Over the Easter weekend Chris and I have been helping install my parents new solar water heating panels. We already have a nice shiney set of photovoltaics (the true electricity-producing 'solar panels') which produce about 5 kWh in the summer, but in a further attempt to reduce our carbon footprint (and enchance my step fathers PhD research) we've invested in these new panels to generate all the hotwater needed in summer to remove the need for burning the boiler (which itself generates electricity).
On Good Friday we raised the panel onto the roof and then today have been preparing the piping to connect it into the water tank. Before it's conected the panel is kept under cover (hence the brown cardboard) to prevent it over heating while it's dry. When it's connected up with water flowing it will be generating hot water whenever the sun is out as there is a tiny solar powered pump to drive the system - how neat.
Our panels are pretty damn cool and are made by Solar Twin. Check out their website and why not pick yourself out a panel for your house.
solar panels, photovoltaics, solar water heating panels, Solar Twin