Solar Thermal FAQ's

Northern Energy Solutions have compiled a very comprehensive list of questions that we often get asked. If you cannot find an answer to your question please don't hesitate to contact us by phone or email.

Q. Should I have evacuated tubes or a flat plate collector?
We are happy to supply & install either. Evacuated tubes are more efficient than flat plate collectors but this can be compensated by increasing the size of the flat plate collector. Output vs Cost it is better for flat plate collector installations.

Q. How much does a solar thermal installation cost?
This depends on your exact requirement but typically between £3000 and £6000.

Q. Are there grants available for solar thermal installations?
You could be eligible for a grant from your local council. Grants vary from region to region across the country so you should contact your local council for information. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) have just announced great incentives for solar thermal systems. Please see our incentives page for a full breakdown.

Q. Will I be eligible for the new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?
All our installations are eligible for the RHI’s available as we are MCS approved installers.

Q. How much energy will the solar panels output?
Our solar thermal installations typically output between 1000 and 2000 kWh dependant on the application and the system that is implemented.

Q. What is the payback for a solar thermal installation?
Payback on systems is very difficult to calculate, there is several factors that you have to take in to consideration, from the water demand, location and what system is installed.

Q. Do I need to replace my hot water cylinder?
In most households the cylinders do not have a spare heating coil in their cylinder which means we would usually need to replace the existing cylinder. We also do not want to compromise the efficiency and output of the solar system therefore we would in most cases not every to replace the cylinder.

Q. Do you offer solar thermal DIY kits?

We can offer DIY Kits however we would recommend that the solar panels are installed properly if they are to have a long and trouble free life, then let our Certified installers come and install them for you in the correct manner. they are relatively simple in operation but it is important that they are installed properly if they are to work to the optimum level.

Q. Does my roof need to face south?
A South facing roofs of 30 degree angle will offer the best annual output. However, east or west facing roofs can function extremely well also however the available solar radiation is reduced by approx 15-20%. We can of course increase the size of the panels to compensate for this reduction.

Q. Are your panels approved?
The Northern Energy Solutions panels are tested and meet all the required standards including Solar Keymark and MCS approval for government incentives.

Q. Do you work with domestic or commercial clients?

Northern Energy Solutions arte proud to work  nationwide as a domestic and commercial supplier and Installer, With an extensive range of installations in the UK  . Our Unique FREE Design service gives our clients assurance they are getting the best value for money not only in the systems but quality well thought out planning,

Q. How much space do I need on my roof for a solar thermal installation?

We can plan and design a system to suit your commercial and residential dwelling, We can offer full size 2.5m2 panels and also for roofs with a limited roof area we can offer bespoke ½ size panels, Let us plan a system that suits your building.

Q. Do I need planning permission?

Planning permission for residential dwellings is only required if the property is listed or in a conservation area. For commercial please contact us for assistance.

Q. How are the panels fixed to the roof?

Typically for a standard roof we use rigid stainless steel brackets that are fixed directly to your roof rafters.

Q. How long will the installation take?
Installation can be as quick as 1-3 days dependant on how large the system is.

Q. Are the Solar collectors fragile?

The answer to this question is defiantly No, the solar collectors we use are designed to be very robust. We use toughened glass that will resist hail stones and other normal stresses.

Q. How hot will the solar heated water get?

The panels can exceed 100 degrees C. Given the high temperatures it is important that pipe clips, insulation/lagging and pipe joints can withstand up to 150 degree C heat.

Q. Do I need permission from building control to install solar panels?
Building control have some specific criteria in determining whether your need to submit a buildings notice. We will discuss this with them and you on a case by case basis.

Q. Can I heat my house and my hot water with solar?
Most houses in the UK need their heat during the winter when solar radiation is at a minimum. This means that to heat your property you need very large collector areas to make a worthwhile contribution to your heating. At the moment this solution is not cost effective for the UK climate.

Q. Can I heat my swimming pool with solar panels?

Yes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools can be heated with solar panels. This can be a very effective way of reducing the heating and Co2 costs associated with swimming pools.