What is Solar Thermal?
Solar Thermal Panels create heat for your domestic hot water by harnessing the energy from sunlight. Solar Thermal technology can produce the energy required to fulfil much of a home’s annual hot water demand (cited from https://www.grantuk.com/products/solar-thermal/grant-solar-collectors/ ). Having been around in the UK for quite some time it is a tried and tested technology and has a number of benefits. These systems do require a full and thorough evaluation of your home and your personal needs in terms of hot water used within the household. Also factored into the installation is the type of fuel source your home currently has and the orientation of your roof.
Types of Solar Thermal Panel
There are Flat Panels, these are the most common form of solar thermal panel, they can also be know as a collector. These panels have a series of pipes and a metal absorber plate, the metal absorber plate collects the heat energy from the sunlight and heats the fluid in the pipes, this heat is then carried to a water storage cylinder.
There are also Evacuated Tube panels, these are glass tubes with copper tubes within them. The tubes have a vacuum within the glass that acts as insulation, these panels are usually more efficient than Flat Panels.
You can also have Solar PVT which is a hybrid system that incorporates Solar PV and Solar Thermal into one panel, these panels can be more expensive but they can take up less space than a traditional system combining Solar PV and Thermal making it ideal for properties with smaller roofs.