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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

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    We are looking to install thermal solar panels to our south facing roof. There is so much information to look at and we just need some basic honest advice on type/style and any other info that we may need. Can anyone help?:shamed:
    • CommentAuthorGaryB
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2013
    I have always found that the more expensive panels in general are more efficient. This also meens that the less efficient (usually flat panels) are cheaper. Swings and roundabouts then.

    If there are footballs in use or local kids about who might be inclined to throw things then I would always recommend flat panels for robustness.

    Most of the low energy houses I am involved in now use ASHP cylinders plus PV which gives lower overall annual energy use for DHW.
    Thanks Gary

    No problem with footballs or kids but upgrading our CH system this year, have wood burner and thermal store in mind, after reading this forum all afternoon general consensus is evacuated tubes with parobolic mirrors, any advice is welcome.
    • CommentAuthorMikel
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2013

    We are gong to install solar thermal panels on our SSE facing roof early in March. We went for the flat plate panels, because we have a large enough roof area and they worked out cheaper for the output required. Flat plate panels may also be more robust over the long term.

    Might be worth you looking into your available roof area and any shading problems, lifetime requirements for your system and ease of replacement. We did consider in-roof panels but decided against it on potential difficulties if a replacement was needed, as well as concerns about disturbing the roof.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2013
    As GaryB says the debate, flat panel and evac tubes goes on. Both work fine and IMO and its up to personal preference, you can find plusses and minuses on both sides. I fitted a simple 30 tube array together with a 180l stainless unvented cylinder and I'm totally impressed. I think it would be a good idea if building regs made them compulsory, at least on new builds. Think carefully about your location, e.g. latitude, and don't be afraid to slightly oversize the array, from the stated figures, good suppliers will guide you. This is in order to maximise winter sun. You'll not usually have a problem in summer. It does however mean you will have to have provision for Summer overheat, but that isnt a problem either just design it in from the start.
    Personally I favour the flat plate panels as they are far more robust (avoid plastic ones) than evacuated tubes. ET have a number of potential weak points and flat plate has a simple in and out connection. Stick to a European Manufacturer also, I come in contact with various manufactures and find that these are the most robust.
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