Earthsummit 2002 - A guide to UK Local Agenda 21 renewable energy projects. Earthsummit 2002
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Solar absorbers for heating swimming pool water.

Active Solar Heating.

Active 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 should fall.

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