I thought it was time to report back on the performance of the solar thermal system we installed back in July. From the get-go, it has produced hot water, to the point we were able to turn off the immersion heater entirely until late October. If anything, it was a bit too good during August, and on a couple of days we had to run off some hot water as the temperature was rather high.
It has become part of our routine during the winter months to check the readout on the controller, which has saved us from heating the water unnecessarily. We did have a period during mid-December and mid-January where I noticed a drop-off in performance when the sun was shining in the middle of the day. It turned out to be a tree shielding the panel from the low sun at that time of year. The tree has since had a haircut.
Currently, on a sunny day in February, the panel on the roof will hit 55C, which is enough to give us a good quantity of usable hot water. For this time of year I think that is pretty good.
In all, I am extremely pleased with the performance of the system, and when used in tandem with our new air-to-air heat pump for space heating, we have saved over £800 in electricity since August.
Thanks for all your help at the start, much appreciated.