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Traditionally, solar heating panels were common until the advent of PV-heating converters. Divert surplus power to heat your water tank. A useful addition for a PV-powered household.
In a nutshell:
This nifty device means you don't have to pay to import expensive electricity for hot water. Water heating is typically 25% of a household's costs. Water temperatures are typically raised to 75 deg Celcius, even in the UK's climate.
I've seen many changes within the industry, but solar-heated water gave additional usefulness to an existing PV system.
PV-to-heat converters can be found here.
How easy are PV heat converters to install?
Installation to an emersion heater tank is with minimum fuss. However, DIY installations are not possible because installers require a Part P electrical qualification legally.
What savings can I expect?
This answer depends on the size of your PV system and the amount of hot water you use, but a four-person family with a 4KW PV panel system can expect to save approx 70% of water costs per year.
Do I need a hot water tank?
Yes. You need a hot water tank with an immersion heater element to benefit from a converter. The management system will automatically adjust the coil input according to demand throughout the day.
Can I still use Economy 7?
Yes, The system has a built-in timer that allows three easy-to-use options. It can be programmed every 24 hours and so take full advantage of your off-peak supply if required.
A temperature sensor is fitted to display the water temperature of your solar-powered hot water tank. A complimentary technology for many PV owners in the UK.
In 2021, the savings from heat converters was calculated at approx 200 GBP per year. Calculations beyond this year are difficult due to geopolitical and inflationary variables. Geographical and usage variables apply.