The sun bathes the earth in an incredible amount of solar energy. In a day, enough solar energy arrives to power the whole world for several years. There is lots of confusion about solar energy, people seem to question whether it really works in the 'UK's cloudy climate'. Solar panels do work in the UK, despite our cloudy climate, because they rely on daylight, not direct sunlight.
Solar energy has a long and proven history both globally and in the UK. Daylight hits the photovoltaic cells or thermal panels and is converted into clean electricity or heat for hot water production.
Retherm is accredited to install both solar thermal panels and solar PV panels. Either of these systems can be fully integrated in to existing or new roof structures but many people do not realise that they can also be mounted on frames on the ground.
When fitted as a stand-alone system the financial benefits through the RHI and energy bill savings of solar panels are clear to see. When used to supplement a heat pump then the benefits are even greater. Our experts have been designing packaged systems in order to gain the most benefit for our clients. For example we have fitted a heat pump that uses solar thermal panels to supplement not only hot water but heating as well. We have installed PV systems which when they are generating more electricity than the house is using, automatically switch on an immersion heater to heat the water in the cylinder.
Solar photo voltaic (PV)
Solar photo voltaic (PV) panels generate electricity using the sun’s energy. Solar PV even works on cloudy days as it is sunlight, not heat that powers the system.
As well as providing free electricity which will therefore reduce your electricity costs, our customers also receive payments for the electricity they generate via the government’s Feed-In Tariff. This scheme pays you for all the electricity your system generates irrespective of what you do with it. You also get paid an additional amount for surplus electricity that is fed back to the national grid. Best of all this happens automatically so you can sit back and see the savings that you are making.
At Retherm we will only provide PV panels and inverters that have a proven track record with long performance and product warranties as experience has shown cheap products offer false economies.
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 the home. It’s a simple process: Panels on the roof absorb heat from the sun via a fluid inside the panels. This fluid circulates through a coil in the hot water cylinder which transfers the heat to the water in the cylinder.
The whole process is controlled automatically and where necessary during the winter months extra heat from an additional source is used to ensure that hot water is always available. Solar thermal panels should provide most of your hot water from April to September, and make a worthwhile contribution in the months on either side of that period. Outside of that estimates vary depending on who you ask. Solar panels will provide about 60 per cent of a household’s hot water needs, if well-installed and properly used according to Energy Saving Trust field trials.
One extra benefit of solar thermal is that it is eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive which means rather like the feed in tariffs, the government will pay you for being Eco-conscious.