Solar water heating systems use technology to capture the heat from the sun’s rays and use it to heat up water for use in homes. The process is very simple with the panels installed on the roof absorbing and collecting the heat from the sun, the water within the panels heats up and is then pumped through a coil in to the home cylinder. The water in the cylinder will then be heated by the hot coil.
Suitable For Which Homes?
Solar thermal heating systems are most beneficial for homes facing south as the panels can collect the most energy from the sun. However the systems can be effective for homes facing southeast and southwest, and each home should have solar panels of 1 or 2m² per person living in the household. Any shade that covers the panels during the day from trees or buildings will reduce the effectiveness of the system.
Most solar panels are mounted on the roof of your home but in some cases can be installed on ground level in the garden, as long as they are safe and getting direct sunlight it does not matter where they are. The best results come when the panels are installed at a 20 to 50 degree angle from the ground or flat surface.
Solar thermal heating will not work with electric showers as they heat the water up using a different method. It will also not be used by cold-fill washing machines and dishwashers that heat up their own water. Before installing the system make sure that the water generated will be used and not unsuitable for your home.
The solar heating is compatible with most active hot water plumbing systems but you will need a new cylinder containing two coils that can hold around two days worth of water.