Solar thermal energy
Solar energy for hot water and heating
The sun provides us with enormous energy potential every day – 80 times as much as Germany’s primary energy consumption. This source of energy is virtually inexhaustible and will continue to be available for millions of years. On the other hand, fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil are limited. Future generations will no longer be able to rely on them so readily. As such, the sun is undoubtedly the energy of the future.
Heating water with solar energy
As the hot water requirements of a household remain relatively stable all year round, solar panels represent an affordable solution for heating water. Solar energy is better matched with energy requirements than with room heating. With an appropriately dimensioned system, you can cover 50% to 65% of your hot water requirements with solar energy annually. In the summer, you can usually cover all of your hot water requirements with solar energy, in which case your usual heating system can be turned off entirely. This is particularly beneficial, because the conventional system is used very little during this time.
How do thermal solar panels work?
The core of a thermal solar energy system is the collector. A flat collector, the most common type of collector, is made up of a selectively coated absorber, which serves to absorb the incoming radiation and convert it into heat. This absorber is embedded in an insulated box with transparent lid (usually glass) in order to minimise heat loss.
Solar energy system components for heating water:
- Solar controller
- Collector temperature sensor
- Tank temperature sensor
- Solar circuit circulating pump
- Cold water inlet valve
- Hot water outlet valve
- Expansion tank
- Auxiliary heating temperature sensor
- Charging circuit circulating pump
Conventional heating maintains the warm water supply via the charging circuit when the solar energy system delivers too little or no useful energy. Solar energy systems can be integrated into building technology systems with ease. As such, a modern thermal solar energy system, which exceeds the service life of a boiler by at least 20 years, ideally complements conventional heating technology.