Can I use solar PV to heat my water?
Posted by Paul Hutchens on 5 March 2012 at 9:18 am
Q. Can you tell me what size PV panel would be required to run a standard domestic immersion heater?. I am not interested in returning power to the grid and want to dedicate the output from the panel to the immersion heater in my hot water thermal store.
A. A standard immersion heater is 3kW and so the obvious answer is you would require a 3kW solar panel array. However, as solar energy is variable, one cannot guarantee that there will always be enough energy to power the immersion at any time.
Also, 3kW of energy would heat the average domestic hot water cylinder in about 2 hours; so on a sunny day, depending on how much hot water you use, you may find that the solar PV heats the water with energy to spare. This spare energy may of course end up going back to the electricity grid.
Photo by Bradley Gordon
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