Installing Solar Water Tanks

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The job of replacing two gravity fed water cylinders with two Vaillant solar ready unvented cylinders, shown on this page. Was done to improve the efficiency of an old and uneconomical system. The property featured is a converted barn with two independent water systems, hence the two cylinders.

The existing pipe run Planning the work

The existing pipe run

Planning the work

Old connections cylinder two Tools for the job

Old connections cylinder two

Tools for the job

The owner of the house decided to install solar water tanks, even though they did not yet have a solar panel. Solar tanks have two coils instead of just the one found in standard cylinders. In the solar cylinder one coil is heater by the boiler and one by the solar panel. In this installation both coils were connected to the boiler, which would have the affect of reducing the recovery time.

Preparing to remove old cylinders

Header tank for cylinder two Draining down cyliner one

Header tank for cylinder two

Draining down cyliner one

Immersion and water draw off Removing connections cylinder one

Immersion and water draw off

Removing connections cylinder one

When the solar panels are installed on the roof, it will be a simple task of disconnecting one of the coils from the boiler and connecting it to the solar installation. Water cylinders last for many years so it made sense in this instance to plan ahead and get the extra coil rather than have to replace the cylinders a second time. Now half the work required for a low-cost greener hot water supply has been done, the rest will follow soon.

Installing the new cylinders

Removing pipework close-up Removing pipework cylinder two

Removing pipework close-up

Removing pipework cylinder two

Connecting new cylinder two Making connections

Connecting new cylinder two

Making connections

Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to the roof. These collect energy from the sun which is then transferred to the water in the hot water cylinder. There are two types of solar water heating panels; evacuated tubes and flat plate collectors. A solar water heating system could raise the water in the hot tank from cold to about 30 degrees centigrade, when solar power is available. A conventional boiler or immersion heater is then used to increase the temperature of the water up to about 65 degrees. Not having to heat the water from cold reduces the amount of fuel used.

The benefits of solar water heating;
Works throughout the year, but requires a boiler or immersion as back-up in winter
Reduced hot water costs
Reduce carbon footprint

Making the final connections

Solder connections to cylinder one Solder work close-up

Solder connections to cylinder one

Solder work close-up

Cleaning the pipes New cylinder in place

Cleaning the pipes

New cylinder in place

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