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Last updated: 12 June 2017

Combining Heat Pumps and Solar Panel Heating

Make the most out of your central heating system by integrating geothermal heat pumps and solar panel collectors.

The Spread Of ‘Green’ Energy Heating

Today, with the increased popularity and availability of renewable energy sources the question of ensuring a proper household heating that is energy and at the same time cost efficient is not as puzzling as it used to be a few decades ago. More and more people are embracing the environmental sustainability stand and are turning to heat pumps and solar panels as means of providing heat for their homes.

The heat pumps’ and solar panels’ energy efficiency rates coupled with their eco-friendliness, makes these the perfect choice for those who are concerned about the impact they make on the environment while looking to get the best return on their initial investment. In order to make the most out of energy sources that to a certain extent are available in an endless supply, a combination of solar energy generating appliances and ground source heat obtaining pumps is favored.

Combined _Heating _2

The Benefits of a Solar Panel & Heat Pump Combination

By combining two distinct energy sources for heating purposes one will be offered a great value for the money he/she spends on property heating, whereas it will deliver a superior, compared to traditional central heating systems, cost-performance ratio. A combined system like this will:

  • Provide a full-scale heating in the winter.
  • Provide air conditioning during summer, at a lower energy consumption rate.
  • Ensure a degree of flexibility in terms of how the heat is generated, whereas the ground source heat pump’s output would not be affected by the outside weather conditions.
  • In the summer, the ground source heat pump would discard the excess of heat produced by the solar collectors and store a part of it for the winter.

The Efficiency Rate of a Combined Heating System

In addition to what has been mentioned thus far, it should be noted that the pump’s maximum efficiency yield accounts for the October-December period, and the lowest efficiency rate is recorded for the time frame between February and April. While for solar panel heaters, the highest efficiency rate (during the cold season) is limited to the February-March period, and the lowest between November and December. Therefore, these two distinct heating systems complement each other in a quite productive manner. The use of solar panels increases the heat efficiency of a ground source heat pump, and vice versa, ensuring that the consumers will benefit the most from this symbiotic relationship.

The only substantial drawback of a combined system like this is subject to its high installation costs, which might considerably limit your budget allowance. The reason for high initial costs is due to the fact that a ground source heat pump requires drilling boreholes into the soil at depths of 50-115 meters and laying pipes’ type heat collectors underground, in order to be functional. Thus, the costs of installing a ground source heat pump are more or less equal to the price of heat pump’s equipment, which constitutes an important decision making factor when looking for a home heating system.

Nevertheless, the initial high costs are offset by the pay-offs that one gets while operating and maintaining a ground source heat pump. It is also worth mentioning that the overall costs of a combined heating system would resemble the costs associated with installing and running a full-size solar panel heatingsystem, without requiring too much space for placing the solar cells. For a more efficient heat distribution, it is recommended to use underfloor heating or fan coil units, that can be used for air conditioning in the summer.

Ways of Combining Geothermal Heat Pumps And Solar Panel System

We have found adequate to present a list of possible system combinations, which aim to reduce the heating costs by up to 50-70% compared to conventional heating options, so you could have an idea about what to look for, in case you will consider buying one in the near future.

  • The system is designed for heating properties with an area of 100-200 square meters.
  • The number of solar collectors - 4 pcs.
  • The total volume/capacity of double-buffer tanks batteries - 500 litres .
  • Hot water distribution tank volume - 200 litres.
  • The solar panels nominal heating capacity - 6,7 kW.
  • Heat pump output - 10 kW.
  • Equipment’s price - approx. £6,000 .
  • The system is designed for heating properties with an area of 150-300 square meters.
  • The number of solar collectors - 8 pcs.
  • The total volume/capacity of double-buffer tanks batteries - 1,000 litres.
  • Hot water distribution tank volume - 200 litres.
  • The solar panels nominal heating capacity - 13 kW.
  • Heat pump output - 10 kW.
  • Equipment’s price - approx. £8,000 .
  • The system is designed for heating properties with an area of 300-400 square meters.
  • The number of solar collectors - 12 pcs.
  • The total volume/capacity of double-buffer tanks batteries - 1,500 litres
  • Hot water distribution tank volume - 200 litres.
  • The solar panels nominal heating capacity - 20 kW Heat pump output - 16 kW.
  • Equipment’s price - approx. £10,000.
  • The system is designed for heating properties with an area of 400-600 square meters.
  • The number of solar collectors - 16 pcs.
  • The total volume/capacity of double-buffer tanks batteries - 2,000 litres.
  • Hot water distribution tank volume - 200 litres.
  • The solar panels nominal heating capacity - 20 kW.
  • Heat pump output - 25 kW.
  • Equipment’s price - approx. £14,000-£15,000.

 

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