What is Solar Energy?
Taking energy from solar gain from the sun to generate hot water. Typically mounted on a pitched roof. However, can also be ground mounted for swimming pool applications. Solar thermal installs can be scaled up to suit the application, from small domestic properties to large commercial applications.
Probably the most commonly installed and recognisable renewable energy technology. Solar PV uses solar gain from the sun to generate electricity. Systems can be ground or roof mounted and can be scaled up in size to accommodate your requirements, subject to planning approval and grid capacity.
Where are Solar Thermal systems installed?
Ideally suited to commercial swimming pools, hotels, care homes and hospitals - anywhere there is a need for hot water consistently throughout the year.
Widely installed on domestic houses - ideally fitted on a true south-facing roof. However, not essential as solar thermal works off UV rather than direct sunlight, so still works well on warm but cloudy days. Typical installation consists of a couple of panels that are connected to the second coil in a twin coil domestic hot water cylinder. Typically will cater for 60% of a home's domestic hot water requirements throughout the year, and around 100% during the summer months, where it really acts as a pre-heat to the boiler in the winter months.
Where are Solar PV systems installed?
Ground mounted solar farms are becoming more and more common. However, large systems do not need to be ground mounted. Systems can be installed on pitched roofs or on A-frames mounted on flat roofs. Often planning permission is needed for a larger system as well as permission from the District Network Operator (DNO – Electricity board) to ensure there is capacity in the local infrastructure to distribute electricity back through the grid.
Widely installed on domestic houses – ideally fitted on a true south facing roof, however, this is not always possible so as close to south facing is often installed. Alternatively, where roofs run from East to West, East-West split systems are also commonly used to capture both morning and evening sun light. A typical domestic system is normally around 4KWp (approximately 16 solar panels). Systems can also be off-grid and used to charge up batteries that can then be used as a power source out of day light hours.