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Solar Installation

Solar Energy

Solar energy is free, clean and safe. It produces no carbon emissions, one of the major contributors to global warming. Using solar energy enables you to reduce your carbon footprint as well as your energy bills. Tax credit and grants are available through many Government initiatives. Solar thermal technology is a perfect investment in today’s economic and financial climate. Reliance on traditional fossil fuels is no longer a viable option. Limited resources, fluctuating prices along with the impact on today’s environment means a shift towards renewable technology is inevitable and key to survival.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar Energy – Ireland and UK’s Largest Energy Resource

Solar radiation drives all natural cycles and processes on earth such as rain, wind, photosynthesis, ocean currents and several others that are important for life. From the very beginning of life, the overall world energy need has been based on solar energy. All fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) are a result of solar energy.

The energy from the sun acting on the earth’s surface, over a 15 minute period, is more then the earth’s total energy requirement for a year. The amount of yearly global radiation on a horizontal surface may reach over 2,200 kWh/m2 in sunny regions. In Northern Europe, the maximum values are 1,100 kWh/m2 and are 943kWh/m2 in London and 990 kWh/m2 in Rosslare, Ireland.

The supply of solar radiation in UK and Ireland differs by a factor of 10 between summer and winter, e.g. Rosslare: 6.36 kWh/m2/day in June; 0.64 kWh/m2/day in December. Fig 1.


 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Does Solar only work when the sun is shining?

A: Solar works all year round - and even in Winter it will help to give you hot water, because vacuum tubes absorb energy efficiently in all different weathers conditions and all year round.

Q: Where are the panels fitted?

A: Ideally to a south facing roof or slight deviations of about 15 - 30° from that. The inclination / pitch of the collector is equal to the geographical latitude. So if you live at 45° latitude north the ideal pitch is about 45°. Once again slight deviations are not a problem and will only slightly effect the solar yield.

Q: What are the savings?

A: Savings of up to 50 - 70% annually on the heating cost for your hot water and/or heating. Once you have the panel installed that amount of energy is free for you. The main percentage of your water heating cost is done away through the use of the solar panel. Over time, your savings will increase as the price of oil / gas / electricity and other fossil fuels will increase in the future.

Solar also reduces the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions helping to protect the environment from being polluted. CO2 is one of the largest single contributors towards global warming.

Q: Do I need planning permission?

A: Normally only if the building is in a conservation area / listed building or under construction - but you should check with your local planning office. Our panels are environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

Q: We have a large building - is there a suitable system to use solar thermal in a commercial setting?

A: The collectors can be integrated with your existing system to provide hot water throughout the building for toilets / showers / canteens etc in fact anywhere large quantities of free hot water can be used i.e. Hospitals / Leisure Centres and all other commercial applications.

Q: What maintenance is required?

A: No collector maintenance is required. The glass tubes are round and perfectly smooth; any dirt or dust is carried away by the wind and/or rain. There are no moving parts to wear out. All components are made from high-grade stainless steel, aluminium, copper or non-corrosive materials.

Q: What does installation involve?

A: Thermomax collectors are light and modular and can usually be installed by a qualified professional in 1-2 days. They are supplied with an aluminium frame and, being lightweight, they will attach easily to your existing structure. The solar tubes allow air to circulate around them and will not trap moisture or debris.

Q: Is it possible to retain heat gained?

A: The heat can be stored in different ways - normally it is stored in a twin coil solar cylinder for domestic hot water. It can also be used for solar space heating or to heat a swimming pool. It also possible to combine the different applications.

Q: Do I need to take any precautions when going on holiday or leaving the system unattended for long periods?

A: A well-designed and sized solar system should provide you with the right amount of hot water. Even when going on a holiday the system will still work and feed the energy into the cylinder. There the losses will at some stage level out with the energy provided. This will just lead to a slightly higher cylinder temperature.