Solar Thermal


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Assembly Guide

Installation Guide



Other Parts

Installation Guide

LED Lighting

Heat Pumps

Rainwater Harvesting

Solar Overview












Since installing his solar thermal, Steven has updated his ecological credentials with the addition of a pv system.  See the bottom of this page for more details.

Steven bought 2 Eco-47-1500-20 collectors and a Flowcon A pump station with a BS3 controller, and a pair of flat roof mounting kits.  He writes:
"Hi there. Been a while since I bought the system, I am almost there!  Fitted roof mounts to the same pitch as the garage roof along side summer house.  Had some problems with leaks!  Lost almost a gallon of solar fluid oops!  Am now running main hot water pipe under ground to feed a combi boiler via non return valve and thermostatic mixer valve to main house.  Have reached temperatures of 65-70c.  At this stage I need to fit a radiator in summer house as temperatures keep rising.  On the whole I am well pleased with system, if I can do it, anyone can!  Tank used is Ariston 210 litre indirect unvented cylinder."

Note that Steven's underground pipe is covered in insulation, then the whole lot fitted inside plastic drain pipe, then buried in sand.  Ensure your combi boiler is suitable for use with pre-heated water when installing a system like this.


After he had had his solar thermal running for about 12 months, Steven sent us his gas bill, which he was particularly pleased with, and put down to his solar thermal system.


Steven later decided to install a pv array of 7 Sharp 180Wp panels, giving a total peak power output of 1.26kW.  Steven found the installation fairly straightforward, and saved money by making his own mounting system.  He did have a bit of a snag during the installation though, which is a good lesson for anyone fitting such a system.  Steven installed and tested the array, and found it to be giving the correct voltage, so he connected it to the inverter, which then immediately shut down.  After several telephone conversations with us, Steven returned the inverter as we all thought it was faulty.  When we tested it here however, it appeared to work fine.  The symptom was of reversed polarity, but we checked with Steven and he assured us the polarity was correct.  After much head scratching, it turned out that Steven's meter was faulty, as can be seen from the last picture with the meter connected to a battery charger.  The moral of this story is, don't take anything for granted!

Steven plans to move the solar thermal so that the pv array can be moved along the roof, as the two rightmost panels are partly shaded for part of the day.  Rather than reducing the array output by the fraction which is shaded, this has a much more severe effect on output.  Steven knew this before fitting his system, but had not noticed the shading problem.  Take note of this if you are planning a system, and look out for shading even from small things such as TV aerials.  If it is impossible to avoid, the problem can be reduced by splitting the array electrically, and using two or more smaller inverters.


Thanks for the information, Steven.


Send mail to SW@eco-nomical.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 05-06-09