Heat with solar power - is that possible?

Right away: Yes, it works. However, you must take into account a lot in the planning of the system and heaters, and also think carefully about which heating technology you actually want to use. Read more here.

The problem with the constant yield

Photovoltaic systems can - given the optimal location and optimum roof pitch - be very efficient. However - and this is the problem with the independence from the grid - photovoltaic systems only produce electricity when the sun is shining and not when you need it.

Especially in the winter months, the electricity yield is often significantly lower due to the greater distance between the sun and the earth in winter. Conversely, these are exactly the times when you need the most electricity, because there is also the heating running continuously.

Heaters with low power consumption are needed

Simply setting up classic electric radiators, because the self-generated electricity is free anyway, is not a very good alternative. You must always expect that in bad weather conditions in winter you may be able to generate hardly any power for days with your photovoltaic system.

If the heating then has a high power consumption, you would need to save this entire, for several days required amount of electricity to operate the heater in addition - and so large storage systems are not only expensive, but also technically complex. Overall, this reduces the cost-effectiveness of the project because it may take a long time for you to recoup the much higher initial costs.

Heaters with very low power consumption, such as heat pumps with a high annual work rate or an infrared heater, which always runs only in the rooms in which you are now, come very close to heating with solar power.

Thus, the so-called base load - ie the amount of electricity that you constantly need in summer or winter, drops very clearly, which in turn allows much smaller sized storage and thus significantly reduces the total cost of the system.

Especially the storage technology is still the Achilles heel when heating with electricity. Here is still a lot of technical development necessary until here, the investment costs fall significantly.

Tips & Tricks

An interesting - albeit rarely implemented - possibility to compensate for the fluctuating current yield at the photovoltaic system could be a mini-wind turbine. Even - and very often - when there is no sunshine, wind still blows. This can significantly improve base load coverage and require much less expensive power storage. Maybe even think about this possibility.

Video Board: Living in a Tiny House Heated with FREE Solar Power in Canada