The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

Solar Thermal Water Heating

What is solar thermal water heating?
Solar water heating utilises the power of the sun to produce hot water and works in tandem with traditional water heating systems.  Various types of equipment have been designed to work in different situations, both domestic and commercial.

What are the benefits?
Solar thermal water heating systems are not only cost effective but can also help reduce C02  emissions.  Up to a third of hot water requirements can be provided, saving a substantial amount on fuel costs, depending on the type of fuel replaced.

How does it work?
Generally, solar panels are fitted to the roof of a property.  These panels gather radiated heat from the sun, using a heat transfer system to convert the heat collected into hot water which is stored to supply heating and hot water needs as required later.  The main type consists of evacuated tube systems with rows of glass tubes where the absorber plate feeds a manifold to transmit the heated water.

Grants available
The Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP) is an open grants programme run by BRE, an award partner of the Big Lottery Fund. Part of the Fund's Changing Spaces programme, CSEP has been set up to help not-for-profit community based organisations in England to reduce their energy bills and environmental impact. Both capital and project development grants are available under this scheme. Capital grants are available for the purchase and installation of a range of low carbon technologies such as solar water heating, photovoltaics or wood fuelled boilers, along with various energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall insulation. Project Development Grants are available for feasibility studies. See

More information - visit the Solar Trade Asociation or Energy Saving Trust website

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