Specialist Installer of Solar Systems in Oxford and Surrounding Counties

Call us on: 01491 836065

or email enquiries@simssolar.co.uk

How it works

Solar thermal collectors work by adsorbing solar radiation and transferring this heat energy to a hot water cylinder through a series of heat exchangers.

There are essentially two types of solar collector available: flat panel and evacuated tube type. Evacuated tubes are generally regarded as more efficient over the course of a typical year (particularly during spring and autumn months), although many householders prefer the aesthetic look of flat panel collectors, especially when integrated into the roof.


Sims Solar offer both evacuated tube and flat panel solar panel packages for hot water heating. This allows us to provide a balanced view and identify the most appropriate system for your needs.

System design

Our systems are designed to complement existing hot water heating systems which use a store of hot water in a cylinder. If you have a combination (combi') type boiler, we can still offer a solution which offers you a saving in hot water supply, but a cylinder will be required to store the energy.

A typical domestic solar hot water installation requires either adapting or replacing the existing hot water cylinder (there needs to be a spare coil within the existing cylinder), as well as installation of a pump station, insulated pipe work, a control unit and the collectors themselves. Sims Solar can advise you on the suitability of your current hot water heating and what improvements could be achieved.

Solar collectors are ideally located on a south facing orientation, although they will work effectively in orientations from east through to west with only a nominal loss in efficiency.

Solar thermal orientations

A typical family home might expect to install a collector array of 20 tubes or two flat panels in combination with a 200 litre hot water cylinder. In terms of roof space, this would require approximately 4 m2 for installation purposes.

Solar Thermal systems have few moving parts, although periodic maintenance is required to check for leaks and ensure frost protection is still in place.

Installation of Solar Thermal Systems comprise the follow key steps:

  • Survey of property for suitability – not all properties are suitable
  • Quotation preparation – Providing full specification and cost
  • Structural assessment of roof – not all roofs are strong enough
  • Installation of solar thermal panels to roof
  • Installation of pump station and pipework
  • Replacement/upgrade to existing hot water cylinder
  • Notification of installation to regulatory bodies and building control
  • Preparation and supply of Handover Pack detailing the finished system

If the installation of a solar thermal system interests you and you would like to know more, please contact Paul by email at paul@simssolar.co.uk, by mobile on 07717 004240 or in the office on 01491 836065 for independent advice and a free, no obligation home assessment and quotation.


“Just wanted to say thank you for such a smooth and professional installation. Throughout the process I found you knowledgeable and trustworthy.”

Mr and Mrs W