Solar Thermal FAQs

What is solar thermal energy?

Solar thermal energy is solar energy converted into thermal energy.

How is it captured?

Generally it is captured using solar collectors installed on the roof of the house. Solar collectors can be installed on a flat roof or on the ground too. Solar collectors are efficient ways to trap the heat of the solar energy in a liquid, usually a mix of water and glycol. The thermal energy is then transferred into water to raise the water’s temperature. This heat medium is then pumped through a heat exchanger to heat up water hygienically and safely.

What is it used for?

On a commercial basis, solar thermal arrays can be used for large hot water systems, heating up swimming pools and industrial processes. For domestic installations, solar thermal collectors are usewd to provide upwards of 70% of the annual domestic hot water requirement.

What are the benefits of solar thermal technology

Solar thermal can provide the hot water requirements for most buildings throughout the summer because:

  • Solar thermal collectors are designed to produce DHW(domestic hot water) efficiently.
  • In most buildings only DHW is required during the summer months.

Solar thermal collectors provide a highly efficient source of heating energy, with zero carbon footprint and long life-time performance.

What are the benefits of combining biomass and solar thermal?

  • A solar thermal array allows you to give the biomass a summer holiday. This break extends its life expectancy through less wear and tear, and reduces fuel consumption.
  • The large buffer stores that are a requirement of biomass boiler installations are an excellent place to store heat once the domestic water cylinder is full. To do this you need a buffer store with a thermal coil.
  • The greater the available storage, the greater the thermal energy that can be stored and thus, the greater the solar fraction. The solar fraction is the percentage of solar thermal energy that is captured by the collectors and usefully applied within the heating and hot water system.
  • The net result of more buffer storage is a higher solar fraction which means the system saves money on other sources of heating e.g oil or wood pellets. This, in turn, increases the return on the investment from solar thermal.

Is it eligible for the RHI?

SOLARFOCUS solar thermal collectors are MCS-accredited and eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive.

Have a look at our commercial case studies to see how effective solar thermal collectors are.


Contact us for more Solar Thermal information


For further solar thermal renewable energy information, simply get in touch with our friendly team. Give us a call on 0118 984 1753 or input your details on our contact us page, and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

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