The Benefits and Drawbacks of Evacuated Tube Solar Panels

April 10th, 2017

evacuated tube solar panels on roof

Evacuated tube solar energy panels are the most expensive but most efficient type of water heating solar panels. They have got a conversion rate of 90%, which means they create a lot more heat compared to other forms of solar thermal panels.

How do evacuated tube panels work?

An evacuated tube consists of a smaller glass tube which is kept in a larger tube. The air is normally pumped from the space between the inner tube and the exterior tube, which creates a vacuum insulation layer. This layer decreases heat loss from the solar collector.

The internal glass tube is covered with a selective light absorber, for example aluminum nitrate or titanium nitrate oxide. This helps increase the absorption of solar radiation. An absorber plate runs through the inner glass tube. Usually, this is made from copper, plus absorbs heat then exchanges this to a heat transfer liquid.

Once transfer liquid gets hot, this evaporates then turns to vapour, which rises towards the top of the panel and the heat is transferred using a heat exchanger to a different liquid. The cycle then begins once again after the transfer fluid condenses and drops down again the evacuated tube.

Given that evacuated pipe solar power panels are the priciest, you may be uncertain if they are best for you. Check out the benefits and drawbacks to help you decide.


You’ll produce much more heat when compared with other systems

Since the panels are up to 90% effective, you can create a lot more heat with evacuated tube systems compared to flat plate collectors. Though you may pay more initially, you can heat more warm water, so you’ll save more money.

You’ll save up to £60 per year on your gas expenses

If you have a gas heating system, you’ll save up to £60 every year on your home heating bill. Solar hot water is free to generate, so you will definitely notice the difference on your expenses within a few months.

Conserve 270kg CO2 compared with gas

Solar hot water panels are an easy way to cut your own personal carbon footprint. They generate heat from the sun, a renewable resource, so you will be doing your little bit to lessen the usage of non-renewable fuels plus reverse global warming.

Obtain warm water throughout every season

Despite Britain’s winters being cold, it is possible to still get some free hot water from your solar panels throughout the year.

Earn an average of £349 every year from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

If you get your system set up by anMCS-registered professional, you might be able to make money for generating heat with your solar system with the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). A 2m2 system, which is usually sufficient for a 2 person household, can earn you £200 per year from the RHI, whilst a 4m2 system will earn you up to £345.


You’ll need a back up heater

Throughout the winter season, you might not be capable of getting your warm water your desired temperature. This means you’ll need a back-up heating unit, which obviously will cost money in electricity or gas.

Solar heating panels are often compatible with combi boilers

Combi boilers provide instant hot water and don’t have a separate hot water tank. They’re not compatible with solar hot water systems, so if you want to get a solar system you will have to replace your boiler. This can bring up the price by about £1000.

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