Solar Energy HVAC Systems
Solar energy in a basic sense is harnessing sun rays, and converting this energy into usable heat or electricity for your home. There are photovoltaic panels, solar thermal solutions and more. The most common residential applications are solar modules made of photovoltaic cells which are designed to harvest energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. These are the typical panels you see mounted on the rooftop of a home.
In addition to the types of solar energy collection, once discussing photovoltaic (PV) specifically, there are then different PV systems. The most common being a grid-tied system. With a grid-tied system, you have access to main utility power when your solar installation is not producing (such as at night). With most grid-tied solutions, you can actually pump energy back into the public grid, which lowers your costs when you do use utility power.
A stand-alone solar photovoltaic, or "off-grid" system is naturally the best option when main utility power is not available. An off-grid system is more expensive to purchase however.
Solar Energy & Indoor Comfort Control
Solar energy solutions have captured the interest of HVAC contractors nationwide, but this shouldn't surprise us since heating and air conditioning comprise the largest amount of home utility expense. Even heating and air conditioning manufacturers are taking notice like Lennox® with their SunSource® Home Energy System. Renewable energy sources like solar and geothermal
are ways for homeowners to cut down on their largest monthly utility expense.
Lennox SunSource® Home Energy System
Although we do not have an official relationship with Lennox, they happen to be the only manufacturer at the time of this writing, offering a solar HVAC product.
The SunSource Home Energy System is a grid-tied system that uses a top-model Lennox air conditioner or heat pump that are made to be "solar ready", which means you can add solar modules at a later date if desired. At the time of this writing, up to 15 total modules per outdoor unit can be used.
The Lennox SunSource system works like a normal grid-tied system. Energy is collected from the sun and used to power the air conditioner or heat pump. When the air conditioner or heat pump is not being used, the electricity can be used to power other things in the home, or it can be fed back into the public utility grid. The Lennox system as a web interface utility monitor that shows details on energy produced, saved, etc. Is Lennox the only way to implement solar power for your heating and air conditioning? No, but we applaud them as a manufacturer stepping up and making their equipment ready to go green. Read more about Lennox systems at Lennox® SunSource®.
Other non-HVAC specific vendors exist, and plenty of them. Kyocera is a company focused on grid-connected solutions for residential homes, and we know different HVAC contractors are in fact using for their customers. Kyocera also offers commercial grade applications. A common product from Kyocera is the MyGen system which comes with everything needed to harvest sun rays, and it also provides a web type control monitor
Solar energy is an amazing way to get on the path of going green, and it can be used anywhere from rainy Seattle to bright Southern California. Germany is the world leader for solar solutions, and they receive less sunshine than most of the US. Ask your local HVAC contractor
about a solar solution for your home heating and air conditioning needs!
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