In solar water heating systems, the sun's energy is used to provide domestic hot water. It is particularly appropriate for existing dwellings where heating system improvements are already being undertaken and a solar collector may be fitted on the roof.

During the summer months a typical solar hot water system can supply 80 and 100 per cent of hot water demand. This will be considerably less in winter.

The overall solar contribution to hot water demand is approximately 50 and 60 per cent annually.

The sun's energy is absorbed by a roof-mounted solar collector. The two main types are:

The operating principals are the same in both cases; the evacuated tube collectors are more sophisticated and generally more efficient than the flat plate collector, but have a higher capital cost.

Typical installation considerations are:

* This depends on system type chosen; in the case of using solar panels on the roof with a combination boiler the dedicated hot water cylinder storage is much smaller about the same size as the combination boiler itself.

There is a lot of choice out there for this type of technology and available systems.

Eco Rescue is a Vaillant solar accredited installer, but will also install other manufacturer's solar equipment.

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