A Solar Storm in a teacup.

Apparently my website www.SolarKent.co.uk is being taken to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) for .. well I’m not really sure as I don’t actually sell anything. 

While the whole, very strange comment from Barry at SolarTwin is here: http://bit.ly/gNcg3P  what it seems to be saying is that anybody who isn’t SolarTwin is misleading the public when they claim to offer free hot water from the sun, the premise being that as solartwin has a small photovoltaic panel that drives a circulating pump, then only they can claim to offer free solar hot water.

Oh dear! 

But if Solartwin is saying that their solar hot water is free while most other’s isn’t, perhaps Solartwin might identify what they actually mean?

I have solar hotwater and am very happy with it.  I prefer to

 regard it as paid for in advance, basically I have paid for a job lot of solar hot water when I had my panels installed, as with all installations it cost some thousands of pounds and certainly wasn’t free. But that’s the case with all solar systems. Once I have received my job lot of hot water its then free!

Other ways of looking at it are to simply wipe of the cost of the installation and then for parts of the year treat it as free or consider the savings on the alternative to using solar.  Personally I have no problem with the promotion of solar hot water as free, isn’t it?

As to SolarTwin’s statement that because there is a mains powered pump that uses paid for electricity the hot water is no longer free,  again, oh dear, should the Solar Industry collectively hold its head in shame?   Can ST solely claim this accolade of free hot water?

I have to wonder whether users of SolarTwin’s systems have some special dispensation from the water utility? Perhaps they have missed something here, water isn’t free, therefore hot water isn’t free!

Then using my approach of considering the payment for the solar system as an advance payment for hot water, if I was to buy a SolarTwin system then I would be purchasing a small solar PV unit instead of mains electricity, so also by their argument, not just the fact that water is charged for, their hot water is equally not free!

Is solar hot water free? Of course it is! Arguing about whether to include the cost of pumping, all or part of the solar hot water system, whatever, is so silly that it is a waste of anybody’s time. 

In my opinion – apart from selling the systems – there is only one matter that legitimate solar businesses should get concerned about within the industry and that is solar energy systems that are sold by aggressive high pressure sales-staff at prices far in excess of their worth to vulnerable people!

An example of solar PV embedded in a panel alargely for solar water heating can be seen below, this is taken from the www.solaruk.com website and shows a large scale system.

Solar water heating with embeded solar PV

The image shows a tracking array of solar vacuum tubes with the addition of a Solar Photovoltaic panel covering the solar thermal system's manifold, otherwise unused for direct energy collection.

Solar systems can be compared on this page: http://www.solarkent.co.uk/solar-water-heating/comparison.asp I don’t have direct access to current pricing so this might be out of date, however I expect the differential to be similar.  It looks like you pay a lot more for “freer” hot water from Solartwin than from others that they say are less free.

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