What is a solar assisted heat pump?
A solar assisted heat pump is a heat pump combined with a solar collector (a series of panels that convert sunlight into heat). Like other heat pumps, a solar assisted heat pump takes heat from the outside environment, which can be used to provide hot water in your home and may even be able to meet your heating needs if your home has a high level of energy efficiency.
Unlike other types of heat pumps, a solar assisted heat pump can also take heat directly from sunlight. It does this using a solar collector like those used solar hot water systems.
However, unlike the collector used in a solar hot water system, the one used in a solar assisted heat pump can also extract heat from the air. This allows the system to produce hot water even when the sun isn’t shining.
How does a solar assisted heat pump work?
A solar assisted heat pump combines an air-to-water heat pump with a solar collector panel. Usually, the solar collector and heat pump are linked directly, sharing the same refrigeration circuit.
Heat from the outdoor air is absorbed by the solar collector into a refrigerant gas. This warmed gas is passed to a heat pump compressor, which raises the temperature further. This heat is then transferred into the home – usually to heat the water in a hot water cylinder.
Is a solar assisted heat pump right for me?
How will you heat the rooms in your home?
Solar assisted heat pumps are generally not used for space heating (ie heating for the rooms in your home). This is because they don’t produce enough heat to cover both the hot water and space heating needs of most homes. However, they may be able to heat very small or thermally efficient homes, which have lower space heating requirements.
Do you have somewhere to put it ?
You’ll need a place outside your home where the heat pump’s outside evaporator unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. You will also need space on a roof or suitable wall to mount the solar collector.
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