Solar Thermal


Other Parts

Assembly Guide

Installation Guide




Other Parts

Installation Guide

LED Lighting

Heat Pumps

Rainwater Harvesting

Solar Overview












Information about energy consumed in shipping panels from China

Is it really environmentally friendly to ship these things halfway around the world?  This question comes up from time to time, and it is interesting to have a look at it (leaving aside the fact that a large proportion of goods are shipped in the same way, without producing any environmental benefit at the end of the journey).

According to the company Hapag Lloyd, container ships emit on average 174.16g CO2 per 20' container (a standard measure in shipping known as the TEU) per nautical mile.  The panels travel 10300 nautical miles on their journey here, giving CO2 emissions of 1794kg CO2 (remember here that there are between 5000 and 12000 TEU's on a modern container ship, if that figure seems a little on the low side).  With about 80 panels per TEU, that gives a figure of 22.4kg per panel.  According to the National Energy Foundation calculator here, this represents about 50kWh of electricity or 60 miles in a petrol driven car.  Or to look at it a different way, an Eco-58-1800-20 panel will pay back its transportation "CO2 debt" in about a week of reasonable weather if it replaces an electric immersion heater, or about two weeks if it replaces gas water heating.  Obviously there are also manufacturing emissions to consider, but since any alternative method of providing power will also cause these, they can be discounted to the extent that they are not greater than those.

To return to our FAQ page, click here.


Send mail to SW@eco-nomical.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 30-06-10