Having owned my current house since 1998, I couldn't help but notice over the years, how much sunshine the slightly off South front roof receives. Even when the sun is not out and it is overcast, the slates on the roof get warm to the touch, and when the sun does come out, they can become too hot to touch.
I decided it was time to invest in a little renewable energy, in an attempt to a) cut my gas bills and b) do my little bit for the environment.
My first adventure into renewables was therefore born - Solar Hot Water.
After having done some reading on the net (not very much I must admit) about solar hot water projects, it became clear that it didn't look too difficult.
I was aware that there are government grants available to recoup some of the costs involved, however thats where the first catch lies. In order to receive the grants, the system has to be installed by an approved installer. Now my thoughts were, approved installer = higher installation costs.
I did not see the point in paying elevated installation costs just to get the grant. it would probably still end up costing more than doing the install myself and not obtaining the grant. So decision made - do it yourself!
The house was already needing a larger Hot water cylinder, but I did not want to invest in one with a dedicated solar coil until I knew it would be a worth while investment. I decided to break the project down into a number of phases, the success of each phase, determined whether or not I would move to the next one.
Phase 1 - Installation of Flat Panels and retrofit hot water cylinder coil.
Phase 2 - Installation of larger hot water cylinder with dedicated solar coil. [Completed 9th September]
Phase 3 - Excess heat recovery and central heating integration. [coming soon - maybe!]
There is also a section in the forum, if you want to discuss the project.
[back to Solar Hot Water Project Section]