Does solar power work in the UK? Solar power has become a game-changer when it…
Solar Thermal Panels and Combi Boilers - Can They Work Together?
It’s now more important than ever before to explore your options when it comes to heating as things are now changing. As the UK is moving towards its net zero target in 2050, you should now look at what options are available to you when it comes to heating your home. Some time between now and then, you will more than likely need to switch your boiler. This means that looking at a more eco-friendly option will be a priority as that is what the government is likely to expect too.
So, you might be looking at solar energy and your combi boiler and wondering whether they can work together. However, both of these methods are growing but the heating industry still might be in a position whereby it is unsure as to whether these methods can work together. However, there are still many challenges that come with attempting to make this combination work. Despite this, there are some combi boilers that are compatible with solar thermal systems.
The installation process of installing solar panels is not a difficult one when compared to the complexities associated with changing the solar heating in line with the existing heating system in the home. Combination boilers are the most popular choice with people in the UK with the majority of boiler sales consisting of combis while around half of UK homes have a combi boiler.
Most people will use hot water during the morning and then in the evening yet solar energy is absorbed by the solar panels during the daytime. What this means is that the water that is heated up by the solar energy will need to be stored so that it can be used later and this is where a hot water cylinder can help. The solar energy that is available will differ from day to so, so it is important to use the boiler to bring the water to a decent temperature on days when there is no need for the use of solar energy.
So, whether your solar system can be paired up with your combi boiler or not will be determined by the model of your boiler that you have installed. Some types of combi boilers will accept water that has been preheated while other boilers will not. Only those boilers that have been designed to accept pre-heated water and have been fitted with temperature rated components on the boiler’s incoming side can be used. Around 45% of combi boilers will not accept water that is preheated while others can accept water that has been heated up to a certain temperature. Therefore, the boiler manufacturer will be able to tell you what the maximum temperature of the pre-heated water should be.
The Benefits of Solar Water Heating
- The solar water heating system has the benefit of working through the entire year although there will be a need to heat the water using a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months when solar energy is not available. However, if you do want complete sustainability then thermodynamic panels can support the hot water system.
- You’ll benefit from reduced energy costs as sunlight is free, so once the initial investment in the panels have been made, your monthly bills will be lower
- You will also be able to reduce your carbon footprint as solar heating is eco-friendly as it is a renewable source of energy and can help to significantly reduce carbon emissions.
What You Need to Consider Before Investing in Solar Panels
- Consider where you live and whether you live in a place that is sunny enough to benefit from solar panels. You will need around 5 square metres of roof space that faces east to west through south and has plenty of sunshine during the day.
- Think about whether you have enough space to accommodate an additional large hot water tank. You should also recognise that you will need to replace your currency cylinder with a cylinder that is dedicated to this set up and has a solar heating coil.
- Is your existing boiler suitable for water heating? Many conventional boilers and hot water systems are compatible with solar water heating.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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