What are thermodynamic panels?
Despite being panels, they are closer to an air source heat pump than they are to a solar thermal panel. They are basically a freezer in reverse. Refrigerant enters the panel and as it passes through it absorbs heat from the atmosphere and becomes a gas.
The gas then passes through a compressor which increases the temperature and finally through a heat exchange coil inside the hot water cylinder. This heats the water in the cylinder to 55 degrees. It is estimated that about a quarter of the energy absorbed by a panel comes from solar irradiation, the rest from air and rain.
How much hot water do they produce?
They claim to provide 100% of the hot water requirements for domestic and commercial premises, swimming pools, underfloor heating and can make a contribution to traditional central heating. They come with a built in immersion which uses electricity to boost the water to 60 degrees every so often to avoid any risk of legionella.
How many panels would I need for a domestic installation?
A four person household would need one panel and a 250 litre cylinder. It would cost around £5,500 to install.
What are the benefits to me?
A small amount of electricity is needed to power the system -the savings you will make depend on the type of heating you currently use and whether you use panels for heating your hot water or your radiators.
Thermodynamic panels work in the day and at night and in all weathers down to -8⁰C, you will save up to 80% on your annual heating bill and they help to reduce your carbon footprint. A further additional benefit is that it will prolong the life of any existing boiler as it is very rarely used.