The Content Of The Article:

Thermal solar collectors allow a liquid to heat up in the sun before diffusing the heat generated in the house via the heating network.

Heating yourself with solar energy

It is possible to cover between 50 and 70% of your domestic hot water needs (100% in summer) thanks to solar thermal panels. During the worst periods (the coldest and the least sunny), you will have to resort to another source of energy.

The sensors consist of a network of black tubes in which circulates a coolant (water + antifreeze). When it is hot, the liquid is transported to a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to the domestic hot water or heating network. Once cooled, the liquid returns to the panels to be reheated. A booster boiler using other energy is needed to take over or supplement.

Heating: solar thermal energy: solar

Characteristics of solar thermal energy

Hot waterYes
Connection to a networkNo
Need additionalYes
Cost of installation

Heating: solar thermal energy: solar

Cost of operation and maintenance

Heating: solar thermal energy: energy

Tax credit *50%

(*under conditions)

The arrangement of solar collectors

If your roof can not receive solar collectors (bad orientation, shade of trees, weight problem, etc.), you can lay them on the ground in your field. A metal frame allows to tilt them properly.
In order to benefit from optimal lighting conditions and to produce the maximum amount of electricity, the solar panels must be facing south, respecting an angle of 30° to 35°. If your roof does not exactly meet these conditions, the efficiency of your installation may be less. The following table shows the loss of efficiency and the correction factor to apply to the surface of the panels.

Correction factor for solar collectors

Zero inclination. Solar panel horizontally

Tilt 30 degrees with the ground. Solar panel forming an acute angle with the support, good efficiency to capture the solar energy in the South

Inclination 60 degrees with the ground. Solar panel forming an obtuse angle with the support. Poor efficiency in capturing solar energy in northern regions

Tilt 90 degrees with the ground. Solar panel vertically. Very poor efficiency to capture solar energy. To avoid whatever the region.

South East0,931,000,910,66
South West0,930,960,880,66
Where is0,930,900,780,55

Optimal position of the panels.
Position to avoid if it is not imposed by an architectural integration.

What area of ​​solar collectors to predict?

Hot water

To produce the necessary domestic hot water for a family of four, it is necessary to install:
• 2m² of sensors in the southern regions (below Montélimar).
• 6m² in the northern regions (above Paris).


To heat a house with solar energy, count 1m ² of sensor for 8 to 10m ² of floor. But again, an extra boiler will be needed for the less sunny months.


To produce 3000kWh, which corresponds to the average consumption of a French household, it is necessary to provide:
• 17m² of panels in the South (an installation of 2.1kWc).
• 30m² of panels in the North (an installation of 3.75kWc).

Video Instruction: Does solar thermal work in very cold temperatures? There is heat in light!