A. D. Breden Ltd.
ELECTRICAL and BUILDING CONTRACTORS
Solar Water Heating uses the radiated energy from the sun to heat
water. This technology has been available in the UK since the 1970’s
And has now developed into an efficient product with a wide range to
Suit most applications. Solar water heating systems work along side a properties
conventional water heating system.
Shown right is the ‘Schott’ evacuated (vacuum) tube solar collector, our preferred product.
A good quality Solar Water Heating system can provide most, if not all of a properties hot water during the summer months equating to about 50% of hot water required annually.
It will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions a house hold is responsible for producing. The average domestic solar water heating system is capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 400-750kg annually, depending on the fuel replaced.
Solar Water Heating can be used for a wide variety of applications ranging from domestic water heating ,swimming pools and larger applications in the commercial and industrial sectors. A solar water heating installation comprises of 3 main components;
These are mounted to face within 90dg of south, on a pitched roof (however, it is possible to alternatively mount the panels although the may affect there overall efficiency) and retain heat from the sun’s ray’s and transfer it to a contained fluid ( usually anti-freeze based) used to heat water.
A Twin Coil hot water cylinder (one coil for the solar system, one for the boiler, where a property has one fitted) to store/use the water heated by the solar system.
Controls & plumbing
A simple plumbing system containing pipe work (some of which is connected to a boiler, if applicable) , an electric pump for the fluid in the solar system and the controls necessary to regulate the complete water heating system.
Different types of system
There are two different types of Solar Water Heating systems and configurations available.
These will use one of two different types of solar collector, flat panel or evacuated tubes.
Flat panel based systems typically have an efficiency of approximately 30% and are cheaper
to install. Evacuated tube based systems typically have an efficiency of approximately 40%+ (which is why they are our preferred product) and occupy a smaller overall area of roof space. For the UK and areas that are prone to freezing temperatures a drain back or closed loop (the system we prefer) systems are far more suitable as they utilizes an intermediary (anti-freeze) fluid and a heat exchange system to heat the water contained in a tank. Other systems circulate and heat water through the panel directly and are much more susceptible to freezing. Some systems require a pump to circulate the intermediary fluid round the system. The main factors to consider are;
Amount of south facing roof space.
Existing water heating system (i.e. some boilers may not be suitable).
As a professional installation company we will first assess your situation to ensure you receive the best system to suit your needs. We will also ensure that the system will integrate with the existing water heat system correctly so as to ensure the best possible gains and savings are made.
It is possible to install Solar water Heating to almost any property, however certain factors must be taken into consideration before choosing which system to install. A typical 2 panel system is aimed at a 4 person (adult) household, however very good savings will still be made even if there are 5 people in residence.
Ideally you need a property with;
2-5 msq of south east to south west facing roof space that has the minimal shading during daylight hours.
Space for the required components including an additional water cylinder should the system require one.
In order to be eligible for a solar grant you will be required to have made/installed certain energy saving products/measures before an application is made.
Here are some exterior photographs
of typical 2 & 4 panel installations.
Costs and maintenance
The costs of Solar Water Heating system will vary due to a range of factors. For example, the size/number of solar collectors required, the type of roof (i.e. a flat roof would need different mounting frames), existing hot water system and geographic location.
Here at A D BREDEN LTD we supply and install a ‘SCHOTT’ based system utilizing evacuated (vacuum) tube solar collectors. Typically the system will have 2 or 4 collectors depending on the property factors mentioned earlier. We have chosen this system because of its high build quality, higher efficiency levels over other types of system and ease of maintenance. We have found that this system will offer very good savings as well as very good value for money. A standard 2 collector system costs £4500 +vat to supply and install (installation typically take 1 day) It is worth remembering that as a customer you will only pay 5% vat on your solar water heating system. Of course a 4 collector system will cost more and other considerations may alter the costs involved.
Here are some photographs of the
Schott solar collector and basic
Several groups offer Grants to help with the costs of installing solar water heating. Grant levels are set at £400 regardless of system size or 30% maximum limit exclusive of vat. Before a grant application is made you must have taken certain energy saving measures within your property. These are as follows;
Low energy lighting must be installed in all main areas/rooms (if not through out) of your property.
270mm or more of mineral wool insulation( or equivalent ) must be installed to the whole of the loft space of your property.
Cavity wall insulation must be installed in all of the appropriate walls of your property.
Basic heating controls must be installed for the central heating system including thermostats in all main rooms/areas and a programmer or timer.
Here at A D BREDEN LTD we can, if necessary, install the required measures (cavity wall insulation being contracted out) prior to a grant application being made, although the costs of installing these measures will vary from property to property. Our ‘Free Low Energy Survey’ will help you assess your needs and as a follow up you will receive a detailed ‘no obligation quotation’. The measures listed above are insisted upon so as to ensure that basic energy savings are already being made and to help ensure that the system installed will work to your best advantage.
Solar Water Heating system are generally supplied with a 10 year product warranty and require very little maintenance. A yearly general check of the system, including cleaning the panels (if necessary) ,leaks and ensuring the panels are not shade by trees etc, should be conducted by the householder or supplier/installer, if preferred, and, if required, any faults reported to the supplier/installer. A more detailed check should be conducted by the supplier/installer every 3-5 years to ensure the system is working efficiently and there are no faults or damage. A standard maintenance schedule will be provided by A D BREDEN LTD when an installation has been completed.
Although it may increase your overall costs it is worth remembering that Solar Water Heating works well in conjunction with other energy saving products (i.e. energy saving appliances and water system insulation) and fitting items such as Thermostatic Radiator Valves will help increase the systems overall efficiency and savings made from your system. When renovating your property or altering your loft space/roof it is always worth looking at having Solar Water Heating installed at the same time.
As a company we at A D BREDEN LTD offer our customers monthly discounts on products and services to help reduce their overall costs. Details can be found on our web site or by contacting us directly. We also offer product based ‘Energy Saving Packages’ ( costs will vary for property to property). For example, a typical Solar Water Heating package would consist of ;
Solar Water Heating system (2 panel)
Full re-insulation of loft space
Full re-insulation of the water system (i.e. pipe lagging & tank insulation jackets)
Up to 10 Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Full supply & installation of all the above items
Boiler & water system inspection (by a Corgi registered engineer)
Free removal & deposal of waste products (i.e. old insulation)
An example price for this product based package (in this case solar water heating) on a 3 bedroom property with cavity wall insulation and basic heating controls already being present would be approximately £6000 + vat (note- this is an example price only).