Hello, sorry for not doing a blog recently, but to be honest, we've not go much to say! We're still here, still beavering away installing, repairing and servicing solar thermal systems. We've been doing this for over 10 years now, and Kai has seen everything to do with solar thermal, like we say on our Repairs page, 'if we can't mend it, no one can" Kai has gained so much experience over the last decade.
Although most of our work is local to us in the East Midlands - Leicestershire, Northants, Derbys, Notts, etc. We have been getting calls as far away as Wales, Hull and London, simply because there are so few specialised solar thermal experts in the country.
So we're still at it, working hard and sweating away in lofts and roofs (who needs the gym?!), give us a call if you need anything (obviously solar related - not just if you want someone to make you a cup of tea!)
Have a great summer.
We've been very busy recently, Kai has been carrying out a lot of repairs (not to our systems obviously, but to systems installed by other companies!) and I have been beavering away in the office, working on our new website amongst other things, well someone has to keep up to date with facebook ;-)
So the new website is now up and running, we hope it looks a bit more professional, but that we still come across as the small, friendly company that we are - 'big enough to cope, small enough to care' and all that!
We are going to start sending out occasional newsletters - only 3 or 4 a year, so if you'd like to be kept up to date with what's going on in our solar thermal world, please fill in the form on our home page and we'll add you to the mailing list.
Enjoy the autumn sunshine.
When you have solar heating installed, there are a few details which if not carried will stop your system working properly.
The number one most common complaint we see in systems badly installed (not by us!) are airlocked systems.
In most other areas of plumbing, it is a given that any high points in the system will have air vents, so that when the system is filled up, the plumber will go to the air vents and vent the system - getting all the air out.
So why not do the same with solar thermal? Well thats what most plumbers and even some suppliers recommend - an air vent at the highest point of the system eg the top of the solar panels on the roof. Problems solved?!
Firstly, if you use a normal plumbing air vent, it will be melt (thats right, melt!) when the system stagnates for the first time. Even solar rated air vents cannot withstand some tube collector stagnattion temperatures (up to 300C).
Secondly, even if you use the correct high temp air vent, and the plumber can get back to the top of the collector to vent the system during commisioning (i.e. the scaffolding is still up and the panel is not hot), you will still not get all the air out. The problems lies in the type of fluid in the system: Propelene Glycol mixed with water. This is a more viscous fluid and abosrbs air readily. This means that even after a week of normal running, you will still have air in the system, that is is slowly comming out of the fluid. This will build up and lead to either noisy opertion and poor heat transfer or even airlocking.
The solution? Use an experienced, well trained and qualified solar heating engineer. Who has the correct equipment for the job. The clue is in the picture....
So far in 2013 we have found 26 systems with air locking problems, most were installed less than three years ago and many by big nationwide companies.
We are very proud to have been shortlisted for Solar Thermal Installer of the year by Energy Efficiency & Renewables Exhibitions. Winners are announced in September. Fingers crossed!
Thanks to huge pressure from the industry, the Government has finally increased the RHI Premium Payment (effectviely just a grant incentive) to £600.
This makes solar thermal more attractive for the householder, with a typcial system for 1-2 people costing from £2500 (excluding the grant).
And in even better news for the solar heating installers, the solar PV panel prices will be returning to normal after the EU has imposed a levy on Chinese imported panels, which were being sold in the EU at artficially low prices.