Solar Heating systems are most commonly used to
supply domestic hot water for washing and heating.
A collector array (absorber) is mounted on the
roof which soaks-up the sun's radiation and increases
in temperature, this heats a fluid circulated
between the absorber and the water tank, thus
heating the water. Enhanced performance systems
exist using evacuated glass tubes, which minimise
heat losses. These can produce hot water on a
cold (sunny) winters day even when temperatures
are well below freezing.
The UK sits on a northern latitude, which means
we receive roughly half the amount of solar energy
as some of the sunnier climbs of the world. Theoretically
this is still enough to provide all of our water
and space heating but in reality seasonal undulations
make year-round solar water heating, at present,
unrealistic. Installation costs are also currently
too high for most (£2000 - £6000).
But as the technology becomes more widespread
and new buildings are designed to incorporate
active solar heating systems as standard, so prices