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DJ

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
I have seen a concept discussed here wherein solar hot air has been blended with hot air from a heat pump.

Typically.an air source heat pump.uses more electric energy to heat a home when the outdoor ambient air temperature drops. This is partly due to the greater heat loss from the home but also there is less.heat to extract from the colder ambient air.

Has anyone looked at the numbers or experimented using solar hot air or hot water to raise the temperature of outdoor ambient air entering an air source heat pump under winter conditions?

For instance a tank of water heated by solar might be used with a heat exchanger of the car-radiator type to increase temperature of the ambient air to the heat pump if a short duct were constructed around the outdoor heat pump unit. As I understand, a heat pump produces more heat energy than the electrical energy input, with COP's - or multiplier effect - up to around 5(?).

Therefore my thought is that possibly increasing the temperature of the outdoor air entering the heat pump could be advantageous if the electric energy required for a given heating requirement was reduced more than if the solar heat was used directly to help heat the indoor air.

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stmbtwle

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Posts: 3,030
Reply with quote  #2 
That's how a "ground source" heat pump works, but I think they normally use water, not air. Expensive though.

The idea of preheating the heat pump input air with solar collectors has been discussed and I think it would work, but would it be cost effective?

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DJ

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 
Yes. Some folks in this area are starting to install ground water source heat pumps, in one case replacing an air source heat pump only a few years old. They require a fairly big yard to install the plastic pipe in trenches or to drill several wells, which also runs up the initial cost. I know at least one town in Sweden, which has to import all fuel except for wood, required homes to install ground source systems roughly 10 to 15 years ago.
sundug

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
I have seen a concept discussed here wherein solar hot air has been blended with hot air from a heat pump.

Typically.an air source heat pump.uses more electric energy to heat a home when the outdoor ambient air temperature drops. This is partly due to the greater heat loss from the home but also there is less.heat to extract from the colder ambient air.

Has anyone looked at the numbers or experimented using solar hot air or hot water to raise the temperature of outdoor ambient air entering an air source heat pump under winter conditions?

For instance a tank of water heated by solar might be used with a heat exchanger of the car-radiator type to increase temperature of the ambient air to the heat pump if a short duct were constructed around the outdoor heat pump unit. As I understand, a heat pump produces more heat energy than the electrical energy input, with COP's - or multiplier effect - up to around 5(?).

Therefore my thought is that possibly increasing the temperature of the outdoor air entering the heat pump could be advantageous if the electric energy required for a given heating requirement was reduced more than if the solar heat was used directly to help heat the indoor air.

Comments?


Build a low cost, removable greenhouse around the outside unit. Just make it low mass and large enuf so it will not cool down fast. 

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