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Solar Thermal Heating Case Studies

Below are a selection of case studies of people that have had solar thermal heating systems installed, see what they have to say about it.

Family– Jamie and Deb Darby and their three young children

Property– 4 bedroom detached, mock tudor house, built in

the early 1900s

No. of bathrooms– 1 family bathroom, 1 en-suite,  downstairs WC

Installation– 2 Greenskies solar panels, a Greenskies twin coil hot water cylinder and a Greenstar gas-fired condensing system boiler

Installation time– two weeks in total (allowing for a possible extension in the future)


Jamie and Deb moved in to their house in November 2006 and inherited an old, inefficient gas-fired boiler. With three young children to look after as well as pets, it was essential to have instant hot water and a reliable heating system which didn’t cost the earth to run. Since moving in, Jamie and Deb have carried out major refurbishment on the property but the heating system was one thing that really did need replacing. The couple plan on building an extension in the future so wanted to make sure that the heating system would be able to cope with additional

rooms without meaning a further investment or significantly increased fuel bills. This will also include under floor heating. After discussing with their local installer, the couple decided to install a new Worcester Greenstar gas-fired boiler which is SEDBUK ‘A’ rated for efficiency, combined with a large twin coiled hot water cylinder and Greenskies solar panels.


The installation took about two weeks to complete as the cumbersome old boiler was removed and the new Worcester Greenstar 40CDi boiler was installed. The two solar panels were fixed to the roof and connected to the twin coil hot water cylinder and boiler. The boiler and hot water cylinder were installed in the loft, freeing up space in the cellar, where the previous boiler was housed. The cylinder is slightly larger than would ordinarily be installed to ensure that when the Darbys build their extension, there will be adequate hot water to meet their needs.


The Greenskies solar water heating system now supplies the majority of the home’s hot water. Jamie said: "When the system was first installed, we had a full tank of hot water instantly. There is a really handy control panel which tells us what the temperature of the water in the tank is – we now know that if it’s 43 degrees or more, we have enough for a hot bath as well as the washing up.” “It’s still quite a novelty and we are delighted that we no longer rely so heavily on gas for our heating and hot water – our friends and family have been really impressed with the system”.

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