Solar panels for hot water: An efficient alternative to batteries

Harnessing solar panels to produce domestic hot water is an innovative solution that remains under the radar for many. It’s an increasingly recommended alternative to purchasing a battery. Let’s delve into how this system operates.

hot water

1. The mechanism explained

The water heater needs to be integrated with the photovoltaic installation. The linchpin here is a photovoltaic power regulator, which establishes a connection between the water heater and the digital meter. If you possess a backward-rotating meter and the network isn’t frequently saturated, this method won’t offer financial benefits. The regulator ensures surplus self-produced electricity is channeled to heat domestic water, minimizing reliance on the external power grid.

2. Key considerations

It’s pivotal that the water heater has ample capacity to cater to the household’s hot water needs, typically ranging from 200 to 250 liters for a family of four. The sizing of the photovoltaic setup should align with the household’s annual electricity consumption to ensure peak performance.

3. Essential equipment

For this setup, a photovoltaic panel installation and an electric hot water production system are mandatory. Intelligent management options encompass a "smart grid ready" contact on the water heater or an external photovoltaic power regulator. The choice of setup hinges on the overall annual electricity consumption.

4. Efficiency and consumption

Employing a photovoltaic power regulator can lead to producing up to 70% of hot water directly from solar energy. Without this device, you can expect a maximum efficiency of around 30%.

5. Budgeting for the system

If your photovoltaic setup is already operational and you possess a competent electric water heater, anticipate an expenditure of roughly a thousand euros for the power regulator’s installation. This is significantly more cost-effective than opting for a domestic battery!