Having a Solar Thermal Installation can be daunting and there a several questions that need to be asked regarding this technology – I thought I would put together a quick post of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Solar Thermal. If you have any further questions after reading this post or would like one adding, simply leave a comment.

Q: How much does a solar thermal installation cost?

A: The cost of a Solar Thermal system varies but you are probably looking at a figure between $3500 & $6000.

Q: What is the payback on a solar thermal system?

A: The payback period on a Solar Thermal System depends on many factors including the position of your property, the region you live in, grants available and household number, however you may be looking at a payback within 4 – 6 years from installation.

Q: What grants are available for Solar Thermal?

A: There are grants available for Solar Thermal installations and the Solar industry is particularly interested in the Renewable Heat Incentive. An incentive based around the Feed-in-Tariff that will see those with Solar Thermal installations receive a set amount per kWh their system produces.

Q: Do I need planning permission for an installation?

A:  You don’t need to receive planning permission unless your property is listed or situated in a conservation area.

Q:  Should I have evacuated tubes or a flat plat collector installed?

A:  Evacuated tubes seem to be more efficient than a flat plate collector however the size of your flat plate collector can be increased to increase efficiency.  Make sure you consult your installer, who should be willing to supply you with enough information as possible regarding the two types of thermal and which will best suit your personal needs/ preferences.

Q:  We live in the UK, its not sunny everyday of the year; will my Solar Thermal System still work?

A:  Solar Thermal works best in direct sunlight however, Solar Thermal continues to work with indirect sunlight e.g. a cloudy day in Britain.

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Q:  Will my Solar Thermal System work throughout the night?

A:  No, a Solar Thermal System does not work at night.

Q:  Does a Solar Thermal System work in cold weather?

A:  Solar Thermal works fine in cold weather and are actually developed to work in worse conditions than we will ever experience in the USA.

Q: How about in snowy weather, will my system still work?

A: Although a Solar Thermal system will not work when covered in snow, you don’t have to worry. The snow collected on your panels will melt itself due to the heat collected by the panel.

Q: Am I responsible for keeping my Solar Thermal panels clean?

A: No, if your panels become slightly dirty or have slight marks due to animal droppings etc you don’t have to worry about this affecting the performance of your system and such marks will most probably be washed away with the next rainfall.

Q: Should I switch my system off when I go on holiday?

A: No, there is no reason to switch your system off whilst on holiday – It is completely safe to do so.