Solar Thermal Panels


Solar Panels

What are solar thermal panels?

Solar Thermal panels harness the power in both direct and indirect sunlight to convert energy in to heat and hot water for the home. Our range of solar panels are designed to work alongside existing heating systems which use a store of hot water in a cylinder. The panels are usually fitted to your roof and connected to your hot water cylinder, or to a new hot water cylinder. When the sun shines, water is heated up in the panel, which is pumped round a circuit of pipes. Heat from the pipes is used to heat the water in the hot water cylinder.

Types of solar thermal panels

There are two common types of solar thermal panels:

Flat plat collectors – these are the more simpler in technology out of the two and they are cheaper per square metre, but you need more to get the same amount of heat.

Evacuated tubes – they are useful if you only have room for a small panel, but you’ll pay just as much for the same output. They can be more efficient of the two.

Most solar thermal panel systems are designed to provide about half your hot water demand from the sun, whichever technology you use, with the rest coming from your existing central heating or immersion heater. 

Benefits of solar thermal panels

  • Reduced energy bills. Once you have paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced as sunlight is free!
  • Hot water throughout the year. Although you will need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months, the system will work all year.
  • Lower carbon footprint. Solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.

Worcester Greenskies Solar Panels and Swale Heating

Swale Heating work closely with Worcester Bosch to ensure we provide you with the best quality products when fitting any heating system in your home. When you have your solar thermal panels installed by Swale Heating we will use the Worcester Greenskies solar panels. They harness the heat from the sun in both direct and diffused sunlight. This heat radiation is absorbed by a glycol mix which is within the pipes and plumbing of the solar panels. The heated glycol is pumped through the solar system to the hot water cylinder which stores and distributes the hot water for the property.

The Greenskies range of panels have been specifically designed to complement existing home heating systems which have either a gas- or oil-fired boiler. If your home currently has a hot water cylinder it will need to be replaced with a twin-coiled version. If there is currently no hot water cylinder, a twin-coiled cylinder will also need to be installed. The addition of a cylinder with 2 heat exchanger coils will allow the solar thermal panel to provide the majority of hot water, whilst retaining the gas or oil boiler as a back-up heat source.

A typical well-sized solar thermal system should provide around 50-70% of the domestic hot water requirements of the home, representing a considerable saving on hot water heating costs. 

What should you consider before having solar thermal panels?

  • You may need planning permission to fit solar thermal panels to your roof, it is worth checking at the start.
  • You will need around five square metres of roof space which faces East to West through South and receives direct sunlight for the main part of the day. 
  • If you do not already have a dedicated solar cylinder then you will usually need to replace the existing cylinder, or add a dedicated cylinder with a solar heating coil.
  • Will your boiler work with solar thermal panels? If your boiler is a combination boiler (combi) and you don't currently have a hot water tank, a solar hot water system may not be compatible.

If you would like to know more about solar thermal panels and get a personalised quote then please contact us on 0800 731 33 44 or email [email protected].

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