Solar thermal panels are an excellent way of directly harvesting energy from the sun and putting it to good use to heat your domestic hot water, swimming pools and sometimes a portion of your central heating. As light falls on the collector panels the fluid inside (often glycol to avoid freezing) is heated and then circulated to a heat transfer coil in a tank or directly to a pool heat exchanger. The clever part of a solar thermal system is the control station which is linked to sensors in various places which determine when to run the pump and circulate the fluid. The pump only runs if it is worthwhile – or if the panels are hotter than the tank/heat exchanger. The two main types of solar thermal collectors are flat panels and evacuated tubes. At JKN we only supply flat panels as we believe that these provide a much more durable and longer lasting system. Evacuated tubes do work well but can be much more susceptible to damage and reduced performance (if the seal is broken on any of the tubes it is often not noticeable other than a drop in performance which can be overlooked). The NIBE solar controller allows for a variety of ways of controlling different systems. JKN Renewables can design, supply and install systems that will heat swimming pools and contribute to central heating but the most common by far is for simply warming water in your DHW cylinder.