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Active Solar Heating

Active Solar Heating is the term used to describe a solar heating system where energy is collected from the sun and then transferred to a storage medium or directly to the space being heated. Active solar heating systems consist of collectors, usually mounted on the roof, through which is passed a fluid (water or anti-freeze) or air.

Liquid-based active systems use what is know as a "hydronic" collector whilst air-based systems use an "air" collector. You can read an overview of active solar heating systems on our solar heating page.

Air-based Active Solar Heating Systems use air as the means of transferring heat from the solar collector to the point of use, which for air systems is usually room air heating. Whilst they have the advantage of producing heat both earlier and later in the day than liquid-based systems, they are not as efficient, so these pros and cons have to be weighed up in each active solar heating installation.

Liquid-based Active Solar Heating Systems use liquid as the means of transferring heat from the solar collector to the point of use, which will usually be a central heating system. The fluid is pumped through the collector and then either through a storage tank where it heats the water in the tank, or through a heat exchanger where the heat is immediately used.