Solar Home Heating in Cold Climate
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding solar home heating is about colder climates. Those from cold weather areas are often reluctant to try something that needs the power of the sun to keep it going especially when it’s cold out and a chance of freezing can occur. Solar home heating systems can still work well in areas where sunlight is rather limited, especially if the home owner chooses to work with solar vacuum tubes. Solar Evacuated Tubes are proven to work with cloudy overcast days as well as indirect sunlight such as sunrise and sunset. The northern parts of the USA as well as the wet climate zones of the Canada and northern Europe still create enough daylight and sunlight to operate a solar home heating system.
Solar Space Heating in colder Northern Regions requires the use of adequate solar storage and adequate amount of solar collector space. The more storage you have, the more energy you can harness. The more storage, the more you will be able to weather through heavy cloud or snow storms. Storage is also used to balance the energy between the surplus of the day and the negative of the evenings.
While solar home heating is becoming more and more popular, you should not go into a large project without proper expectations. The cost to heat by solar only is simply too cost prohibitive. However, if you use solar with a backup heat source such as an existing electric of gas heater then solar space heating makes much more sense. For off grid, solar home heating matched with a proper sized wood stove would provide a great reliable green energy system mix. A typical solar heating system will displace 30-75% of the current energy mix. The more storage capacity and collector size the more a home owner will benefit in terms of total energy savings. A proper solar simulation should be done to ensure that the space heating system meets your expectations.
While solar home heating is one of the fastest growing green energy systems, owners must also consider the off season of the summer months when there is little or no demand for heat. During the summer a home heating system will need a demand source such as a pool or hot tub to distribute the energy. Alternatively, a dissipation loop such as a geothermal loop works well. If no secondary summer demand is present, then the home owner will have to cover the collector to stop heat production.
At Northern Lights our Pre-Packaged Solar Heating Systems have been proven in the coldest regions such as Northern Alaska, Iceland, North West Territories of Canada and Northern Europe. Call us to get a Free Solar Heating Simulation report to see how much energy you can save.
Published in Solar Space Heating