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Heating your home with photovoltaics

If you are looking for options to heat your home spending as little as possible, let me tell you that photovoltaic heating with solar panels is a good option.

Heating your home with photovoltaics: how does panel heating work, what are the opinions and possibilities?

The growing popularity of photovoltaic installations is due not only to the increased awareness of Poles, but above all to the gradual and inexorable increase in electricity prices. Taking electricity from the sun allows you to become independent from the conditions imposed by the grid energy providers, and the optimized installation allows you to cover 100% of the electricity demand. 

More and more often, you can also find a solution that involves   heating your home with photovoltaic energy  . Read what heating is with a photovoltaic installation and if this solution is effective.

Heating your home with solar panels: who will benefit from it?

Facilities that allow you to generate electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) are a great solution, primarily  for residents of detached single-family homes  .

If you are just planning to build a single family home, you will probably quickly learn that the building plan and its construction are not enough. It is also necessary to connect domestic installations to central networks: energy, heating or water supply. This is an expensive solution and is often even impossible to take advantage of. Therefore, in this case, the creation of a hybrid RES system based on photovoltaic, heat pump or solar panels allows saving on electricity and heating bills at the same time.

How does solar heating work at home?

Unfortunately, for now at least, electricity cannot heat your home directly, unless you turn your entire heating system into an electrical system.

In practice, many people choose to combine electric underfloor heating, an induction boiler (instead of the classic CO) and a heat pump. Such a combination of several systems with a sufficiently high power of photovoltaic panels allows you to maintain an optimal temperature in the apartment and fully cover the demand for electricity from solar energy.

Determining the appropriate level of self-consumption (which will be different in the heating season and beyond) allows you to minimize the excess electricity that is transferred to the grid. This is important because when you collect this surplus in the future, the utility grid operator will charge you a commission for each kilowatt “stored” on the core grid.

Surplus electricity is especially useful in the   fall and   winter months  . With low insolation and short days, the photovoltaic system cannot produce enough electricity to meet the needs of the home, so the received electricity can supply heat pumps at this time, which support the heating of the house. Thanks to this, you will be able to better balance your bills.

What elements of the heating system will we supply with photovoltaic? First of all, they will be:

  • electric CO oven,
  • underfloor heating,
  • heat pumps,
  • infrared mats.

Using RES makes individual solutions cheaper and the initial expense quickly pays for itself.

Why are heat pumps a good solution?

Heat pumps perfectly complement the operation of photovoltaic energy, insulating the house. They do not generate any harmful compounds because they extract heat from the soil, water or air. The device transfers energy directly to the heating system (eg underfloor heating or radiators). 

A well-chosen heat pump can increase the degree of self-consumption by up to several percent. As a result, less electricity will be charged with the commission from the energy supplier in the future.

Although it is still a fairly expensive installation, like photovoltaics, it pays for itself with each bill paid. By using the heat pump, you do not pay for heating, but only for the electricity supplied by the device. Good quality pumps have a SCOP index of 3.5 to 4.0. It is a seasonal factor that determines the ratio of the energy consumed to the heat generated. This means that   for every 1 kWh consumed, the device generates 3.5-4 kW of heat  . Even a small photovoltaic installation will power a heat pump of such power. It is also the new home to heat an area of ​​150 m  2  it takes about 10 kW.

In practice, a heat pump works better than an electric stove or heating mats. Although the installation of these devices is cheaper, due to the higher energy consumption, the operation is more expensive.

Heat pumps work very well not only with photovoltaic energy, but also with recovery, that is, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

Is solar farm heating effective?

Whether photovoltaic heating fulfills its mission depends not only on the power of the installation itself. The quality of the building’s insulation is very important. The newer materials have been used, the more heat the walls will withstand and the installation itself will not be as loaded.

If you live in a family home, inherited, for example, from your parents or grandparents, it may be that a better solution is to first carry out a  comprehensive thermal modernization  , which will reduce the emission of heat to the outside and eliminate thermal bridges in the doors and windows . In older buildings, only the replacement of doors, windows and the insulation of the roof, walls and ceiling together with renewable energy will produce the desired effect.

It turns out that even in winter, the photovoltaic works as a heating source. Experts indicate that, depending on the region of Poland, each 1 kWp of the installation generates from 900 to even 1200 kWh. This value is more than enough to meet the needs of an average family of three or four. If you look at your bills, you will probably notice that the cost of standard heating is about 40% of the annual house bill. You can reduce this amount to practically zero.

Opinions on solar heating

The use of photovoltaic energy for home heating is a modern and conscious solution that favors both the environment and its savings. Users of these RES installations indicate the   advantages and disadvantages of  such a solution.

  • In addition to the obvious benefit of investing in ecology and the environment, heating with photovoltaic panels is clean and completely emission-free. The installation does not produce smoke or smog, and you do not need to remember to regularly inspect the chimney installation, because it simply does not exist. 
  • It also saves space in the architectural plan. It is not necessary to design a spacious boiler room. You can also forget about importing and storing fuel.
  • Heating with the use of renewable energy is one element of the so-called smart and self-sufficient homes. Both the photovoltaics and the heat pumps are controlled by computer, and you have the option to adjust the temperature smoothly and quickly and adapt it to the prevailing conditions.

The biggest advantage of using photovoltaic heating, however, is becoming independent of rising energy prices and creating a passive autonomous system  ,  which fully meet the needs of your family. 

The supply of electricity to the apartment from the electrical network is no longer profitable. The need to consume non-renewable fossil fuels is driving electricity prices slowly but steadily and inexorably.

 

Is photovoltaic solar energy for underfloor heating the perfect solution?

 

When choosing to heat your home with electricity, you need to consider three things. 

  1. Insulation of the building  may be necessary, first of all, in houses of several (and even more so, several dozen) years ago. Even after taking into account the relief of thermo-modernization, the costs of such investment can be higher than those of the photovoltaic installation. However, this is a necessary step for you to consider installing RES.
  1. The second drawback is related to possible  power outages  . A photovoltaic installation must have access to electricity to function. The vast majority of installations installed in Poland are so-called network installations   . They are connected to the electrical network through  a bidirectional meter  . In the event of a power outage, the solar panels will, of course, continue to work, but they will not be delivered to the sockets. A special anti-island protection, located on the inverter, cuts electricity to the domestic grid, allowing safe repair of the fault by qualified personnel. How to deal with?An increasingly popular solution is the purchase  of energy storage. It works similar to a car battery. When the solar farm is operating normally, the warehouse is constantly replenished. In case of failure, it is from there that household appliances can consume electricity.
  1. Finally, when using underfloor heating, you must take into account the   need for highly invasive work in the event of a breakdown  . While the damaged radiator can be replaced with a new one, repairing the underfloor heating in the living room requires tearing off a fragment of the floor or floor. Fortunately, photovoltaic power itself rarely breaks down and potential failures are much more often the result of faulty mounting than faulty installation. Therefore, among other things, if you are considering these types of technological solutions, it is worth outsourcing the complete assembly to a professional company.

 

Summary: will photovoltaics heat the house?

Photovoltaic heat generation is a  great solution for modern construction  . If you are only planning to build a house, the use of high-quality components will allow you to save on thermal modernization and increase heating efficiency with the use of renewable energy sources. This solution also works outside the city, where the possibilities of connecting a domestic installation to central networks are very limited.

With the current level of technological advancement of photovoltaic installations, the payback time for a home is 7 to 10 years, depending on the capacity, price and quality of the installation. 

After this time, electricity is generated practically for free. At the same time, the  durability of the panels is estimated at about 25 years  . Even with the annual decrease in your efficiency of about 0.5 to 0.7% per year, you can enjoy free electricity and heating for a minimum of 15 years.

Invest in security

If you want to speak with our advisor about the photovoltaic installation that will provide you financial, technical and electrical security,  use the contact form below  ; we will call you back.