Solar Hot Water

DSCN1200.jpgYou use a lot of hot water. You wonder if a solar hot water system is for you. Is it financially viable? Will it give you enough hot water? Is it worth the effort? Well, the simple answer is: If you use a lot of hot water, a solar hot water system is a great investment. If you don't, it's probably not. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, the most important thing is that you install a reputable system and that it is installed by experienced professionals who will leave the system safe and fully operational. See below why you should consider Comfort Solutions for your installation.

Experience

Comfort Solutions have been installing solar thermal systems for many years now and we understand what is required to ensure you get from your system what you expect.

Registration

We are fully registered with SEAI for grant schemes, meaning we can check to see if you are eligible for grant funding, size a system that will suit your home and help you though the grant application process.

Accreditation

Our installers are specifically trained in a number of industry-leading solar hot water systems including Kingspan, Kloben, Sunnpro, Ensol and more. We are one of only a few Kingspan Solar Accredited Installers in Co. Mayo which means that you can avail of a 20 year tube guarantee if the system is installed by us.

Quality

Each installation we undertake is carried out to an exceptionally high standard and there are a number of points which set us apart from cheaper installers:

1. No fibre washers. We do not SUPPLY OR USE fittings for corrugated pipe that rely on any washers to seal. We found that these are the single most problematic area in solar thermal systems & have replaced them with patented compression fittings.

2. 19mm insulation wall on our piping. Much more expensive than lesser insulations but these keep the heat in better resulting in a more efficient system.

3. Anti-scald valve. Not always supplied by others although this is an essential safety component. Furthermore, it allows us to store much hotter water and this effectively means much more storage than simply your tank size.

4. Top sensor. This allows a reading on your solar controller for temperature at the top of your cylinder.

5. Lightning protection. Your solar collectors are one of the highest points on your house and contain metal connected to metal pipe. We provide protection for the rest of your system components against a lightning strike.

6. Specific solar discharge vessel. A special high temperature discharge vessel for any emergency discharges. These are fixed to a wall and not left roaming loosely around your hot-press.

7. Heat Dump.  Any solar thermal system needs protection from excess heating especially one that may be oversized. A heat dump allows this heat to be harmlessly dissipated perhaps to a closet or even an attic space. Omission of a heat dump can lead to excess hot water, very high temperatures on roof, stagnation of collectors and subsequent system damage and expensive maintenance costs.

Flat Plate Panels

Solar_Flat_Plate_3Flat plate panels are probably the most common solar collector seen on Irish roofs today. They have a similar appearance to a roof window although are generally quite a bit larger. Our solar panels are robust in design, manufactured from sea-resistant aluminium and are suitable for extreme weather conditions and temperature changes.

Read more: Flat Plate Panels

  

Evacuated tubes

3-renewable-energy-mayoEvacuated tubes are a more recent design of solar collector and are generally more efficient than flat plate solar panels. The main reasons for greater efficiency are a larger overall surface area and the multi-directional properties of cylindrical tubes. Their efficiency is comparably best in low-light or cloudy conditions, conditions typical in Ireland. Typically, evacuated tube are 30% more effective than flat plate panels in Ireland.

Read more: Evacuated tubes

  

Solar Servicing

Hot showerRegular servicing of your solar hot water (solar thermal) system is essential to ensure its efficient operation. You should think of servicing your solar hot water system in the same way as servicing your boiler or car. If regular servicing is not carried out, it leads to expensive repairs. We offer full and interim servicing for all types of solar hot water systems, repairs and maintenance of all types of solar tubes and solar flat plate panels.

Unfortunately, many solar hot water systems in Ireland are not performing anywhere near their capability for a variety of reasons. Some don't work at all! Some reasons for ill-performance are:

  • Not installed correctly
  • System has gone into stagnation (overheated) during it’s lifetime
  • No heat dump installed (this is a necessary item for most systems)
  • Glycol (anti-freeze) has failed due to age
  • Glycol has failed due to stagnation
  • System pressure has dropped
  • Expansion vessel has failed
  • Flow rate is set incorrectly
  • Controller/temperature sensors are set up or fitted incorrectly (or sensors have become dislodged)
  • System was not professionally commissioned

    Read more: Solar Servicing

  

Solar technology explained

Standard-System-SchematicFor those who do not fully understand the concept and operation of a solar thermal (hot water) system, Comfort Solutions Ireland have prepared an explanation in simple language, of a standard solar system, from the sun hitting the solar panels or tubes on the roof to the hot water in your taps. We hope this gives you a good understanding of the basics of our solar thermal systems. If at any point, you have any questions or would like a site survey or quotation for your home or business, please contact us.

Read more: Solar technology explained

  

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