What size of system will I need?
Your system will normally be designed around
the number of people living in your house, not the size of house.
The solar collector area will depend on the hot water needs of
Do I need planning permission?
SHW roofs do not normally require planning
permission,and typically fall within what is known as 'permitted
development rights'. However, if you are dealing with a house
that has been divided into flats, or the building is listed or
in a conservation area, you should check with the council upon
Where to put an SHW system?
A house roof is ideal for installing a SHW
system - there is plenty of 'unused' space, the visual intrusion
is minimal, and direct exposure to sunlight is at its greatest.
Roof conditions vary greatly, and several key factors should
be considered when assessing the solar polarity of a property.
- Orientation. SHW systems are most efficient
when installed on roofs facing south, south-west or south-east
(up to 95% efficient). In the UK, a north facing SWH roof will
normally be 40-50% efficient.
- Tilt. SHW systems can be installed on
most flat surfaces. Ideally if roofmounted, they should be
inclined, to maximise exposure to solar radiation, and to allow
the array to keep clean.
- Available area. A typical SHW array
will occupy 2- 4 M2.
- Shadowing or Shading. Preferably the
array will not be shaded by neighbouring buildings or tall
Will the system work in the winter?
A standard solar system in the UK cannot provide
enough heat to supply hot water at the desired temperature, throughout
the year. Most modern solar hot water systems will typically
convert 40-55% of the solar energy falling into the collectors
into useful hot water. Modern evacuated tube systems can reach
a peak of 80-90%
Although there is normally enough sunshine
in the winter to pre-heat your water, you will require a conventional
water heating system to back up the solar system during the deeper
winter period, or for when demand is high.
Will it require regular servicing?
Most modern systems are designed to run virtually
maintenance free. As part of our installation package, we provide
a complete control & running guide, explaining the components, and what checks are required.
What guarantee will I get with my system?
All of the system components are covered by
a manufacturer’s warranty (up to 2 years). However, the solar
collector we are currently installing has a guarantee of 5 years,
subject to correct installation.