We are very much about reducing the environmental impact of our home. Solar is a good start but is just one piece of the puzzle. When it is used in conjunction with other energy-saving systems, it becomes a major part of the equation.
Luckily, there are a lot of government incentives to set up solar panels and you can even DIY it to save even more money which you can find out here now.
A heat pump is a fantastic way to use a lot less energy heating and cooling your home. But, people are wondering if they can use solar with a heat pump to essentially do it for free. In this article, we will go over how solar energy and a heat pump can work together.
What is a heat pump?
You are probably already familiar with a heat pump without even realizing it. Your refrigerator acts as a heat pump in a way. Like a fridge, a heat pump transfers heat from one area to another. In the case of a fridge, heat is removed from the inside and distributed to the air outside. This is why the coil on the backside of a fridge is hot.
A heat pump does the same thing in principle. It removes the heat from the outside of the home and pumps it inside. There is a compressor in the heat pump that then uses pressure to increase the heat of the air is brought in from outside.
That heat is used to heat up water that gets pumped around the house to radiators. In many cases these days, the water is pumped under the floor in coils to provide even and efficient radiant heat.
How does it work with solar?
In theory, a solar panel system can run any appliance in the home no matter how many watts it uses or amps it pulls. The only barrier to powering a home full of high-demand devices is the size and how many panels there are.
For the average house with an average solar panel, it will depend on how much heavy lifting your heat pump needs to do. The reason being is that heat pumps work best in areas where it doesn’t get too cold outside and there isn’t much heat required to make it comfortable inside.
In an area where the average low temperature is over 40°F then you won’t need too many kWh to manage. A 5 kW solar system will likely be a little too weak for power so something closer to 7 or 8 will get the job done.
Is it worth it?
For some people, it is very much worth it to use solar to run a heat pump since they end up with free home heating. However, it does take special circumstances. The winters also need to be sunny in your area to be able to work enough to keep the pump running. Cloudy areas will need to use a combination of grid power and solar.