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How to decide on the right solar thermal heating system

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One service that you might have never exactly associated with Esher, Camden or Streatham plumbers – or indeed, those in any other part of London – is the installation of solar heating systems.

By ‘solar heating’ or ‘solar thermal heating’, we are referring to the water-heating technology that is enabling a wide range of homeowners throughout the capital to warm the hot water in their property with free heat from the sun.

But if you’ve been researching solar heating installations and feel that this could be a worthwhile investment for your own abode, what are some of the factors that will help you to choose the right system for your needs?

First of all, what types of solar thermal panel exist?

Given that you’ll likely be paying many thousands of pounds for a solar thermal heating system, you’ll first need to know about the broad types of solar water heating panels out there, so that you can make the most informed decision.

Generally speaking, if you’re considering this kind of system, you’ll probably be choosing between flat plate panels and evacuated tubes.

Flat-plate systems can be fitted directly onto a roof, or integrated into it. Evacuated tubes, meanwhile, resemble a bank of glass tubes fitted to the roof, and are more efficient than flat-plate installations. This means they are often smaller, while still generating the same amount of hot water.

Another possible option is a drainback system, which drains water from inside the solar panel when the pump is switched off. This ensures the water does not freeze or boil inside the solar panel.

Just some of the other factors you’ll need to think about

There are various factors that you will need to account for when determining the most suitable solar thermal heating system for your home. These will include how much hot water you typically use, as well as how much south-facing roof is available, and your existing water heating system. Your budget will be a key influence as well, of course.

As a broad guide, you’ll require approximately one square metre of panel area per person in your household. Each metre of panel area will require between 30 and 60 litres of water-tank volume.
As we touched on above, choosing a less efficient panel – such as a flat-plate one – will mean a larger area needs to be covered than would be the case if you opted for a more efficient alternative, such as evacuated tubes.

An appropriate location for your solar panels will also need to be chosen, bearing in mind such factors as shade, roof pitch, pipe runs and future access. Associated system components – such as a hot water cylinder, controls and pipework – will have to be selected, too.

Allow us to guide you to the best possible solution

Our status as leading independent Teddington, Islington and Streatham plumbers here at PGS Plumbers – with no strict ties to particular manufacturers – allows us to provide impartial and informed guidance on the system that we believe would best suit you.

Don’t hesitate, then, to contact the PGS Plumbers team today – on 0203 370 0066 – for a more in-depth discussion on how we can serve your needs for a solar thermal heating installation as the summer looms! Give us a call to arrange your free consultation and survey today.

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