances they can be attached with a mounting bracket to a gable wall or balcony, therefore most homes can have solar installed.
Q – What are the two main types of solar collectors?
A – Flat panel collectors- operate by absorbing the sun rays through the surface of an absorber. The absorber is made of copper sheet, covered with absorption layer made usually of black chrome or titanium.To the bottom of absorber are soldered thin copper pipes, through which an unfreezable liquid goes. Under the absorber the collector is isolated with mineral wool and from upper side the collector is covered by a special, hardened glass resistant to hail and specially coated.The box of the collector is made of aluminium sheet.
Evacuated Tube Collectors -are constructed of glass solar collector tubes, containing a second inner tube with a selective coating. The space between the outer tube and inner tube is evacuated and maintained at a high vacuum eliminating all heat loss by conduction and convection. Solar radiation passes through the highly transparent outer glass tube and reaches the solar selective coating on the outside of the inner tube. The solar selective coating absorbs the solar radiation and converts it to thermal energy. The heating of liquid in vacuum tube collectors may works in two ways: By a direct flow through a copper pipe, which consist of two channels and soldered to absorber. By one copper channel, filled with an easily vaporising liquid which when it boils, flows up to the end of pipe. This pipe is called a “heat pipe”. The end of pipe is fitted with a condenser which gives up the heat to the liquid in the manifold.