Solar Thermal | Solar Water Heating
Solar Thermal panels, also known as solar heating panels, work as part of a system to use energy generated by the sun to heat water. The panels are commonly referred to as ‘collectors’ in the total system, which also consists of a heat transfer system and a hot water cylinder. There are two types of solar thermal panels available, evacuated tubes and flat plates.
Here you will find information about Solar Thermal and answers to the questions you are most likely to ask:
The Solar Thermal panels are connected to the roof of the building and collect heat from the sunlight. The collected heat is then used to heat the transfer liquid in the collector. When the transfer liquid is hot enough it is passed through the evacuated tubes or flat plates, depending on the panels installed, which flow through the copper coil in your hot water cylinder. The transfer liquid then heats the water in the cylinder before circulating back up to the collectors and completing the heat transfer system. The transfer liquid never comes into contact with the household water. As a back-up, in the event that no solar heated water is produced, a boiler can also be connected to the system.
In order to install thermal solar panels, it is vital that there is enough roof or wall space available facing a southerly direction and receiving sunlight for most of the day. A solar hot water cylinder with a dedicated solar heating coil will also need to be installed. Most conventional boilers should be compatible with thermal solar systems so you may not need to install a new boiler, however, households with combination boilers (i.e. those which do not require a hot water tank) may find that solar heating is not the best renewable energy choice.
Depending on your local homeowner association rules, solar panels many be prohibited or restricted within your neighborhood. Check your local and State Solar access Laws to find the specific information for your property.