Heating with the Sun!
Solar Heat Pumps are a new category of high-efficiency solar systems that can take care of both your domestic hot water and your space heating, utilising the efficiency of heat pumps coupled with harvesting energy directly from the sun!
Unlike solar hot water systems, solar heat pumps are not limited to the summer-time sun, and they are not subject to damage from freezing, boiling, or fouling!
Here is one home-heating system going up. Note that we no longer install the Chinese-built SunPump® as we determined that the quality was not up to our standards.
Testing being done internationally has discovered that solar heating systems can be between 2 – 10 times more efficient than straight electric heating! This industry is still in its infancy, although one European company (Energie) has been designing and building one type of system for more than two decades. Unfortunately they have not yet sought the required UL or CSA rating for North American markets.
Does a solar heat pump company claim that their equipment is rated at a Coefficient Of Performance (COP) of 4, 5 or even 6? (That is, its efficiency is 400%, 500% or 600%.) Ask for a third party verification of those numbers, and ensure that the certifying body stands behind their conclusions. Virtually all heat pumps in Canada are verified by the federal government’s Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). NRCan is currently testing a German system but have not tested the SunPump® or any other solar heat pump system. Buyer beware!
Until one or more European systems are certified for the Canadian market we recommend installing solar hot water systems and/or solar photo voltaic (PV) systems, as they have been developed to a far greater extent.