Solar water heating systems use heat from the sun to work alongside your conventional water heater. The technology is well developed with a large choice of equipment to suit many applications.
How does it work?
For domestic hot water there are three main components
- Solar panels or collectors – are fitted to your roof. They collect heat from the sun’s radiation. There are 2 main types of collector:
- Flat plate systems – which are comprised of an absorber plate with a transparent cover to collect the sun’s heat, or
- Evacuated tube systems – which are comprised of a row of glass tubes that each contain an absorber plate feeding into a mainfold which transports the heated fluid.
- A heat transfer system – uses the collected heat to heat water;
- Hot water cylinder – stores the hot water that is heated during the day and supplies it for use later.
Installing a solar thermal system is an easy, no-fuss option with the installation being completed in less than 1 day with minimal disruption.
Solar water heating can provide you with about a third of your hot water needs. The average domestic system reduces C02 by around 325kg per year and about £65 a year of your hot water bills, when installed in a gas heated home.
|Fuel Displaced||£ Saving per year||CO2 saving per year|
Choosing a system suitable to your needs requires consideration of a range of factors, including the area of south facing roof, the existing water heating system (e.g. some combi boilers aren’t suitable), your water usage and needs and your budget. Contact Bayview Contracts today and we will complete a free, no obligation survey of your home to check if it is suitable for a solar thermal installation, provide you with a step-by-step guide on solar benefits and leave you with a detail quotation for your consideration. Bayview can also help you access and process various grants that may be available (depending upon the jurisdiction of the installation).
Solar water heating systems tend to require little maintenance and carry a 20 year guarantee
Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
The benefits of solar electricity
- Cut your electricity bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.
- Get paid for the electricity you generate: the government’s Feed-In Tariffs pay you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it.
- Sell electricity back to the grid: if your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can’t use it, you can sell the surplus back to the grid.
- Cut your carbon footprint: solar electricity is green, renewables energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide] or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.
How do solar panels (PV) cells work?
PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That’s the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit solar tiles.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ground source heat pumps take natural warmth from the ground and can potentially use it to meet all your heating needs at home. Loops of pipe are buried underground, and transfer heat from the earth into the home. There, this transferred natural warmth can be used to heat rooms and, in some cases, water as well. A typical system is able to produce all the heat necessary for a well insulated average home. It could also save you between £400 and £800 a year on heating bills – and cut your CO2 emissions by up to 8 tonnes a year.
Air Source Heat Pump
Air Source Heat Pumps are an exciting technology providing heat to domestic hot water and heating systems, without the need for groundworks or external pumps. They are suitable for both new build properties and retrofit installations and have the potential to greatly reduce CO2 emissions in the home and, in some cases, by up to 50%.
The noise levels in new heat pumps are minimal and with the UK’s ambient temperatures the heat pumps are perfectly designed to operate at optimum performance throughout the year. They are a great, low carbon, alternative to traditional boilers in modern buildings and are suitable for use with underfloor heating or low temperature radiators.
Bayview Contracts have developed strategic relationships with some of the key manufacturers of air source heat pumps and through a partnership programme have developed ‘best practice’ in heat pump installation and maintenance.
Biomass is made up of plants and untreated wood or wood waste. With a special biomass boiler, this fuel can be a cost-effective way to heat a home and could save you around £470 a year in energy bills and around 6 tonnes of C0 2 per year. For small-scale domestic applications of biomass the fuel usually takes the form of wood pellets, wood chips or wood logs.
Producing energy from biomass has both environmental and economic advantages.
Although biomass produces CO2 it only releases the same amount that it absorbed whilst growing, which is why it is considered to be carbon neutral. Furthermore, biomass can contribute to waste management by harnessing energy from products that are often disposed of at landfill sites.
It is most cost effective and sustainable when a local fuel source is used, which results in local investment and employment and also minimises transport miles to your home.
There are many domestic log, wood chip and wood pellet burning central heating boilers available and over the last number of years Bayview Contracts have developed expertise in the installation of many types of boiler and are registered as installers under the schemes run by both Action Renewables and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI).
Contact Bayview Contracts today and we will complete a free, no obligation survey of your home to check if it is suitable for a biomass boiler, provide you with a step-by-step guide on system benefits and leave you with a detail quotation for your consideration. Bayview can also help you access and process various grants that may be available (depending upon the jurisdiction of the installation).