Solar Thermal Energy

Solar Thermal Energy

Solar Thermal Energy is an efficient and reliable water heating solution. A typical installation takes only two days and the system will run the average household hot water demand for about 7 months of the year, plus support the hot water demand through the remaining winter months. For both home owners and businesses such as swimming pools, hotels and campsites significant savings can be achieved with a solar thermal system.


The Solar Thermal System
Solar water heating works by harvesting the sun’s energy via “collectors” fitted to your roof. This energy is then transferred from the heated collectors to your hot water tank. These systems are effective all year round in daylight; it doesn’t have to be sunny. There is nothing like being able to turn on the hot tap, run a bath or take a shower knowing that the boiler has been off all-day and that the hot water has been produced for free by the sun.
We install thermal systems from Barilla Solar, based in Christchurch, which we have selected as they offer the best performance, value and support for their collectors and pumpstations.

Solar Thermal installation
Collectors are typically installed on a roof and will be either evacuated tube or flat plate. We tend to recommend evacuated tube systems as their efficiency is higher in the winter months, but for in-roof mounting, flat plates look more integrated. The size of collector is calculated according to predicted hot water demand.

A pumpstation will be installed in the loft or airing cupboard; this controls and pumps the heat from the collector to the hot water cylinder. A pre-insulated stainless steel pipe system will connect the collectors to the pumpstation and the pumpstation to the cylinder. A Hot water cylinder with two coils will typically need to be fitted as part of the installation.  These can be unvented (pressurised) cylinders which offer the benefits of increased hot water pressure, the removal of loft header tanks and in some cases the removal of noisy booster pumps.

With our years of experience in fitting solar thermal systems, we know our stuff. Please call or email to have a chat with our expert staff about the available systems, what we would recommend for your home or business and to obtain a no-obligation quote.

Solar Panel Service Dorset
Renewables Servicing

Servicing, maintenance & repair

It is highly recommended to have your solar thermal system annually serviced just like with a domestic boiler. The systems reach very high temperatures and include pumps and fluids that need to be checked and maintained. If your system is not working or has faults, we undertake a step-by-step diagnosis and repair process. Please do not request a maintenance service if your system has broken down – a standard service will be unlikely to fix it!  There are not that many major components in the system – pump, controller, tubes, expansion vessel and fluids. However, determining which parts have failed requires a stepped approach. For example, on a system that is not working, it may for example appear to have lost fluid. But until we replace the fluid it is not possible to tell if the pump is working, and until the pump is working it is not possible to tell if the controller has failed.  So an issue presented as a “leak” may actually require all the major components to be replaced. As we cannot tell this in advance, we will present the costs for all relevant repairs and advise as we make progress. You would not be committed to any costs without advance warning, but we prefer to be transparent at the start of the process that any one step will be chargeable but will not necessarily restore full working operation.

Annual Maintenance Service

Price:  £185

A full inspection comprises :
A visual inspection of the components, a test of the pressure relief valve (if accessible) and a test of the thermal fluid. Fluid can last for between 1 and 5 years so won’t usually need to be changed annually but will always need changing after 5 years. Fluid changes are charged per the price list if required.

Solar Thermal Troubleshooting

Price: £185 for the first hour then a further £65 per hour thereafter plus costs of any components required for repairs (quoted separately before you incur repair costs but trouble-shooting callout will be chargeable even if repairs are not  proceeded with)/