Solar thermal panels are at their most efficient when they’re installed with a dedicated solar cylinder. Not only do these advanced hot water cylinders save space in your home and avoid the cost of paying for a second cylinder, they also help to minimise heat loss from the hot water system.
Twin-coil solar cylinder
Dedicated solar cylinders have two heat exchanger coils: the coil at the top delivers heat from the heat pump, and the coil at the bottom connects to the solar collectors. When the solar thermal coils introduce the warmed water expands and rises above the surrounding cold water. This is due to the phenomenon known as thermal stratification, and it means the heat pump will only ever be heating pre-warmed water that’s risen from the solar thermal coils.
Another way of looking at it is this twin-coil configuration effectively uses the solar thermal system as the primary heat source – the heat pump will only ever need to bring the tank up to temperature should the solar water heating system fail to meet 100% of your hot water needs.
Another benefit to having a twin coiled solar cylinder is that it serves as a safety measure for the solar thermal system. Should the solar collectors on your roof begin to overheat, the Solar Dedicated Volume (the body of water below the heat pump’s coil) acts as a heat dump. This also ensures no free hot water production is wasted.
Can I keep my existing hot water cylinder?
It is possible to add a second dedicated solar cylinder to your existing hot water cylinder. However, it’s usually more cost-effective to replace your existing hot water cylinder for a newer twin coil solar cylinder. This will also save space inside your utility cupboard.
What we do
As a part of our renewable energy systems proposals, we will specify the make and model of solar cylinder that complements your renewable energy system. We accurately size your annual hot water demand, ensuring your hot water reserves aren’t oversized, whilst still meeting 100% of your needs all year round. Click here to find out more about what we do as solar thermal panel installers. You can also request a quote with a performance estimate by filling out our contact form.