How to turn PV solar panels into a hot-water generator?
“Over my ten years of experience within the solar panel industry I have seen many changes, but the biggest shift has to be the change in popularity from solar heating to PV solar electricity systems.”
Prior to this year, solar heating panels were the most popular solar technology in the United Kingdom. As a result of this shift, photovoltaic arrays can be seen everywhere. Consequently, fewer people are now enjoying the benefits of solar heating.
This is why I am now excited about a product which can turn your photovoltaic system into a hot water generator, by simply using some of your excess solar-generated electricity to keep your hot water tank with a plentiful supply of hot water.
Now this is where it gets very exciting. Most households use a tank and immersion heater element to heat their hot water requirements, so it makes sense to adapt your existing solar technology to provide for this too. If your home has this type of tank and element setup, then you can benefit from not just free electricity, but also free solar-heated water too.
The best ideas are always the simplest and the real-world benefits are easily understood.
This new system is an innovative solar energy management product that puts your excess supply of home-generated power to use in your household first before exporting the surplus power out to the National Grid.
This means you don’t have to pay to import increasingly expensive electricity later for heating your tank. Standard water heating costs usually amount to 25% (depending on tank efficiency) of a typical household’s energy costs and that’s a sizable additional saving on-top of what your solar array is currently earning you.
The benefits don’t stop there because you will still be entitled to your feed-in tariff revenues even though you may have used the power for your own needs. Fantastic! The assumption when calculating your tariff rates is that 50% of your overall power generated will be exported on most domestic solar panel installations, so you can continue to claim your tariff revenue as you have already done.
This system becomes even more beneficial if you have a lower-rate generation tariff because the more of your hot water needs are powered by free-generated electricity, the higher the savings as a proportion of your system’s income will be made.
Why convert your PV solar panels to heat your hot water?
For most households, using an immersion element is the most expensive way to achieve your daily hot water requirements, so using you’re already installed PV panel system to power your hot water needs too, obviously makes sense.
Over the years, I have had many companies wanting to promote their solar-related products on this website and most if not all get refused, but this is the first time I actively sought out to promote a product and write about it with such enthusiasm.
Just like the panels themselves, this nifty bit of kit, is very unobtrusive, easy to install and only a small additional investment cost, which will save you even more money far into the distant future.
For me, this PV to hot water heating converter, is the idea that I wish I had thought of myself. The best ideas are always the simplest and the real-world benefits are easily understood. Convert your PV solar panels to heat your hot water too.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt July 3, 2013
Founder of Heat My Home.