Main Content Top

How do Solar Heating Panels Work?


Solar heating systems use energy from the sun to provide around 40-60% of your hot water requirements throughout the year. Flat plate systems are the most common type of solar heating system - these solar heating panels contain tubes of water which is heated up using energy from the sun. This water is then used to supplement the hot water from your existing boiler to help heat your home. Whilst a solar heating system is unlikely (especially in the winter months) to produce enough hot water for your entire household, it is an excellent way to reduce both your carbon footprint and your fuel bill expenditure.

Solar Heating System

In fact, solar heating panels can be a great investment as, through the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, you will receive a payment for each unit of energy your solar heating system generates. This payment is guaranteed whether you use the heat generated by your solar heating panels or not. Solar heating systems can also be used alongside solar PV panels to further reduce your bills and CO2 emissions.

Solar heating panels are best located on south facing roofs, although you can also install solar heating panels on east and west facing roofs. This is to maximize the amount of sunlight your solar heating panels receive, and so maximize the amount of energy you generate. Once installed, however, solar heating systems require very little maintenance and will provide a return on investment sooner than solar photovoltaic panels.

Types of Solar Heating Panels


There are two main types of solar heating panels:

  • Flat plate systems are comprised of an absorber plate with a transparent cover to absorb the sun’s heat. These are probably the most common type of solar heating panels, having been around much longer and generally being less expensive, and most flat plate systems have a life expectancy of over 25 years.
  • Evacuated Tube systems are comprised of a row of glass tubes that each contain an absorber plate feeding into a manifold which transports the heated fluid. This type of solar heating panels is generally more expensive but can be good for buildings with a very limited amount of roof space.


Choosing the best solar heating system for your home is largely dependent on your individual requirements as each system has its advantages and disadvantages in different situations. If you are interested in installing a solar heating system then the best way to find out more information is to speak directly to a qualified installer.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 2987467 if you wish to discuss solar heating panels further or would like to arrange a free quote from a qualified installer.

Main Content Bottom