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Solar hot water panels: 7 things to check before you install

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 1 October 2010 at 9:18 am

This video blog highlights 7 things to check before you install a solar hot water system.

1.  The most important thing is to have a suitable roof for the collectors (panels). South-facing is idea, but anywhere between south east and south west is ok. 

2.  Is the roof is strong enough?

3.  How we get the pipe work to where the cylinder is.

4. Is there space for the larger cylinder needed by a solar thermal system (or space for a cylinder, if there's a combi boiler).

5.  Lots of people ask for the cylinder to be sited in the loft - it's important to check that the floor is strong enough to hold it, and the roof is high enough for it to fit in.

6.  Is the house suitable - will the occupants use enough solar-heated water to make it viable? If the house has electric showers and a dishwasher, it often has a low hot water consumption and it's not suitable.

7. Holiday homes, or homes where there are long gaps where residents are absent, are not suitable.  

About the author: Gabriel Wondrausch is founder and director of SunGift Solar, which installs solar thermal and other renewable energy systems in the South West of England.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

Richardmillner

RichardmillnerComment left on: 30 November 2010 at 5:23 pm

How do I decide between solar thermal and solar PV?  Making an informed decision on whether to install solar electricity or solar heating depends partly your current expenditure on these items. Is there a simple way to estimate this? I have gas central heating/hot water and don't have any idea how much of my bill is on hot water alone. My total electricity usage is about 4000kWh compared with 30,000kWh for gas. Would I be better off installing solar hot water or solar electricity?.

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