For homeowners, businesses, contractors and builders, it’s an exciting time to be involved with solar heating. Solar hybrids have changed the game when it comes to home heating, offering homeowners a clean, efficient and cost-effective heating system. But things haven’t always been this way for solar heating. It’s not so long ago that solar heating was highly expensive, with home heating systems taking years (even decades) to pay for themselves. There were also basic performance issues in play that created real barriers for solar heating. Most importantly of all was the question of how to heat a home efficiently at night, after the sun has set? Backups were often necessary, meaning that homeowners who wanted to use solar thermal also had to buy a secondary heating system that could be used when the solar heating system is struggling. In other words, solar heating was labour of love – something that energy or environmental enthusiasts loved, but not something for use in every home.
Solar Hybrids Change The Game
All of that has changed with the creation of the solar thermal hybrid. As the name suggests, a hybrid is the combination of two (or more) systems into one singular heating system. While there are many hybrid options available in the clean tech world, for home heating the clear winner has been solar heat pumps like the SunPump. As the name suggests, the SunPump combines solar thermal heating with a heat pump. Heat pumps are highly efficient heating systems, dramatically improving performance of any heating system. The SunPump’s heat pump works in tandem with solar thermal panels, which collect lots of solar energy when the sun is shining. It’s a beautifully simple design; the solar thermal panels sit on a home’s roof, and the heat pump is integrated into the panels themselves. A thermal battery tank is installed indoors, meaning that the SunPump can cover all domestic hot water needs as well as home heating without the need for a secondary or backup heat source.
So how does the SunPump compare against other home heating systems? Looking at the renewable energy heating world, you can expect something similar to geothermal heating in terms of performance. However, geothermal requires an expensive and time-consuming install process (you need to dig a deep heat well in order for the system to function), meaning that savings on monthly bills will take longer to become profitable. The SunPump can be installed in just a couple of days, meaning a more affordable, cost-effective product that pays for itself sooner.
Compared to traditional, fuel-burning heating systems, the SunPump really shines. The solar panels and heat pump combination creates a huge increase in efficiency, and in the realm of home heating, efficiency equals savings. So while the performance of the system will be comparable to traditional heating methods, savings on monthly bills will be dramatic. With a long lifespan, the SunPump will pay for itself many times over. And as we have talked about very recently here on the Solar Blog, solar heating systems can add tens of thousands of dollars to a home’s resale value, so by installing a SunPump you’re creating value just as much as you are saving money.
Solar hybrids like SunPump are already commonplace in Europe, and demand has grown steeply in North America. We are all more conscious of the environment these days, and by creating a renewable energy heating option that also offers big savings on monthly bills, it’s not hard to see why solar hybrids have grown so popular. You can learn more about how the SunPump works here, or download a free PDF brochure here.