Build your own central heating systemA 3 step process: use our calculator to determine your heating needs, then select the components of your customised central heating system.
Solar energy is free, plus once installed requires next to no effort and the running costs are about the same as a light bulb. So what is the best system?
Have you been to a home show where they all claim theirs is the best. There are many types of flat plate and tube collectors with different absorber coatings, methods of manufacture & internal design, some with reflectors and some evacuated. All have their conversion efficiency tested and available but an efficiency over 70% is rare.
The two important things to consider with solar heating are:
The level that the suns energy arrives on the globes surface is dictated by latitude and atmospheric conditions only and in New Zealand is sufficient to meet most household hot water needs in summer but not winter. Here in New Zealand the suns energy is less than ¼ in winter than in summer.
Solar may easily be incorporated into a central heating system with the boiler only heating your hot water when the solar cannot keep up.
The clever people at NASA have calculated all this for us, have a look here for your exact insolation rates and whole lot more! http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/sse/grid.cgi?uid=3030 Bit of a scientists web site so here’s some summarized data here:
The figures are kWh per square meter per day
In Europe, evacuated tubes are recommended only where there may be over 30 frosts per year, otherwise flat panel collectors are the favoured option.