Solar Heat Pump

solar heat pump

solar heat pump
Heating from the ground up: Española City Hall’s geothermal system cuts $42K from yearly energy costs
While many people in Española homes and offices froze during the natural-gas outage early this month, those in Española’s municipal offices stayed cozy, thanks to a new geothermal heat-pump system.
What type of heating would you reccomend for a new build, Heat Pump or Solar Cylinders?

New building regulations state that you need to have a form of a renewable energy source in a new build.

For reference, the new build is 5 apartments spread across 3 floors.

A geothermal heat pump system will cost at least $20,000 and require some type of hot water heating system. You will also have to drill one or two wells on the property. Natural Gas if you have it is the cheapest way to go. However, your problem here is that you have to have some form of renewable source — so you aren’t looking at pure economics.

If you have natural gas, you will want to use that with your “renewal source” as a backup. There are some challenges here in integrating the two systems. If you don’t have natural gas and have to rely on electricity, then the geothermal system might just pay off. Also, if you haven’t built it yet, they may be able to lay down coils of PEX piping around the foundation as a cheaper alternative to drilling wells.

Solar is not practical. You have lots to heat and probably not that much roof area. You need to look up the area of the roof and the solar insolation maps for your region to see how much energy is available on your roof, and then factor in about 60% efficiency for evacuated tube collectors, and you will get some idea of what percentage of your heating demands you can expect to satisfy with solar.

You might also want to check the legal wording. If supplemental is ok (as opposed to entirely renewable), then you could for about $10,000 install a PV system with a grid-inter-tie. It would provide only a small part of your electric needs and might never be economical, but might satisfy the intent of the regulations for less than the up front cost of a geo-thermal heat pump system.

If you look at solar homes in competitions like the Solar Decathlon, you will find that have collectors that not only take up the entire roof, but spill over onto auxiliary walls beside the house. However, if you are somewhere really warm like southern Arizona, it might be possible.

Keep in mind that natural gas is much cheaper than anything else. If you are building a building to make money, you really want to be careful with the costs. Make sure you work out the present value of each design option. Use the PV formula in excel to see what makes sense. Of course, if this is a rental unit where the tenants pay the bills, you probably only care about the up front costs.

Lennox Heat Pump – Solar Powered XP17 by Complete Heating, Abbotsford, BC