liviusBuying solar panels is booming. More and more Flemish people consider solar panels a good investment against the high energy prices. Preliminary figures from the Flemish Energy and Climate Agency show that more than 65% of the installations were installed in the first half of 2022, compared to the first half of 2021. But what if you heat up with gas? Are solar panels interesting, too? Construction site Livios Find out.
Written by Gianni D’Angelo, in collaboration with Livios
Some argue that solar panels and gas are a good fit. Others find it an uninteresting combination. “It definitely makes sense to install solar PV panels if you do gas heating,” says Alex Polevlet of Zero Emission Solutions, a sustainable energy and energy efficiency studies and consultancy firm. “This way, you not only generate electricity, you generate heat as well.”
Also installing solar panels? Read here exactly how it works and some points of interest.
Matching solar panels with consumption
Alex Polfliet offers some tips for those who use gas for heating. “It is smart to match the number of solar panels you install with your electrical consumption. This means that you regulate your electrical consumption as instantly as possible by producing the solar panels. This current consumption in kWh can be found in the most recent settlement bill. The average household consumes 4000 kWh. per year. If you divide that capacity by 400, you know how many boards you need. In this case, that’s ten pieces.” This way you determine your consumption and the number of solar panels you need.
Gas boiler heating
“If you heat with a gas boiler, you can also produce healthy hot water using solar panels,” Alex Polevlett says. You can generate it with electricity when the sun is shining. The water is then stored in an insulating tank, where it remains warm for 24 to 48 hours—particularly in spring, summer, and fall. This way you avoid having to keep the boiler on standby all year long to generate hot water. A hot water boiler, a barrel of water, which now runs on gas, can be converted so that it also runs on electricity. This additional cost is very limited because only the resistor has to be inserted into the receptacle.”
gas flow heater
Solar panels can also be used for those using an instantaneous gas water heater. “This is also interesting, but the formulation is a bit more complicated,” Alex Polevlett says. “Because in this case you make hot water when you need it. Using solar panels pays off a bit here because with a gas flow heater, you don’t stay on standby all the time to make hot water. Unlike a gas boiler, a gas instantaneous water heater doesn’t have a bowl. So in this case, you have to install an additional electric boiler, which obviously requires an additional investment. And you also need space for that.” Read more about the different types of boilers here.
Shorter recovery time
Solar panels are interesting to everyone, Alex Polevlet is fully convinced of this. “At current prices, your installation costs will pay for themselves in two and a half to three years. I count the premium on that. If it decreases or disappears, the payback period is extended from six months to one year. If the water is already electrically heated, with or Without a heat pump, you wouldn’t even need an extra investment to make hot water — and you’d save right away. After all, I don’t expect electricity prices to drop in the first months — and even in the first three years.”
Selection guide: This heat pump is suitable for your home.
fill the roof
That’s why Alex Polfliet follows the thinking of other energy professionals: If you have the capital, fill your roof with solar panels. “On average, you use a quarter to a third of the capacity of your solar panels for direct consumption. What you produce in excess is no longer wasted. For example, you can put your excess energy on the grid and sell it to your supplier. Because electricity prices are rising, you can now get more than before, but of course less than the energy you would buy off the grid (19 cents instead of about 30 cents, ed.) You always make a profit based on the price of your solar panels and installation and what you produce in kilowatt-hours. And that profit is more than you would get for the same capital in your savings account.”
Consumption on an annual basis
For those without the capital to fill their rooftops with solar panels, Alex Polevlet recommends this: “Put the number of kilowatt-peaks you consume on an annual basis. For example, if that’s 4,000 kWh, you put 4 kWh peaks on the panels. solar”.
Smart use of energy? Order your free magazine “MyEnergy” here And find the right solutions for your home.
This article was written by our partner Livios.be. Livios.be is an expert website focused on construction and renovation.
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