Unfortunately, in the UK there are a large number of systems that are not fit ‘for purpose’ or have not been installed to a standard that promotes reliability.

We are able to inspect and report on any design errors or installation faults. The report will then be complied with photographs, data logger analysis and expert opinion summarised.

Data Logging services

Certain advanced solar controllers are equipped with internal memory storage to enable analysis of system performance eg: Resol SL

If a suitable controller is not available a data logging module can be set up temporarily or permanently to record the performance of the system.

Data logged can either be read via an SD card or live results can be viewed on a website, using a communication module.

The data can then be displayed using graphical display software and the performance can easily be evaluated. 

Panel temperatures during a sunny day, showing good heat transfer to the cylinder
Cylinder temperatures rising during the day, water extracted in the afternoon and reheating to temperature.

Bespoke design services

Domestic 

Most domestic systems are designed following basic ‘rules of thumb’ based upon many years of experience. However, each system does have to be designed for the actual occupants and household needs. Factors such as occupancy, absence, water consumption, available roof area, inclination and orientation, available (water) storage capacities must all be considered. 

Using this information, we tailor a system to best suit the householders needs. 

Specialist systems and thermal stores

When a client is trying to maximise their renewable energy consumption and minimise fossil fuel use, we can help design systems with multiple energy inputs and varied heat outputs. 

We can advise on how to generate the maximum cost / benefit ratio based on the clients needs and available budget. 

Swimming Pools 

Both indoor and outdoor these are without doubt the best use of solar thermal and a well designed and installed system can significantly increase the year-round pool temperature which in turn increases the amount of time the pool is used whilst minimising energy costs. 

Commercial systems

These often have a varied hot water consumption throughout the weeks and seasons so a design that ensures that the maximum solar contribution can be achieved without overheating at time of high solar gain and low hot water consumption is critical. 

Polysun Solar Thermal Modelling software

We can run designs through our specialist software and then tweak the design to suit the exact building and occupants’ criteria. 

There are almost infinite changes that can be made in order to make sure that solar input is maximised, and fossil fuel input is minimised. 

Below is a sample report that was generated for a sports club. 

Sports club PDF report

Thermal Imaging (Solar Thermography)

Solar collectors (both PV and Thermal) should operate at a consistent temperature over the entire area of the collector. Using Thermal imaging cameras (photo) to analyse the surface temperatures a number of conclusions can be made including: 

  • Hot spots which could be due to cell failure on PV panels of faulty evacuated tubes or blocked flow paths on direct flow panels. 
  • Insulation may be missing or damaged that may not be obvious to the naked eye leading to heat loss and inefficiency. 
  • Individual collectors may not be working due to design or configuration faults. 

Below is an example of a collector that is functioning correctly: 

Thermal image of 2 x 30 tube Thermomax evacuated tube panels.
Thermal image of 2 x 30 tube Thermomax evacuated tube panels.
Photographic  image of 2 x 30 tube Thermomax evacuated tube panels.
Photographic image of 2 x 30 tube Thermomax evacuated tube panels.

Please contact us for more information on any of the above topics.