Solar Panelling for Heating
Introduction to Solar Panelling for Heating
Solar panels are known for being able to generate free electricity. What many people do not know is that they can also be used for heating and hot water. Once the hot water has then been generated and stored in a cylinder, the immersion heater or boiler is used to make the water as hot as it is needed. These also act as a great way to store the generated hot water until it is needed. Just like solar panels for electricity, the solar panels are placed on to the roof of the house. This will normally be on the south facing side of the roof for maximum exposure to the sun. They then collect heat from the sun and use that to heat the water in the boiler.
Benefits of Solar Panelling for Heating
Free hot water is available all year round which means there will be no more need to worry about the yearly heating bills. During the winter months, the water will need to be heated further to get it to the needed temperature. The only payment needed is the initial investment for the equipment and installation of the panels. Finally, using solar panels is a great way of reducing the carbon footprint which is something many more people are trying to do as time passes by.
Is Solar Panelling for Heating Right for You?
This type of solar panel needs about five square meters of roof space and needs to be able to get direct sunlight for most of the day. Most types of panels are flat in appearance so they do not look out of place on any roof. Solar panels work better if they can be placed on the south facing side of the roof although, if this option is not available then a panel facing east and another facing west will work just as well but at an extra cost.
For the water to be heated from the energy that the panels create, a new cylinder is going to be needed with a solar heating coil in place. Without this there is no way of storing and using the generated heat. Planning permission is not needed to install solar panelling for heating unless the house is listed but if the home owner is unsure then it is advisable to ask a local planning officer who will then be able to guide them in the right direction.
What Costs are Involved?
Solar powered water heating systems are pretty inexpensive for what you get back from them. A standard system will cost around £4,800 including VAT. Depending on what fuel it will be replacing depends on the amount that can be saved off of the heating bills but it will typically be around £50 - £85 per year.
On the maintenance side of things, there is very little that is needed. Every three years it is a good idea to get everything thoroughly checked by an installer to check for anything that may be faulty but other than that, there is nothing to do apart from to enjoy free heating.