What is solar energy
SOLAR energy is the cleanest and most inexhaustible
of all known energy sources. Solar energy comes from
radiation and is the heat, light and other radiation
that is emitted from the sun. It can be classified
into two categories, Thermal and Light. We shall concentrate
here on Thermal energy. Thermal energy can be used
to passively heat buildings through the use of certain
building materials and architectural design, or used
directly to heat water for household use. In many regions,
solar water heaters are now a viable supplement or
alternative to electric or gas hot water heating.
Thermal energy obtained from the sun can be used for a number of applications
including producing hot water, space heating and even cooling by using
absorption chilling technology.
Here in the southwest we get 10 - 20% above the UK average of 1000kWh annually
of available solar energy.
What is solar energy
The Sun radiates enormous amounts of energy to the Earth in
the UK this radiation is similar to the output of 1,000
power stations! So, why not make better use of this
The UK is now a net importer of gas, energy costs are set to rise and continue
rising, we also produce much of our electricity from gas which means higher
electricity prices. By using solar heating we can reduce our energy needs
and our utility bills.
Carbon emissions in the form of CO2 are changing our climate by using solar
we reduce our carbon emissions and help make a better future for our children.
In the average household, water heating accounts for around 30% of CO2 emissions.
By installing a solar water heater, which can provide between 50-70% of your
hot water heating needs, you can reduce your total CO2 emissions by more
Systems in England and Wales are eligible for a grant
from the Low Carbon Building Programme and reduced VAT
Community Grants are available in England and
Wales of up to 50% or £50,000.
Businesses qualify for an Inland
Revenue Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme, allowing
the full installation costs to be written off in
the first year.
What is solar
systems can be designed and fitted from around £3500
for a 1 - 2 person system depending on the type of system
and collectors used, location, ease of installation etc.
Evacuated tube collectors tend to cost more than high efficiency flat plates but can offer some advantages. However the efficiency of a system is not solely due to the collectors used it is the system as a whole that if properly specified offers the greatest efficiencies