Can I heat my house with solar panels?

Can I heat my house with solar panels?

Solar panels on the roof of a houseSolar panels on the roof of a house

Being able to heat your home with a low carbon footprint is very much on the agenda at the moment as world leaders look for ways to meet upcoming emissions targets. If you have the financial means and the inclination to go green with your energy, then it's very possible to harness enough power from the sun using solar panels to heat your home with electric radiators comfortably. In this article we'll look at how pairing Solar PV panels with electric radiators could be a great option for you.

What are Solar PV panels?

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels are generally installed on a roof and use the energy from the sun to power any electrical appliance in your home, including electric radiators. This electricity is free to produce and is great for the environment as no carbon is given off during the production process, unlike electricity produced by a typical electricity provider.

While the majority of Solar PV installations don't require planning permission (generally being considered 'permitted developments'), you will need to have an assessment to see if your property is suitable to actually have Solar PV panels installed. The strength of your roof will need to be inspected to ensure it can handle the weight of the panels, while having enough available space is also a consideration. A typical Solar PV system will require around 20m2 of roof space. A South-facing roof is ideal and will generate the most energy, though East and West-facing roofs are perfectly acceptable. It's generally recommended not to install solar panels on a North-facing roof.

While the solar panels are the most visible part of the system, there are other components involved that will need to be installed inside your home. The solar panels absorb the sunlight, but a solar inverter is also needed to convert the output to an alternating current that is usable in your home. Mounting, cabling, a tracking system and an integrated battery are all other components that may well need to be fitted to ensure the smooth overall running of the system.

How would Solar PV panels work with electric radiators?

As previously mentioned, a solar inverter is a very important component in a solar powered system as it converts the direct current (DC) from the solar panel to an alternating current (AC) that powers electric radiators and all other electrical appliances in the home.

Electric radiators are installed and connected to your mains electrical system by a qualified electrician and your solar panels, via the inverter, will generate the electricity to power them and heat your home.

A common 'solar array' (a collection of multiple solar panels) for an averaged-sized 3 bedroom house is a 5kW one. A 5kW solar array can generate as much as 20kWh on a sunny summer's day which will be more than enough to heat your home and leave enough electricity for everything else.

Obviously during winter there will be less sunlight, less energy generated and you'll be using more of your available energy for heating. Depending on other factors such as where in the country you live, the orientation of your roof, how well-insulated your home is, you may have to use some energy from the mains grid to fully heat your home during the coldest winter months. However, there will be a large part of the year where you are generating all the energy you need from your solar panels. When you have your initial discussions and inspections from the installation company, you will be given customised information for your property so you know exactly how to maximise energy efficiency.

Which electric radiators are best?

 Electric radiator technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there are now a huge variety of designs, sizes and finishes all optimised to be as energy efficient as possible. Electric rads are a great way of heating your home in combination with solar panels due to their incredibly low-maintenance design.

Here at Trade Radiators, we have a large selection of electric radiators in stock and are prices you won’t find anywhere else.  Our range promises simple but effective heaters that will match the décor in any room. With excellent efficiency as well as high BTU outputs, our electric radiators allow you to get the best of both worlds. Our electric heaters only require a plug outlet, so you can have it installed in a flash. Once it is installed, it does not require a large amount of maintenance due to their incredible standard of robustness and the premium materials used in their construction.

Importantly, our electric radiators come with timers and thermostats so they automatically know exactly when to come on and shut off. This means that you will get the exact electricity usage you need to heat your home comfortably, rather than heating up empty rooms or at times when warmth isn't required. Additionally, many electric rads have optional smart controls, allowing you to further micro-manage your heating via your phone or tablet.

Our electric radiators come with a minimum five years guarantee allowing you to be confident that that your radiator will be durable, efficient and great-looking. If you have any questions about any of our electric radiators please do not hesitate to get in touch. We have a quality team of knowledgeable experts who are delighted to assist with any questions regarding electric heating solutions.

19 October 2021