For those looking to generate their own electricity using natural energy sources, the sun is the ultimate source of heat and light. Although it may not seem readily achievable, homeowners can take advantage of the sun’s free energy with a solar thermal system. These systems utilize solar energy to heat water which in turn is used for various purposes such as washing, cooking and maintaining a comfortable home environment.
Considerable time and investment are required to properly size and install a solar thermal system. As such, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits against the financial demands prior to making a purchase. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best solar thermal systems for your home, along with a few other options to consider.
Top 10 Budget-friendly Solar Thermal Systems
Although the cost of a solar thermal system is gradually declining thanks to mass production and innovation, it’s still a significant investment. And while it’s tempting to save money as much as possible, it’s also important to weigh the financial aspects of the proposal. For those looking to keep their wallets safe, it’s worth considering the solar thermal systems listed below.
1. SunSet® SOLAR ONE-COOLED Solar Thermal System
Weighing just 3.5 kg and measuring 28x28x56cm, the SunSet® SOLAR ONE-COOLED Solar Thermal System is a small, sleek and stylish addition to your home. As the name suggests, this system utilizes only one solar panel which reduces the possibility of overheating and causing damage to your property. The system is built on a roll-top frame with a detachable handle, which makes it ideal for carrying both manual and electrical chores. In addition, this model comes with a 5-year parts and labour warranty. One of the biggest draws of this system is its moderate price tag of £500 (~$750).
2. SunLite® SOLAR 4X4X6.5-KG Solar Thermal System
The SunLite® SOLAR 4X4X6.5-KG Solar Thermal System is an affordable yet reliable alternative to the SunSet® SOLAR ONE-COOLED model. Like its namesake, this system utilizes only four solar panels to generate electricity. In addition, this model is compatible with both manual and electrical tasks making it suitable for use in both countryside and urban environments. The SunLite® SOLAR 4X4X6.5-KG is also one of the few solar thermal systems that includes a standby mode which allows users to generate electricity even when the sun isn’t directly above the panel. This makes it ideal for countries with extended periods of overcast skies or where electricity is extraordinarily costly.
3. SunRun® SOLAR 6X6X10-KG Solar Thermal System
The SunRun® SOLAR 6X6X10-KG Solar Thermal System is a popular choice among home users who are seeking affordable and dependable energy generation. The system is based on the recycled design of the successful SunLite® SOLAR 4X4X6.5-KG model but with improved aesthetics and performance. This 6x6x10-kG system with a maximum output of 10 kilowatts can be used for various applications including powering electricity-consuming devices such as lights and appliances as well as providing enough energy to power a small room. The SunRun® SOLAR 6X6X10-KG is also one of the few solar thermal systems that are guaranteed to provide at least five years of reliable service. Similar to other solar thermal system models, this system is not compatible with all household chores but it’s ideal for powering small appliances and electronics devices.
4. Pelican® 20KG Portable Solar Panel
Portable solar power generators are perfect for those who move frequently or work outside the home. These power stations are lightweight and compact, fitting easily into a travel trailer or car. The Pelican® 20KG Portable Solar Panel is one of the most popular choices among users who require a portable power source due to its numerous advantages.
- Lightweight – weighing in at a mere 2.1 kg and measuring 23x22x10cm, the Pelican® is one of the lightest and most portable solar power generators available. That being said, it’s important to note that other portable solar power generators are smaller in size.
- Affordable – costing just £300 (~$450), this model is a great choice for homeowners who want to generate electricity at a moderate price point.
- Quality Control – this model is built to a high standard, using the best materials and components. As such, it’s suitable for powering home appliances and electronics devices as well as small farms and rural cabinets.
- Durable – due to its composition, the Pelican® solar panel is highly resistant to fading, scratching and damage from moisture and the extreme heat that is generated during exposure to the sun’s rays. The plastic used in its construction ensures that this product will stay looking brand-new for years to come.
5. SOLARWIN® Power System 500W
This option from Miele is ideal for users who require a solar thermal system that’s easy to install. The SOLARWIN® Power System 500W is a low profile unit designed to be discreet and unobtrusive when used within the home. This system can produce up to 500 watts of electricity to power small appliances such as hairdryers, kettles and room heaters. It’s suitable for both manual and electric use and has a maximum transmission rate of up to 100% that makes it suitable for use in any country. This product also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
6. Delta² 12V 1000W Solar Panel System
Delta² 12V 1000W Solar Panel System is a popular modular option with a capacity to power the average household. Weighing in at a suitable 6x7x13kg, this system from Delta is made up of 12 high-efficiency solar panels that are arranged in six unique and customizable configurations. This product is ideal for powering home appliances and electronics devices as well as small farms and rural cabinets. The Delta² 12V 1000W Solar Panel System is also one of the few solar thermal system models that is compatible with both manual and electrical tasks making it suitable for use in both countryside and urban environments. This product carries a 10-year parts and labour warranty.
7. Solstice® SOLAR 10KW Off-Grid
For those who need a solar thermal system that’s completely off-grid, weighing in at a suitable 10 kilowatts, the Solstice® SOLAR 10KW Off-Grid is the perfect option. This system is designed to be completely self-sufficient, being independent of the mains electricity supply. As a result, it needs to be installed either near a water source such as a lake, stream or ocean or in extreme climates where it gets dark at night and temperatures can drop well below freezing point.
8. Solstice® SOLAR 12KW Off-Grid
A twelve-kilowatt solar thermal system that’s completely off-grid is ideal for homeowners who live in remote and/or rural locations where mains electricity is not available. This product is a twelve-kilowatt version of the Solstice® SOLAR 10KW Off-Grid model and has a capacity to power the average home. Like the Solstice® SOLAR 10KW Off-Grid, the Solstice® SOLAR 12KW is constructed from thick, durable steel with an aluminum frame allowing for easy transport.