Posts Tagged ‘Solar Heating’

How Does Solar Heating Work?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

In the continuing struggle to find viable forms of alternative energy, solar has taken the lead as having the most promise. More and more people are installing solar panels on their homes to supplement their traditional heating systems. What most people don’t know is how solar heating actually works. Let’s take a look at some of the most common options for solar heating.

Liquid Solar Heating

Similar to other heating systems, solar heating is split into liquid and forced air methods. Liquid solar heating is a radiant heating system, using pipes to distribute hot water throughout the house. These pipes then radiate the heat up through the floor boards or through the walls. Radiators and baseboard heaters are also common.

Rather than using a boiler to heat the water, solar heating collects thermal energy directly from a sun. Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof or a south-facing wall for maximum exposure during the day. The thermal energy collected by the solar panel is then directed to a solar storage unit, which heats the water and distributes it.

Like all solar systems, this kind of heating becomes less effective if access to sunlight is limited. Some storage units can serve as backup water heaters. You may still have difficulty heating enough water if demand is high during evenings or overcast days, though.

Forced Air Heating

Forced air solar heating works much the same way as other forced air systems. The solar panel on the outside of the house collects and uses thermal energy to warm the air in a collector unit. The collector then circulates the air throughout the house using an electric fan. Ducts are obviously required for this kind of heating if you want to heat more than one room.

Forced air solar systems tend to collect slightly more thermal energy than thermal systems. However, this advantage is usually balanced out by water being a much better medium for thermal energy than air is.

If you are interested in learning more about solar heating, contact HB Energy Solutions. We operate all over the Southern Vermont area.

Is Solar Heating in New Hampshire a Good Investment?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The technology of solar power continues to advance each year, making it easier for homeowners to take advantage of the energy from the Sun—free renewable energy—to run appliances in their house, from water heaters, to air conditioners, to heating systems.

Solar energy carries an upfront cost larger than that for standard heating systems. Our customers often ask us if having installation of solar heating is a worthwhile investment. What sort of returns can they expect from choosing to go solar for their home’s heating?

Let’s look at what solar power can do for you and why you should give it serious consideration. For more in-depth answers, as well as an assessment for your individual home, contact HB Energy Solutions.

Solar Energy Benefits

Yes, the installation of solar panels and a solar heating system comes with a higher price tag than that for a furnace or heat pump. However, there are two factors to consider here:

  1. The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly over the last few years, so the cost isn’t as much as you may think it is.
  2. The energy savings with solar panels can be immense, paying back the cost of installation in as little as 3–7 years according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

How much can you save with solar powered heating? If we consider a payback period of 3–7 years, and a service lifetime well over 20 years (with few moving parts, solar systems do not wear down fast), the return on investment can be enormous. Studies conducted in New York, a state with similar cloud cover patterns to New Hampshire, projected savings over 20 years at $30,000. Savings in Hawaii approached $65,000!

The efficiency of using the free power of the Sun isn’t the only way you can save money with solar heating. These systems require few repairs and have low-cost maintenance. The federal government also offers tax incentives to go solar with the Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit.

Solar energy technology is far more reliable today than it once was, so you should have little concern about having sufficient power stored in your solar cells for your home’s needs.

Solar Installation with HB Energy Solutions

Solar power won’t work for every home, so consult with our New Hampshire heating experts at HB Energy Solutions to find out if you’ll receive all the benefits of installing solar heating. We have licensed electricians on staff so you won’t need to hire subcontractors for your solar installation, which will help us complete your job on time and on budget. We can help you get the most from your investment in solar power.