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Can Solar Panels Run a Heat Pump? How Does It Work?

Views:43     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-09-01      Origin:Site

The increased availability and popularity of renewable energy sources enable homeowners to install a proper and cost-efficient home heating system. A few decades ago, achieving excellent heating was puzzling, and maintaining a comfortable temperature was not easy at all. Thanks to the advanced technology of solar panels that are now combined with heat pumps for heating purposes. 

Solar panels are great devices that can run a heat pump to help reduce your heat pump energy bills. It absorbs energy from the sun and converts it into an electrical current that is used by the pump. The current is naturally produced thus covers most of your heat pump electric expenses. 

It's a perfect combination that offers free heating forever! And since the electric heat pump needs electricity to run, installing the solar panel is critically important. 


Can-Solar-Panels-Run-a-Heat-Pump

 

Integrating solar panels and heat pumps.

It makes sense to be more energy independent. Solar energy provides the most efficient method to generate electricity. It trims your household budget and saves fossil fuel resources. However, a few factors affect the solar panel, such as tilt angle, efficiency, irradiance, and orientation.

Normally, you can easily optimize efficiency and orientation based on the roof design, but irradiance is beyond control since it will depend on where you live. The amount of sunshine you get will depend on which state you are in.

 

Solar panels come in different sizes depending on manufacturers. However, they are bigger than you think. When installed on the roof of your horse, they appear relatively small, but every panel is about 1.6 meters tall and has a width of one meter. The thickness is around 40mm. Note that the panels should have a large surface area to ensure they absorb as much sunlight as possible. 

 

As earlier said, the solar panel gets energy from the sun to help generate electricity that directly heats the air or water. The process of integrating your solar panel with an electric heat pump is known as a solar-assisted heat pump system. Your thermal solar panel will now act as the main source of heat that feeds your heating system. 

 

Factors to consider in a solar panel. 

Technically speaking, most people can use solar panels to power virtually all kinds of electric appliances at home, from the washing machine, oven, refrigerator, TV, and much more. But mostly, it's an essential device to power the heat pump. 

However, you don't just purchase a solar panel and stick it on the roof. You must understand the amount of electricity that a solar panel can generate to help with the heating unit. Here are the main factors to consider:

  • Size of your solar panel.

  • The efficiency of the solar cells.

  • The peak sun hours in your location

The solar panel should always be placed at an angle and facing a certain direction to ensure it absorbs a lot of sunshine. For instance, it should often face south at an angle of 32 degrees. This way, it leaves them in the most efficient way to produce sufficient energy. 

Keep in mind that running a heat pump heating system with solar panels will ensure that you meet your heating needs and in an environmentally friendly way. Depending on the size of your solar array, it can produce huge amounts of electricity that you might require to operate the heating device. It can generate the electricity you would require over a year, but it might be hard during nighttime.

 

Factors to consider in a heat pump.

For years now, the heat pump has been in existence. Unfortunately, the implementations are not yet to perfection. A legit solar heat pump should use the thermal collectors to fetch the sun's energy and not use the electric panels to harvest power that they store in energy storage devices or batteries. 

Before the integration, you should also know the amount of power needed to run your heat pumps. Since they are an integral part of your home, they require electricity to work. Therefore, there are a few determinants that you should consider:

  • The local seasonality and climate.

  • Condition of the insulation and ductwork.

  • The size and condition of your home.

  • How to use your heat pump.

  • The type and brand of a heat pump.

 

After the integration, the heat pump transfers the thermal energy using very little input from the external power. Generally, it could generate about 400 % more cooling or heating energy than the input energy needed to run it.

Note that running your heat pumps on solar power will ensure your home is toasty warm even during the winter season. And during the hottest days, they tend to give you a very comfortable and cool temperature at your home. The main point is, compared to other ways of cooling and heating, the electric current needed to run the heating system is highly reduced and very efficient, thus making the solar panels interesting! 

For this reason, many people are embracing an environmental sustainability stand, thus jumping into the new wave of solar panels and heat pumps to provide heat to their homes.

 

Take away

Let's sum it up! Combining a heat pump and solar allows consumers to lower energy consumption in high-demand seasons like winter. More so, you tend to avoid depending on the utility organizations, and your major goal is to use eco-friendly resources at the end of the day!

If you are looking to install a heating system and prefer solar panels as the main energy source, you should seek a skilled and professional engineer to inspect your home. 

They are in a better position to advise on how to make a home more efficient by probably installing additional insulation, double glazing, and much more. With that done, you will need less electricity to power your pump and replace the lost heat. While at it, they tell you where to place the heat pump and how many panels you will require to provide enough current. 

Keep in mind that it's worthwhile getting expert advice to ensure the project execution is smooth.


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