Infrared heater and solar power. Is sustainable heating with electricity actually possible?
Using electricity for heating used to be inefficient and expensive for a very long time. But with the increase of renewable energies it is starting to make sense to replace fossil fuels and change the ways we heat our homes. The combination of solar power, batteries and high tech infrared heaters is an energy efficient system that does just that. While we are already trying to replace carbon dioxide emitting cars with electric cars in the heating segment we are still sticking to our old ways. Many argue that heating with electricity is too expensive which is why we stick with fossil fuels. But with a rising demand eventually we will run out of fossil fuels. So is heating with infrared heaters and renewable energy an actual alternative that is also cost-efficient?
How can we implement a sustainable energy concept with infrared heaters?
Infrared heaters use electricity to produce heat. Far infrared heaters are heating walls and objects directly which then release the heat slowly back into the room. That’s what makes them so efficient. So one kWh consumed by and infrared heater is not the same as one kWh consumed by a convection heater. You will feel warm at a lower air temperature so with infrared heaters you will actually have to heat less. If we combine these energy efficient infrared heaters with a solar system, we create an environmentally-friendly energy concept.
This leaves us with two options:
1.You can sign a contract with your energy provider that guarantees 100% energy form renewable energy sources.
2.You invest in your own solar or wind system. This choice depends on the amount of wind or sun in your location but in most populated places small wind turbines are not an efficient solution.
If you combine your photovoltaic system with a battery you gain independence from your energy provider and can use the electricity generated more efficiently.
How does the combination of infrared, solar system and battery work?
The solar system is producing electricity that will be used by your electric appliances and infrared heaters. At the same time the batteries will be charged in order to provide energy during the night or when it is raining. The battery helps you to use as much of the energy produced by your solar system as possible. If the batteries are charged and you have a surplus of produced energy it will be fed into the electric grid and you will receive a compensation from your energy provider (feed-in tariff). Only when your batteries are empty and the produced energy by your photovoltaic system is not enough to cover your needs will you buy electricity from the grid. This set-up makes it possible that your profits from your solar system during summer can actually finance a big portion of your heating cost during winter.
Infrared heaters and solar power: Is it cost-efficient?
This energy concept can be cost-efficient in new buildings as well as existing buildings. Should you already have a PV system on your roof in most cases infrared heaters and energy storage will be a fantastic solution if you are looking to replace your heating system. In some countries such as Germany (PV-systems built between 2009 and 2011), additionally to receiving a feed-in tariff, you will also receive a subsidy for the self-consumed energy that your solar system generated. To increase the amount of self-consumed electricity it is financially smart to use electricity for heating. But even if you are just planning to install a solar system on your new home, infrared heaters combined with solar power and a battery is in many countries cheaper than using fossil fuels such as gas. To show you a cost comparison between infrared heaters combined with solar and gas heating please check this calculation we prepared for Germany and Austria where we break down the investment, maintenance and consumption cost over a period of 20 years.
Heating with solar power. Isn’t it only sunny in summer?
The argument that a solar system can only produce energy during summertime and during winter you have to buy electricity even for normal household consumption is not quite valid. Of course it is unrealistic to say that in areas such as Germany and Austria you can achieve complete energy independency with this concept, but what critics don’t consider is in these places the heating period each year is about 180 days of which a lot fall into the sunny spring and autumn time where a solar system can produce enough energy. And it is because of those seasons that the investment of PV and infrared does make a whole lot of sense.
Contact us or one of our dealers today to get a calculation for your own home or company. We work closely together with a number of solar installers and would love to show you how you can improve your carbon footprint while actually saving money on heating!