solar hot water and heating systems

To ensure that your solar energy system is sized and configured for maximum efficiency, you need to calculate your hot water and space heating requirements. The resulting energy requirements determine what size the solar collector array and storage cylinder must be to achieve the required system performance.

New buildings can be designed to accommodate a solar energy system. It is very important to consider the factors relating to the solar energy system during the building design phase, i.e. space required on the roof and in the installation room, the orientation of the building and the angle of inclination of the roof.

The surface area of the required collector array depends on what the system is being used for.

The most common uses of a solar hot energy system are to supply hot water, provide auxiliary space heating and to heat swimming pools. To ensure that the solar energy system is designed for maximum effect and use the values used in the configuration for the daily hot water and space/swimming pool heating requirements should be as precise as possible.

Variables And Configuration

In the US, the global radiation varies between 1200 and 2500 kWH/m2 depending on location. Solar radiation is also subject to extreme fluctuations with around two thirds energy supply occurring between April and September.

Percentage Solar Contribution
This is calculated as a percentage of the proportion of your total energy requirements met through the use of solar energy. You can reasonably expect to meet between 50-60% of your hot water requirements using solar energy.

Orientation (azimuth angle)
The orientation of the roof is described using the azimuth angle, which is the angle of the roof surface measured from due south. The ideal roof orientation for solar installations is due south. If your roof faces in other directions you can achieve the same percentage solar contribution by enlarging the collector array.

Angle of inclination

This is the angle of the tilted collector measured against the horizontal. It is determined by the pitch of the roof or the bracket used in flat roof installations. The ideal angle is between 40-60 degrees depending on the type of use. The steeper the angle the greater the solar yield in winter and in the transition seasons of spring and autumn.

Hot water requirements (l/d)

The most important factor is the determination of the hot water requirement. Try to be as accurate as possible, but as a guide you can assume that a value of 30-50 litres per person per day (in houses or two-apartment buildings) as a rough estimate.

Space heating requirements in kW

The space heating requirements are calculated using the specific heat requirement in W/m2 and the living area to be heated in m2. The better the building is insulted the lower this value will be. When solar energy systems are used for auxiliary space heating, the heating requirements of the building and the required percentage solar contribution determine how big the solar collector surface area will be.

Shade You should avoid installing the collectors on shaded areas of the roof. Always position the collectors at a sufficient distance from windows, chimneys, roof projections etc.

Collector array in m2 abr
The size of the collector array is determined by various factors, the type of use and the required percentage solar contribution. The area on which the collectors are to be installed should not be to large.

Storage cylinder size in L
The size and type of storage cylinder depends on the type of use. To ensure maximum efficiency the cylinder size must correspond to the size of the solar collector array (guide value: 50 – 60 l per m2 collector surface area).

The dimensions of the supply and return pipes are calculated according to the required number of collectors and the necessary pipe length. All pipework must be insulated to minimise heat loss.

System Volume in l
The system volume comprises the volume of the collector array, the solar heat exchanger in the storage cylinder, the piping and the solar station plus a default value for the membrane pressure expansion vessel.

Why you should choose Shuco Solar Thermal Systems
When choosing a suitable solar energy system, the main points to consider are the type of use, your energy requirements, the orientation and angle of the collectors and the location of the system. You also need to establish how many ShucoSol collectors you need, which storage cylinder is the most suitable and the other system components as required. For the most common uses, Shuco has put together complete solar thermal packages containing fully compatible system components. Depending on the number of collectors you require, the collectors can be connected in SERIES or PARALLEL.

As a rule of, systems for supplying hot water are configured to yield a percentage solar contribution of 50-60%. To estimate the size of the system you can use the following values as a guide:

  • Collector surface area: 1.0 – 1.3m2 / person
  • Storage cylinder size: 50 – 60 l/m2 collector surface area

If you’re looking for high quality Solar hot water heating systems then both the Shueco Compact and Premium packages provide all you need to produce hot water heated by solar power. The systems are designed for quality and longevity, to guarantee you free heat for many years ahead, thereby saving you approximately 60% of the energy normally required for hot water.


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