Compare Offers from Local UK Installers for Solar Thermal

Media &

The sun’s heat

A solar thermal panel is what?

A solar thermal system heats water for use in the home using the sun’s energy. A solar thermal panel simply absorbs heat from the sun using solar collector panels, which are how it operates.

From the collectors, the heated water or heat-transfer fluid is subsequently sent to your hot water cylinder. In this manner, a solar water heating system can offer free warm water to your residence.

Not to be confused with solar panels, which harness the power of the sun to produce electricity, are solar thermal panels. Solar thermals and solar panels are thus two quite different types of energy generation.

Solar energy offers many benefits, including lower energy costs, a smaller carbon impact, and little maintenance, which makes solar thermal a fantastic investment.

Simply fill out the non-binding form at the top of the page if you are interested in solar thermal panels, and we will save you time by providing you with up to 4 free quotes from the best experienced installers. Our assistance is entirely non-binding.

Do You Need Solar Thermal Panels for Your Home?

A solar thermal system requires a substantial initial expenditure. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider a few factors before making a purchase. You must remember these three things above anything else:

    1. Do you have a location where the sun shines a lot?
    2. Do you have room for a hot water storage tank?
    3. Do you have a boiler that can be used to heat water using solar energy?

A blob of sunlight

The sun is required as the primary energy source for solar thermal power generation. Therefore, the ideal location is someplace that receives the majority of the day’s direct sunshine. This can be on a roof area with a south to east to west orientation. Although a different location is still an option, the effectiveness of heating water will be reduced.

They don’t have to be installed on a roof, though. If it receives direct sunshine, other options include hanging from a wall or a flat roof.

Enough Room

A certain solar cylinder is necessary for a solar thermal. If you don’t already have a solar cylinder, you can either replace the current one with one that has a solar heating coil or add one.

Suitable Boiler

Thankfully, the majority of traditional boilers work with solar water heating systems. A combination boiler without a hot water tank, however, is incompatible with your house.

What is the Price of a Solar Thermal System?

Installing a solar thermal will cost between £4,000 and £5,000 if you decide to buy one (including VAT of 5 percent for a 3.6m2 system). Despite the fact that this may seem like a big expenditure, the system can deliver a respectable supply of hot water all year long.

Fortunately, the government pays you for using renewable energy from a solar water heating system, which helps to cover the costs of switching to this renewable energy system. The Domestic Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI), which is based on how much heat your heating system produces, is paid out over a period of seven years.

The Renewable Heating Incentive would provide the following assistance to a typical detached home in the UK:

Estimated RHI Payments by Household Size

Detached House Quarter Year 7 Years
home for two people
(2 bedrooms)
£43 £170 £1,190
home for 3 people
(2 bedrooms)
£45 £180 £1,260
home for 4 people
(3 bedrooms)
£48 £190 £1,330

For all applications submitted before January 1, 2019, the rate is 20.66 pence/kWh.

Additionally, employing solar energy will result in bill savings for you. What system is already in place in your home will determine how much you save on costs.

Annual Savings from Solar Thermal Panels

Current System Gas Oil Coal Electricity LPG
Annual Fuel Bill Savings £50 £55 £65 £80 £95

How Much Hot Water Can Solar Thermal Produce?

In the UK, an average solar thermal system provides between 40% and 60% of the annual hot water needs of a household. For example, hot taps and showers are included in this. Depending on the season, a certain amount of hot water is generated.

  • The solar thermal panel can meet most or all of the demand for hot water throughout the summer.
  • By pre-heating the water in your storage tank in the spring and fall, your solar thermal system can lower the amount of energy required to heat your water.
  • Because of the less sunshine and shorter days in winter, solar thermal panels have additional problems during this time. Your water heating will be aided less by solar thermal technology.

When heated water is not immediately used, what happens to it?

The hot water from the solar thermal technology is intended to be kept in a standard water tank or a separate tank for preheating until you need it. Even if more heat is required, the standard water heating system steps in and supplies it using electricity or fossil fuels.

How Do Solar Thermal Panels Function?

Your home may have hot water all year round with a solar-powered heating system. But how does it function in practice? The method used to heat the water in your home is demonstrated in this video.

Which Solar Thermal Type Suits the Best?

Solar collectors are used in all sun thermal panels to capture solar energy. The utilization of the solar collectors varies among the four main types of solar water heating systems:

    • Pumps must be powered by electricity in order to be active.
    • Passive: uses natural convection to circulate the hot water rather than electricity.
    • Direct: The collector heats the potable water.
    • Indirect: The heat is transferred to the drinkable water through the transfer fluid, which is heated in the collector.

The many types of collectors used in solar thermal systems also allow for classification:

1.Panels with flat plates

A panel in a solar system resembles a flat plate panel. The water or transfer fluid goes via a number of copper pipes that are connected to an absorber panel. To aid in the retention of the gathered heat, these copper pipes are enclosed in a metal frame that is surrounded by insulation. This frame is covered by a glass or glazing sheet, which also creates an air space that serves as insulation.

2. Evacuated Tube Collectors

Evacuated tube collectors are more effective than flat plate panels, particularly in cold areas. They are less effective during the warmer months because of the possibility of overheating. This is because vacuum tubes, as opposed to flat plate panels, which have a tendency to lose some heat, are made to prevent heat loss.

Typically, an evacuated tube collector consists of a heat pipe enclosed in a glass tube. They are enclosed in a vacuum. Something that is under vacuum retains heat better than an air space. Additionally, the heat pipe is pressurized, enabling quick boiling of the fluid.

In general, each individual requires a solar collector area of roughly 1 m2.

  • A flat plate solar collector typically ranges in size from 2 to 4 meters2. Accordingly, depending on the size of your houses, you either require 1 or 2 of these collectors.
  • To meet your hot water demand while using an evacuated tube collector, you may require between 20 and 30 tubes.

Thermodynamic panels are an alternative that can be a better fit for your home if a solar water heater isn’t the best option for you.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Solar Thermal

Although the benefits of solar PV panels are obvious, the advantages of solar thermal panels are also worthwhile of note.


Source of Renewable Energy

Source of Renewable Energy The fact that solar energy is a completely renewable energy source is the main advantage. Solar power will always be available.

Reduce expenses

It will result in significant financial savings for you over time.

cut back on carbon emissions

A typical UK home can cut their annual CO2 emissions by up to 400 kg.

Easily Maintained

Solar thermal panels only occasionally need planned servicing and minor maintenance. They merely require occasional cleaning. The only component that need replacement is the inverter, which produces heat constantly and typically lasts 5 to 10 years.


Issues With the Initial Investment

Although buying a solar thermal system is expensive, it will eventually pay for itself. Additionally, you are qualified for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which provides you with cash every year.

Based on the weather

The greatest time to produce warm water is during the summer. However, a solar thermal system may produce 40% to 60% of your warm water year-round.

Required Space

It must have enough room and sunlight to meet your heating demands. Some houses lack the necessary amount of room. If they receive adequate sunlight, placing them in the yard may be a solution in this situation.

restricted use

It is only capable of heating water; it cannot produce energy or heat rooms. However, an adequate solar thermal system can supply the 90 to 160 liters of hot water that the average person uses each day.

Locate the UK’s Top Solar Thermal Suppliers

A solar thermal system requires a significant initial investment. In order to make the best decision for your home, you should ensure that you are well-informed. It can be a little overwhelming to compare technical systems and analyze which kind of system is appropriate for your home. You’ve come to the correct site if you’re looking for suggestions or assistance in choosing the best solar water heating system for your residence.

We’re here to support you in choosing wisely. Simply fill out the contact form to receive up to 4 cost-free quotes from our vendors, with no strings attached.

Follow Our Guide