While solar panels can provide free electricity for your home, not so well known is that they can also heat your water for free!

Any electricity that is generated by solar panels is used immediately within the home. However, if you are generating more electricity than you are using, which happens often (particularly if you are out during the day) then you have spare electricity which will go out to the grid if you don’t use it. One way to use it is to put it into a PowerBanx home battery for later; another very popular option is to use it to heat your hot water tank, and that’s what we’ll cover here.

If you have a hot water tank with an electric immersion heater then you can install a solar diverter. This will automatically monitor your grid connection to see if any solar power is leaving the property, and if so it will be diverted into your tank to heat up the water. This saves you the cost of heating it with grid electricity or with gas, effectively giving you free hot water.

Marlec Solar iBoost+ diverter (Image: Marlec)

Marlec Solar iBoost+ diverter (Image: Marlec)

Our most popular solar diverter is the Marlec iBoost+. It is installed in place of your immersion heater switch or timer and takes control of powering the heating element. It is set by default to heat the water whenever there is spare solar electricity – though of course it also has an override to heat the water immediately when you need that.

There are three parts to the system:

  1. The main Solar iBoost+ unit which is typically installed in the airing cupboard next to the immersion.
  2. A ‘clamp’ which is fitted near the electricity meter. This is wireless and sends back a signal to say when there’s spare solar.
  3. An optional iBoost+ Buddy display which you can have in the kitchen to control the iBoost and monitor your electricity savings.

The general arrangement is shown here:

iBoost - How it Works (Image: Marlec)

iBoost – How it Works (Image: Marlec)

We can provide an iBoost solar diverter for £378 fully installed including VAT as part of a larger solar installation. The optional Buddy is an extra £99.

Do get in touch if you are interested in the iBoost’s capabilities or have any questions.