Thermatwin maximises solar technologies to heat water for freeDiscrete Heat has introduced ThermaTwin solar panels that use both solar PV and solar thermal technology to produce a self-contained heating system providing up to 70% of domestic hot water throughout the year. The design cleverly encompasses a small solar PV panel to generate electricity required to run the pumps and controls, therefore allowing the entire system to operate off-grid’.

As energy prices continuously rise solar power offers a cost effective alternative to traditional hot water systems and ThermaTwin’s competitive pricing and zero cost running further boosts savings for homeowners. The easy installation and lower than usual maintenance requirements make ThermaTwin suitable for a wide range of property types and lifestyles, while being Solar Key Marked makes it eligible for domestic RHI, GreenDeal RHI and SEAI grants (in Ireland).

As with other solar thermal systems, ThermaTwin absorbs UV rays that in turn heat the water tubes within the panels providing a hot water supply to the house. However ThermaTwin features an onboard solar photo voltaic (PV) panel that generates the electricity required to run the pump and controls, maximising total energy available to operate completely ‘off-grid’ and therefore supplying ‘free’ hot water as well as significantly reducing the carbon output to nearly zero.

A robust twin-walled polycarbonate window is hail, football and vandal resistant, ensuring the systems reliability while the ingenious lightweight construction keeps the total panel under 30kg therefore keeping the loading to the roof structure to a minimum.

The system is virtually maintenance free as it doesn’t use glycol or anti-freeze, which normally requires an annual level check and replacement every five years. The collector uses a patented system of flexible tubes that are ‘freeze tolerant’ enabling water to be supplied directly from the property’s mains supply. With no need for drain back or complicated controls and by using pure water rather than a water/anti-freeze solution which allows more energy to be absorbed, it in turn makes the solar panels more energy efficient.

ThermaTwin’s simple installation makes it an ideal retrofit to the millions of homes running a non-pressurised system and header tank as no heat exchanger is required. Versions are available suitable for fitting to pressurised systems. Heat energy is generated during the day and is most effective when there is full sunshine but ThermaTwin will continue to contribute to the hot water throughout the year, even on cold days.