5. Solar space (air) heating
There are applications where the sun’s energy can be used however the water piping is replaced by air passages and ducting. The heated air is pumped into the area to be heated, either directly into a room or into appropriate radiators. These systems are very cost effective, and work very effectively in the winter periods. Electronic control systems are again needed to ensure correct and safe performance.
6. Solar energy storage systems
If included in the house design, it is possible to build in an area where quantities of suitable high thermal mass rocks (or pebbles) can be fitted. The hot air from the roof collectors is directed into the base of this pebble storage which heats and charges. With suitable ducting, this heat can later be transferred into the area needing warmth.
In addition, there is the option of using both solar air and water heating principles with the rocks being replaced by concrete floors, for underfloor heating instead of using more costly electric floor heating elements.