Solar water heating systems field trial

Here comes the sun: a field trial of solar water heating systems by the Energy Saving Trust

Our solar water heating field trial,  Here Comes the Sun, is the most wide ranging monitoring exercise of solar water heating technology and customer feedback undertaken to date in the UK. Over 12 months the trial monitored the performance of 90 installations in UK homes.

We have worked with technical experts in policymaking, academia, and industry to develop  peer-reviewed methodologies to monitor the in-situ performance of solar thermal systems.

The trial was undertaken with funding and support from DECC, the Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government, the UK’s energy suppliers, Sustainable Energy Ireland, and a number of academic partners


Field trial outcomes

The trials identified water volume, insulation and required heat levels as the main factors affecting domestic solar water thermal heating performance. Correctly installed and used solar water heating technology was found to generate up to 60 percent of a household’s hot water while incorrectly installed or used solar water heating technology may generate as low as 9 percent.

From the report’s findings we called for a thorough review of industry guidelines and standards to ensure that all issues uncovered in the trial are fully addressed and householders interested in solar water heating can achieve the greatest possible gains from their investment.

Our report's findings has helped to inform  our advice for consumers and allowed us to develop consumer  guidance for people considering installing a solar water heating system.


Further reading

Read about our other reports and pioneering research  here.


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