Solar thermal systems uses the sun’s heat to warm your hot water. Fluid inside solar collectors (panels) on your roof absorbs energy from the sun. This fluid is then pumped through pipes to your hot water cylinder, heating up the water to a pre-set temperature of your chosing. Your boiler or immersion heater then tops up the heat as needed, bringing the water to the temperature set on the thermostat. All this free hot water can be used for everyday household uses, including hot water for showers, baths, washing the pots and on larger systems. Every time you turn on the tap Atlantic Renewables can help you save money.
Solar thermal systems work best in summer, when it can heat up to 90% of the hot water you use. But it will still save you money all year round. As well as saving you money you will be eligible to earn a tax free income under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
How it works
- Cold water enters the hot water cylinder from the mains.
- Inside a closed loop, fluid is pumped up to a solar panel on the roof.
- Fluid passes through metal pipes inside the panel and is warmed by the sun.
- The fluid then passes into a coil inside the hot water cylinder, heating u the water.
- A second coil inside the cylinder is connected to your boiler, and brings the water up to the temperature set on your thermostat.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government initiative to incentivise more people to use renewable energy and is often compared to the highly publicised Feed In Tariff Scheme attached to Solar PV installations. The scheme was announced in March 2011 and will offer quarterly payments to those with renewable heat installations – including solar thermal.
Currently payments are only being given to commercial projects with projects under 200 kWth currently receiving 8.5pence per kWh. The second phase of the scheme, which is now set to launch in summer 2013, will see payments given to households too.