Solar Thermal

An Introduction

Solar thermal are among the renewable energy technologies qualifying under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Solar heating systems offer an excellent opportunity for cost-effective heating. They are also able to be combined with other heating systems.

There are two types of solar thermal systems eligible for the Domestic RHI – evacuated tubes and liquid filled flat plate collectors. They work most effectively when installed on roofs that face south.

Evacuated tubes are long glass tubes with a strip of collecting material inside them. The tubes are set up as arrays with several used on one installation.

Flat plate panels are flat rectangular panels with a glass front and insulated on the sides and back. The collector material is inside the panel with pipes running through it. The heat from the material is passed to the water running through the pipes. The insulation reduces the heat lost from the material to the surrounding air.

A solar thermal system can save you up to 70% on your annual hot water heating costs.

The tariff rate is multiplied by the estimated annual generation figure taken from the MCS certificate, which is then divided into four to generate a quarterly figure. The figure takes into account a common variable that affects the amount of heat solar systems generate.

As a guide, an installation with an annual generation figure of 2,000 kWh will get the solar collector tariff rate of 19.2p/kWh which works out at £384 a year.

In addition, you can expect a further £125 of annual savings against oil.

Solar thermal panels work as part of a solar thermal system which consists of panels plumbed to a 200 litre storage tank for an average domestic house. They can product over half of a home’s annual hot water needs with a productivity of up to 90 per cent during summer months and 25-50 per cent during the rest of the year.

Solar thermal systems must be designed and installed only to provide heating for domestic hot water. Those designed to provide space heating, heating to a swimming pool or for any other purpose other than heating domestic hot water will not be eligible for the tariff. Combines photovoltaic thermal (PVT) panels are not eligible.

Flat plate solar panels can blend perfectly into your roof and are quick to install. With advanced aluminum full area absorbers and anti-reflective glazing you can ensure excellent efficiency.