Solar hydronic heating is one of the most environmentally friendly water heating solutions available today. Instead of using costly gas or electric boilers to heat water it uses energy from the sun to heat water in panels attached to the roof of a building. With growing concern over the environmental impact of traditional heating systems, solar hydronic energy provides a sustainable addition to your heating system which also saves you money.
Most solar hydronic heating systems work by installing a solar evacuated tube system on to the roof of a building in which water is heated by energy from the sun. Hot water which has been heated in the roof panels is then channelled through to hot water storage tanks where it can be used directly for your domestic water and central heating systems. If water temperature is not high enough, it can be quickly heated with a blast from a conventional electric or gas boiler. Solar hydronic heating is not meant to be a stand-alone heating system, but when used in conjunction with a traditional boiler it can significantly reduce your heating bills and carbon footprint.
Apricus collectors are able to collect heat energy throughout the day thanks to the addition of a round absorber surface which tracks the sun’s movement. This means that Apricus solar hydronic system can provide more constant and reliable water heating, not just in peak midday hours. This tube system is specially designed to absorb solar energy and to store it efficiently. Every tube in a panel is actually formed of two glass tubes, one inside the other, which are fused shut at either end. The space in between each tube is a vacuum, which provides excellent heat insulation. A special coating is applied to the inner tube which absorbs and stores solar energy. This system means that the panels still perform perfectly even in low temperatures. In case of frost, the system will automatically circulate warm water from the tank through the panel’s tube system in order to prevent freezing.
If there is limited space available for storage tanks, Edwards Solar provides the perfect solution as the storage tank is installed directly onto the roof above the solar panels. The Edwards system differs from Apricus as the solar panels are filled with an anti-freeze fluid, instead of water, which is heated by solar energy. This fluid is then channeled into a jacket surrounding the water storage tank, heating the water inside through heat transfer. The greatest advantage of this system is that it can be used in areas which frequently experience sub-zero temperatures without the risk of damaging the system.
Whilst you’re here, be sure to read our Solar Hot Water Rebates page for a pleasant surprise.