Solar hot Water & Solar PV:
A solar PV panel system generates electricity directly from sunlight.
Solar thermal systems (solar hot water) consist of 3 types:
1. The traditional solar panel contains copper tubes in which water is heated in sunlight and send it to a water storage tank.
2. The panels can contain a type of anti-freeze which is heated by the sun an indirectly heats water in a storage tank
3. The newest solar hot water system is called “Evacuated Tubes” which is generally more efficient than the other 2 systems but costs more initially.
Unlike the solar PV panel systems, solar thermal systems can only heat water; they can’t power anything.
HWHP and Solar PV
A full PV solar panel array will power your home and your heat pump with clean, renewable energy that comes from your own roof. This system results in massive cost savings.
And going solar has recently become more affordable than you might think — most systems pay for themselves within 3-7 years and will cut your electricity bills by 30-60%.
As for hot water, your solar system will cut costs even more by serving as a “hot water battery” to your heat pump. Here’s how:
1. Time your heat pump to power up before midday, when the sun is highest.
2. Your heat pump will store free solar energy in the form of hot water.
3. Your family can use hot solar-powered water any time they want, even when the sun isn’t shining.
This combination time-shift + energy self-consumption will cut your electricity bills even more than just a solar system, or just a heat pump, would on its own.
Electric Storage or Instantaneous
Hot water systems have two designs – storage and continuous flow (also called instantaneous). Storage hot water systems heat and maintain warm water in their tank until it’s used. Hot water is instant but limited to the tank’s storage capacity. Continuous systems quickly heat unlimited water when you need it. It takes a little while to heat but it doesn’t use energy keeping water hot when it is not being used. Both systems have expensive ongoing costs.