Frequently asked questions

Where Can Solar Hot Water Heating Systems Be Used?

Ideally the collectors should be mounted on a south-facing roof, although south-east/south-west will also function successfully, at an elevation of between 10 and 60°. The panels can be bolted onto the roof or integrated into the roof with lead flashings. They look similar to roof lights. Solar water heating systems are suitable for any building type that has sufficient year round hot water needs and a suitable south-facing roof of sufficient size. Where possible, solar water heating systems should be placed on roof areas not visible to the road or sight line of other buildings. Some systems can be integrated flush to the roof. The systems are no more intrusive than a roof light (window in the roof) when roof integrated.

It is not very sunny today. Will the solar thermal system work?

Although they work best in direct sunlight, very good performance will be given in the indirect light (or diffuse radiation) of a cloudy day.

Will the system work at night?

No, the system only works in daylight. At some times of the year there is insufficient daylight and that is why your system has a fossil fuel back up that will cover your needs at these times.

I have heard that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. How much of these gases does my solar thermal system produce?

Your Solar Hot Water System produces no emissions whatsoever. It is entirely without any discharge of greenhouse gases or other pollution.

How much carbon dioxide does my system save?

We estimate that your system will save one tonne of carbon dioxide a year. Over the life of the system each system will have saved dozens of tons.

Surely energy was used in order to make the collectors?

Yes it was but the energy used in manufacturing the system will be recovered after only two years use in this country.

Will the system still work in very cold weather?

Yes, the system will work in much colder temperatures than we experience in this country. However, it will not work if the panel is covered by snow as this will prevent light striking the absorber plate. Some of our collectors have been fitted in the Alps where really cold weather is experienced and they work perfectly in conditions of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius.

What should I do if it snows?

Nothing. If snow collects on the glass surface of the collector it will rapidly melt. In fact the design is such that it will melt more rapidly from the collector surface than it will melt for other parts of your roof.

I have noticed some bird droppings or dust or other dirt on the collector; shall I wash them off?

There is no need to. They will not significantly impair performance and when it next rains they will be washed off.

Shall I switch off the Solar System when I go away on holiday?

No – it is better to keep it on. The system has adequate temperature sensoring and control in order to deal effectively with very hot conditions in order to effectively deal with solar gain from your system.