Short payback periods for PV-powered heat pumps in Spain


From pv magazine Spain

Spain's National Confederation of Installers (CNI) has published a technical paper about the potential of solar-powered heat pumps in the Spanish energy market.

The document aims to offer technical assistance to all companies active in the segment in Spain, while providing specific guidelines for proper deployment.

“Heat pumps are defined by the current regulations for thermal installations in buildings (RITE) as reference systems, as they offer an extremely high performance that is not comparable to those of a combustion boiler,” said Javier Ponce, a member of the association's technical committee and the author of the paper. “Today it is not possible to design a thermal installation that is efficient without a large contribution from renewables on its thermal production.”

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He said that a residential PV system deployed without a heat pump in Spain has a payback period ranging from six to 10 years, but coupling the array with a heat pump means it can be repaid in less than five years. In addition, if the heat pump produces hot water for a household, works efficiently for low-temperature systems such as radiant floors, and also produces cooling during the summer, the payback time could range between two and three years.

The paper explains the seasonal performance of heat pumps, describes their electrical energy consumption, and the photovoltaic contribution. It also brings together the key factors for the success of an installation, and the steps to develop a self-consumption system.

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