Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal Heating

GOS Heating on your local specialists when there is either a residential or commercial requirement for Solar Thermal. Solar water heating (known as solar thermal) systems capture the free heat from the sun and use it to heat up water for use in your home or business.

It’s a simple process:

  • – Panels on your roof absorb heat from the sun – they are known as the collector
  • – The water in the panels heats up
  • – This hot water is pumped through a coil in your cylinder
  • – Which transfers the heat to the water in the cylinder

Is solar thermal suitable for my home or business?

Here at GOS Heating our expert surveyors would visit your property and provide all the information needed, to meet your requirements. They would provide an in-depth understanding on solar thermal, ensuring that you have complete knowledge to make the right decision.

The ideal situation for solar panels is facing due south, although they are effective facing anywhere between south east and south west. As a rule of thumb you need between 1 and 2 m2 of collector (solar panels) per person living in the house. Shade on the panels at any time of day will reduce the performance. Most panels are mounted on a roof, but they can also be mounted at ground level. It is important that they get direct sunlight. To get the best results they should be at an angle between 20 and 50 degrees from horizontal (most pitched roofs fall within this bracket).

If you have an electric shower it won’t use your solar hot water. Similarly, cold-fill dishwashers and / or washing machines heat the water they use. In this situation, solar water heating is not suitable unless you use the bath for most of your washing and bathing, as you won’t be able to use much of the solar hot water you generate.

Solar panels are compatible with most existing hot water systems. However, you will need a new cylinder with two coils (all of which GOS Heating can provide). Ideally it should be big enough to hold two days worth of hot water.

If your present system is gravity fed, it will need a control (such as a valve and pump) for the hot water circuit so the panels can work effectively in winter when the boiler is running for central heating.

Solar Thermal

What type of solar thermal panel is best?

There are two types of solar thermal panel: flat plate panels and evacuated tubes.

Flat plate panels consist of an absorber plate in an insulated metal box. The top of the box is glass or plastic, to let the sun’s energy through, while the insulation minimises heat loss. Lots of thin tubes carry water through the absorber plate heating it up as it passes through.

Instead of a plate, evacuated tube collectors have glass tubes containing metal absorber tubes, through which water is pumped. Each tube is a vacuum (the air is ‘evacuated’ hence the name), which minimises heat loss. A survey conducted by the Energy Saving Trust field trial found little difference in performance between the two. For many people the decision is a matter of aesthetics.
What does solar thermal cost?

At GOS Heating we strive to offer you the best service possible. This is why we would conduct a full site survey and discuss with you the variety of different options available.

The cost of installing solar a solar thermal system will depend on the type and quality of the panels, whether you need scaffolding, and how easy it is to integrate into your existing plumbing system. The cost of scaffolding and the new cylinder are both significant, so a cost- effective time to install would be when you need a new hot water cylinder, or when you are having repairs done on the roof (or at the same time as a solar PV installation).

Planning permission for solar panels?

The installation of solar panels and equipment on residential properties is likely to be classed as ‘permitted development’, meaning there is no need to apply to the Local Planning Authority for planning permission.

However, there are certain exemptions which must be met to benefit from these permitted development rights. You should discuss with the Local Planning Authority (Lancashire County Council for example) for your area whether all of the limits and conditions will be met.

Are you think of Installing Solar Thermal?

If you are thinking about installing Solar Thermal? GOS Heating Ltd have a team of skilled and expert engineers who can install, maintain and service your solar thermal panels. For more information, please contact our customer services team on 01772 734 966 or email