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Basic of Solar Thermal

How does solar water heating system work?
Thermal Solar water heating system uses solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back up to heat the water further to reach the temperature you want.

There are two types of solar water heating panels:

- Evacuated tubes
- Flat plate collectors, which can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.

Larger solar panels can also be arranged to provide some contribution to heating your home as well. However, the amount of heat provided is generally very small and it is not normally considered worthwhile.

Costs, savings and maintenance

The cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around 6,000 euros (including VAT). Savings are moderate - the system could provide most of your hot water in the summer, but much less during colder weather.

Solar water heating systems can achieve savings on your energy bills.  Based on the results of our recent field trial, typical savings from a well-installed and properly used system are 80 euros per year when replacing gas heating and 100 euros per year when replacing electric immersion heating; however, savings will vary from user to user.

Typical carbon savings are around 230kgCO2/year when replacing gas and 510kgCO2/year when replacing electric immersion heating.

Maintenance costs are very low. Most solar water heating systems come with a five-year or ten-year warranty and require little maintenance. You should take a look at your panels every year and have them checked more thoroughly by an accredited installer every 3-5 years, or as specified by your installer