So, you’re interested in saving money, doing your bit for the planet and harnessing some free energy? Solar panels are the most common and affordable form of alternative energy available in Ireland.
Solar Panels have a quick payback, are free of running costs and will greatly reduce your homes energy bills. Some people think the only benefit from solar panels is direct financial saving from the fuel saved.
Finances aside; it will reduce the carbon emissions from your home, will ensure you always have hot water on tap, will speed up dishwasher/washing machine cycles if they have a hot feed, as the appliances will use the available hot water and it will raise your BER which can only help matters when it comes to selling the house.
Don’t forget convenience also. It’s nice to always have hot water on tap when required!
What are the Benefits of a Solar System?
Here is a list of some of the benefits you get, when you install a solar system with us:
- Grant aid from SEAI – Grant of €1,200 from SEAI to assist with your solar thermal installation.
- Award winning installers – AEI won a prestigious award in 2016 for our installation of solar thermal onto Stormont Castle
- Reduced water heating costs – If you have a solar hot water system on your house, your water heating bills will be reduced by 70%. Think about this – If you have €5,000 in a savings account, it is probably earning you €120 per year in interest. This is also subject to DIRT tax. Install a solar system and it will save you 6 times this amount in fuel savings. Also, the fuel savings cannot be taxed!
- 10 year parts and labour warranty – This warranty on the solar panel guarantees you peace of mind for years to come. You will only get this extended warranty free of charge, if the system is installed by an accredited solar installer like us.
- Investment – To install a solar system, is a wise investment in your home. Here are some figures: A €6,000 investment in a solar system for your home of 4 or 5 people, should get a grant of €1,200 from SEAI. This brings the cost down to €4,800. This will give annual savings of €800 per year for your house. This equates to a payback of 6.9 years and an annual return on investment (R.O.I) of 14%. Try get 14% R.O.I elsewhere and you’ll find its very hard come by these days. Also, remember the savings are tax free and fuel bills will rise by 10% per year. If fuel bills rise by 10%, the payback becomes 10% faster!
- The latest vacuum tube technology – We only use the latest vacuum tube technology, manufactured using the latest manufacturing techniques, thus keeping us firmly at the forefront of solar advances. These panels are 20% more efficient when compared to flat plate panels. Even SEAI state that tube panels will far outperform flat panels. Get the latest and best technology for your investment.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels operate on the principal, that black surfaces attract heat from the sun. Just like the roof of a black car on a sunny day. The heat is generated in the solar panel, and must be transferred to the hot water cylinder, where it can be used. It is transferred from the panel, to the cylinder with the use of a small pump and insulated pipework.
The pumps we use are low noise and low energy consumption. The pipe comes already insulated from the factory. When the heat reaches the hot water cylinder, we send it through a heat exchanger inside the cylinder. This causes the water inside to heat up, without costing you any money.
There are two different types of solar panels on the market. Read below for info on these.
What type of solar panels should I choose?
There are two types of solar collectors available. Evacuated tube and flat plate panels.
Evacuated tube solar panels offer higher efficiencies as they have little or no heat loss. Evacuated tubes have benefits over flat plate panels that are desirable for the Irish climate. There is a never ending debate over which is better, which works best, which last longer, which looks better and so on…Simply put, evacuated tube solar panels out preform flat panels in cloudy or cooler climates. That’s the bit most people forget to add onto that statement. It’s important to understand it too. Flat plate panels have high thermal losses (they lose heat to the outside air). Evacuated tubes are like thermos flasks and don’t lose any heat. Also, because the tube is round, it always has the maximum possible area facing the sun. Evacuated tube panels are, on average 20% more efficient than flat plate panels in Ireland. Here is the proof.
Flat plate panels on the other hand, expose their full face area for a short period of time when the sun is directly overhead. This is because they are, as their name suggests, flat. So when the sun is overhead, they work well, but by 4pm in the afternoon when the sun is facing the side of the flat surface, it produce less energy. When comparing panels, make sure not to only compare “peak output” and to compare the output over the entire day. The two types of solar panels may take in the exact same amount of energy, but the flat panel will lose some of it’s energy to the air, before it’s able to transfer it to the water. On a sunny day, this doesn’t matter, as the panel will lose heat, but it will be replaced immediately by the sun. On an average Irish day, it really does matter as the air temperature might be 10c so the panel at 70 c will lose lots of heat to the outside air.
The south polar base station heats it water by solar panels, as flat plates don’t work well in cooler, less sunny climates. We installed solar panels for Siemens Diagnostics in Swords. These guys did their homework and decided on Kingspan Thermomax solar panels. NASA installed evacuated tubes a few years ago. The Pentagon, UCD, Siemens and St. James Hospital to name but a few, all have evacuated tubes installed on their premises. Those clients do their research and purchase the panels that will give them the best performance, without compromise. We actually installed the system for Siemens Ireland in 2011.