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422A Upper Richmond Road West, Sheen, SW14 7JX

How does solar water heating work?

Solar water heating works differently to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, as it provides hot water rather than electricity.


Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back-up to heat the water further to reach the temperature you want.

Solar water heating systems, or 'solar thermal' systems, use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.

Do solar thermal systems only work on a south facing house?

Contrary to popular belief the amount of solar radiation received across the UK makes our country ideally suited to delivering a highly efficient solar water heating system.


The solar heating map highlights the medium to high intensity of sunlight received across much of the UK. Indeed our country receives 65% of the solar radiation received in the south of Spain. For the areas which are exposed to lower levels of sunshine we have specifically developed our range to utilize both direct and indirect sunlight.


Do I need planning permission?

Unless your home is a listed building or in a conservation area, planning permission is unlikely to be required as fitting solar panels or collectors would typically be covered by the right to permitted development.


What is a typical saving?

A typical well-sized solar water heating system can provide up to 60%* of your annual hot water requirement* leading to reduced energy bills. You also will be making a significant contribution to reducing your carbon footprint.


The illustration above shows how solar water-heating systems work.

Solar water heating can meet about a third of your hot water needs

Solar Thermal Hot Water - Solar Thermal Systems

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