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Answers to some of the questions we often get asked about solar energy and Domestic Hot Water solar systems in the UK

 

How much does solar help the environment?

Each domestic hot water system installed in the UK saves between 350 - 1,300Kg of carbon dioxide a year, depending on the efficiency of the system (and the system it replaces). If every house in the UK used solar energy about 40 million MegaWatt Hours could be saved.

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What is the best position for solar panels?

The best position for the panels in the UK is on a south-facing roof angled between 25 and 70 degrees from horizontal. Having said this, even a panel sited on an east or west facing roof with a roof slope of 20 to 40 degrees can reach an efficiency of 85%. The Viessmann Vitosol 200 and Viessmann Vitosol 300 have individual vacuum tubes that can be rotated to face the sun. This increases efficiency of non-south-facing installations.

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How many solar panels do I need?

This depends on the amount of hot water you need. As a rough guide each person in your household will use between 30 and 60 litres per day and you need around 1 square metre of solar panel per family member.

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Do I need a new hot water cylinder?

You don't have to, but it is often a good idea as the latest cylinders have better insulation. You want to make sure that you can keep the hot water generated by the sun's energy during the day warm for use in the evening or even the next morning.

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Will my roof be strong enough?

Solar panels are relatively light compared to the tiles already fitted on your roof. It is unlikely that you will need to re-enforce your roof before fitting solar panels, but seek further advice before carrying out the work if you are at all unsure.

If you cannot put solar panels on your roof for any reason the Viessmann Vitosol 200 Vacuum tube collector might be the answer. These can be mounted vertically on a wall and each tube be individually rotated towards the sun.

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Can I connect solar panels to a combi-boiler?

Only if your combi-boiler can accept preheated water. Check with an expert before you start work.

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Can I use solar panels to heat my house?

It is unlikely that you will be able to use solar as your only heat source as the sun is weakest in the winter (when you need most heat). It is possible to use solar to supply some background heating, say through an underfloor heating system, but an additional heat source will almost always be needed.

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Do I need planning permission?

You will not need planning permission in most cases if you are adding solar panels to an existing property. If you are building a new property, or extending your house and adding solar panels at the same time, you should make sure that the panels are shown on your plans as you may need planning permission. You should always check with your local planning office as the rules do differ from area to area.

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Can I heat my swimming pool with solar?

Yes, you can use solar to heat the water for your swimming pool, although you may need an additional heat source. How much additional heat you need depends on where the swimming pool is, which times of year you want to use it and how long you use it each day. Contact our sales team for further advice.

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If you have a question that is not answered here contact our sales team on Freephone 0800 783 78 76 or .

     
   
     
 

FAQ. For sales and advice Freephone 0800 783 78 76