Evacuated tube solar collector

Someone told me last week that they wouldn’t have solar water heating because ‘It doesn’t work in Northern Ireland’. Funny that, I said, because every time the sun comes out it heats our water to 40 degrees, at least. Oh and it charges enough batteries to keep our lights on for a month. You do need to make sure it is installed on a good south facing roof though, or you won’t see the benefit.
The only problem with solar is that if you want to grid connect, to get paid for your surplus, or want to take advantage of the government schemes for installation, you have to pay an MCS contractor an exorbitant sum for the privilege, as well as their extravagant markup on the panels.
Being off grid, and on a budget meant we went for the DIY option, for both solar thermal and PV systems. The panel above was £450, works a treat, and took a day to plumb in. It heats water for 2 adults and a little person, and supplements our third solar based system, namely the woodburner, which is simply running on the ultimate form of solar battery, the tree, which grows 50 yards away from our house in coppice woodland.

Monocrystalline solar pv panels
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