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Costs of Solar Heating Systems

When calculating the cost of solar heating systems, the technological components (collectors, mounting, storage tank, regulator, expansion vessel, fluid) as well as the installation are all to be considered. From these costs allowances from public promotional programs can be taken. Because the “solar packets” available from various manufacturers do not include the installation costs, it is recommended that one gets a quote from the company installing the system. Solar heating systems are easier to calculate for newly built or renovated roofs and/or heating systems than for retroactive installations. Therefore, space should be left for pipe installation and enough space in either the attic or basement should be left available for other components of a solar heating system in any new building. It is also worth mentioning that the associated installation expenses are higher for solar heating systems than for photovoltaic systems.

When deciding between flat-plate collectors (starting at about 350 €/ m²) and tube collectors (starting at 700 €/ m²), it is the orientation rather than the costs that matters. The different efficiency rates balance out any cost differences in most cases. The above-mentioned “solar packets” for self-installation cost between 3,000 € (with a 300-liter tank) and 10.000 € (with a 1,000 liter tank).

With solar heating systems it is difficult to calculate the efficiency exactly. The normal simulation programs quote the solar coverage of heating demand anywhere from about 20 to 70 %, depending on layout and design. This makes it possible to calculate the savings, which depends on the heat efficiency of the combustible material that had been used. Current prices of combustible materials does not make it possible to make a financial profit with such an investment, but the value of the building is increased, the environment is protected, and one gets a feeling of satisfaction.

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