Integrated appraisal of a solar hot water system

S. R. Allen, G. P. Hammond, H. A. Harajli, M. C. McManus, A. B. Winnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (SciVal)


An ‘integrated appraisal’ of a solar hot water (SHW) system in the UK residential sector was carried out to assess its overall energetic, environmental and economic performance. The energy analysis indicates that when displacing a gas boiler, oil boiler, or electrical immersion heater, the SHW system would provide a net energy benefit for the majority of its estimated 25 year lifetime, thus enhancing energy security by reducing the use of, and dependence upon, conventional energy resources (mainly fossil fuels). A life cycle assessment was carried out to determine a range of environmental implications of installing and using the SHW system. It was shown that the use of aluminium has the greatest impact within the production of the system. During its use, the SHW provides the largest environmental externality benefits when displacing electricity. The economic assessment indicates that the SHW system is currently uncompetitive given the negative net present values of the various scenarios assessed. This outcome included the internalisation of the social costs of carbon. There are, however, future prospects for reduced capital costs that may significantly improve the economic performance of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1362
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Early online date16 Dec 2009
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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