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The Article Is About An Emerging HVAC Technology: Integrated (one system) Solar-Assisted, Heat Pump HVAC Systems.   These Systems are available now, so we did a cost comparison of Integrated System (1 System) — compared to a Conventional Solar System & a Conventional Heat Pump HVAC System (2 separate systems).   We present our findings in this article.

Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally, we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides full-service plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in Plano, TX; Allen, TX; and Frisco, TX.  We service all homes in southern Collin County, TX and Denton County, TX with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

Integrated (one system) Solar-Assisted Heat Pump (SAHP) 

How A Heat Pump Differs From Conventional Central A/C

heat pump diagram

Image Source: ShutterStock

Shown: Heat Pump Heating Operation Diagram

A Heat Pump System Cools AND Heats:

When Cooling:  A Heat Pump works just like a Central A/C.  It removes heat from the house and sends the heat outdoors.

When Heating: A Heat Pump runs in reverse.  It removes heat from outdoor air and sends that heat indoors. 

Comparison Of

A. Conventional Solar System + Conventional, Central, Heat Pump HVAC (Separate Systems)

To

B. Solar-Assisted, Integrated, Heat Pump HVAC System (One System)

NOTE: We’ve presented lots of numbers below.  To See Only The Totals — Scroll Down To Purchase Costs and Operating Costs 

-OR-

Scroll Further Down To The Summary.

Option A.  5,000 Watts (5 kWh) Solar-Collection System Cost — Installed

AND 

36,000 BTU, Heat Pump Central HVAC System — Installed.  Not Including Rebates.

A Stand-Alone Solar Panels System generates electricity and routes it into the home’s Circuit Breaker Panel.  The electricity is then routed into the home’s wiring for use anywhere in the home.

  • 2900 average number of daylight hours per year in DFW **1    Note: A Solar System doesn’t generate electricity when it’s dark.
  • The 5kWh System will generate 2900 (daylight hours) X 5 (kWh per hour) = 14,500 kWh per year.
  • In Texas, the average annual household electricity use = 14,500 kWh. **2
  • This makes the annual savings provided by the 5 kWh Solar System = 14,500 kWh X 12.5 per kWh = $,1825.00 per year.
  • This Solar System would pay for itself in $15,000. / $1,825 (per year) = 8.25 years 

Heat Pump HVAC System:

  • Note: A 3 ton / 36,000 BTU Heat Pump meets the heating & cooling needs for a 2,000 Square Foot DFW Home.
  • Home Advisor says a 36,000 BTU System costs up to $6,250.00 installed

Purchase Costs:

  • $15,000  5 kWh Conventional Solar System – Installed = $15,000
  • $  6,250  3 Ton / 36,000 BTU Conventional Heat Pump HVAC Sytem – Installed.
  • $21,250 Total  — NOTE: This Solar System Meets The Home’s Total Annual Electricity Needs (adjusted for daylight hours).

Operating Costs:

  • This system is sized to meet a DFW’s annual electricity demand for one home.
  • It will make more electricity than needed during the day — but doesn’t make electricity at night, or on very cloudy days.
  • When the System makes more electricity than needed — that electricity is routed into the local power lines.
  • This causes the electric meter to run in reverse — and the owner is issued a credit for that electricity.
  • At night (or cloudy days) — the home will take electricity from the local power lines.
  • The electric meter measures the electricity used — and the owner is billed toward any (excess electricity) credits.
  • After all credits are used — the owner is billed the standard rate for electricity.
  • In theory, this solar system meets all electricity needs for a DFW home over one year.
  • Actual electricity use, however, depends on; if the home has gas or electric heat, the home’s occupants and lifestyles , and other factors that can’t be computed here —  because they are unique to each household.

Source:

**1 http://www.dallas.climatemps.com/sunlight.php#:~:text=There%20is%20an%20average%20of,haze%20or%20low%20sun%20intensity.

**2 https://electricityplans.com/kwh-kilowatt-hour-can-power/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20EIA%2C%20in,867%20kWh%20%2F%2030%20days).

**3: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heating-and-cooling/install-a-heat-pump/#:~:text=The%20average%203%2Dton%20system,too%20small%20for%20your%20needs.

 

Option B: Integrated, Solar-Assisted Heat Pump — Installed (one system). Not Including Rebates.

(Its Solar Panels Serve Only The Heat Pump)

 

Hot Spot Energy’s Solar-Ready Heat Pump Systems

ventless HVAC wall unit

Image Source: ShutterStock

This Solar-Ready Heat Pump Is Ventless — Meaning that there’s no ductwork.

Instead, A Wall-Mounted Indoor Unit Comes With This System (it’s above the black & white wall art).

To Learn More, Copy This Link Into Your Browser For Hot Spot Energy in Chesapeake VA: https://www.hotspotenergy.com/solar-heating/

A. Model: ACDC18: (1) 18,000 BTU Solar-Ready Heat Pump:     

Note: Hot Spot Energy’s Solar-Ready Heat Pumps Can Operate On Electricity From The Solar-Panels AND From The House.

  • The ACDC18 Solar-Assisted Heat-Pump Systems run mostly on solar power during daylight hours
  • House electricity is used (as needed and at night) — so a house electrical connection is required.

NOTES: 

  • The ACDC18 allows for 24/7 operation.  During the daytime — the system runs mostly off its solar panels.
  • As night approaches — the system gradually transitions to AC house power.
  • The ACDC18 doesn’t cycle on and off like a conventional single-speed Central A/C.
  • The ACDC18 has a variable-speed compressor that speeds up or slows down to match current cooling or heating demand.
  • The ACDC18 runs continuously — at only the speed(s) needed to maintain the temperature.

ACDC18 Efficiency Ratings:

  • HSPF: 10+.  HSPF stands for: Heating Season Performance Factor — it’s a guide to Heat Pump efficiency.
  • SEER: 22+.  SEER stands for: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating — it’s a guide to A/C efficiency.
  • Heat Pump operates in outdoor temps down to +5F.
  • Heat Pump is a Hybrid — meaning it can run off solar panels — or house electricity.

Purchase Costs:

  • $2,100 ACDC18 System Heat Pump Only
  • $1,900 (4) 375-watt Solar Panels — at  $475 each **6
  • $1,800 Estimated Installation & Connections Charges (45%)
  • $5,800 ACDC18 System –  Installed (e)
  • $11,600 2 ACDC18 Systems — Installed (e)   This provides 36,000 BTU of Heating/Cooling.
  • Note: In DFW: 36,000 BTU’s / 3-Ton HVAC System Is Required For A 2,000 Square Feet Home.

**6  https://sunwatts.com/375-watt-solar-panels/#:~:text=375%20watt%20LG%20Mono%20Solar%20Panel%2010%2Dpack&text=This%20is%20a%20pallet%20pack,high%2Dperformance%20NeON%20R%20technology.

Operating Costs:

photo of circuit breaker panel

The ACDC18 Unit Uses House Electricity At Night & On Very Cloudy Days.

  • In DFW, Heat Pump HVAC Systems Run for an average of 8 hours per day. **3
  • The ACDC18 uses 5,200 watts per hour.  5.2 X 12.4 (cents per kWh)  = $.65 hour to operate.
  • 8,750 Hours In A Year
  • 2,900 Hours Of Daylight Per Year In DFW — 35% of total hours are during daylight.
  • ACDC18 provides all electricity it needs for 2.75 hours per day — 35% of 8 hours total run time.
  • Each ACDC18 HVAC System runs 8 hours per day X $.65 per hour = $5.25 daily operating costs
  • The ACDC Solar System provides 35% of total electricity needed per day. $5.25 x 35% = -$1.75 per day
  • $5.25 -1.75 = $3.50 per day for electricity from the house.
  • X 365 days = +$1,275. per year for electricity from the house.
  • $2,550 For TWO ACDC18 electricity from the house.
  • Note: A Heat Pump HVAC System runs year-round in DFW,
  • X 8.25 years (The amount of time for the Conventional Solar System to pay for itself).
  • +$21,000 Electricity from the house costs for Two ACDC18 (over 8.25 years).
  • $  11,500 for Two ACDC18 – Installed (e).
  • +$21,000 cost of additional electricity (not provided by ACDC18 Solar-Collectors)

Solar-Ready (2) ACDC18 HVAC System Purchase AND Operating Costs Over 8.25 Years:

  •   $32,500 (2) ACDC18 Purchase & Operating Costs (Integrated, Single System)
  • -$21,250 Purchase & Operating Costs For A; Conventional Solar System AND A Conventional, 36,000  BTU, Heat Pump HVAC System (2 Separate Systems)

Source:

**3 https://www.texaselectricityratings.com/blog/2020/02/21/costs-most-dallas-electric-bill#:~:text=%E2%80%9CAn%20average%20central%20ac%20will,according%20to%20Energy%20Use%20Calculator.

Summary:

home with solar collectors on the roof

Image Source: ShutterStock

SHOWN: Conventional Solar System

central air conditioner outside unit

Image Source: ShutterStock

SHOWN: Conventional Heat Pump HVAC System

It’s -$11,250 Less Expensive To Purchase & Operate A Conventional Solar System + Conventional Heat Pump HVAC System

AND

After 8.25 Years — The Solar System Still Has At Lease 16 More Years Before Worn Out.

After 8.25 Years – The Conventional Heat Pump HVAC System Has About $6.75 Years Before Worn Out

AND: (2) Additional Conventional Heat Pump HVAC Systems Will Be Needed To Match The Remaining 16 Years Of The Solar Collection Panels’ Lifespan

 

After 8.25 Years — The Solar-Ready Solar-Collectors Have At Lease 16 More Years Before Worn Out

After 8.25 Years — The Solar-Ready Heat Pump HVAC System Has About 6.75 Years Before Worn Out

AND: (4) Additional ACDC18 Units Will Be Needed To Match The Remaining 16 Years Of The Solar Collection Panels’ Lifespan

Source:

**4: https://wellssolar.com/news/how-long-solar-panels-last/

 

Additional Products From Hot Spot Energy:

Model DC4812VRF (below) Is Battery-Operated & Uses Only Solar Panel Electricity — Or From Back-Up Batteries.

This System Is Ideal For A Home Without Access To Electricity.

Additional solar panels could be added to power other electric devices (with a DC To AC power-converter added).

 

C. Model: DC4812VRF: A Battery-Powered 12,000 BTU Heat Pump — that doesn’t require a house electricity connection (it can’t use AC electric-current).

DC4812 Kit Pricing: (Connections and Installation Are Not Included In Price Shown):

  • $4300 for up to 8 hours per day operating time.  12,000 BTU Heat Pump HVAC System.
  • Price includes (3) 340-watt Electricity Producing (PV) Solar Panels.  Solar panels are sold in 3’s.
  • Price includes a Solar Panel, Flush-Mount Installation Kit.
  • Estimated cost for 4 batteries is included in kit price.
  • * The batteries in the kit price shown are for Golf Cart batteries.  They are not sold by Hot Spot.
  • Hot Spot sells a high-performance battery that costs more.
  • $5800 for up to 16 hours per day operating time.  12,000 BTU Heat Pump HVAC System.
  • Price includes (6) 340-watt Electricity Producing (PV) Solar Panels + Solar Panel, Flush-Mount Installation Kit.
  • Estimated cost for 8 batteries is included in kit price.
  • * The batteries in the kit price shown are for Golf Cart batteries.  They are not sold by Hot Spot.
  • Hot Spot sells a high-performance battery that costs more.
  • $8050 for up to 24 hours per day operating time..  12,000 BTU Heat Pump HVAC System.
  • Price includes (9) 340-watt Electricity Producing (PV) Solar Panels + Solar Panel, Flush-Mount Installation Kit.
  • Estimated cost for 16 batteries is included in kit price.
  • * The batteries in the kit price shown are for Golf Cart batteries.  They are not sold by Hot Spot.
  • Hot Spot sells a high-performance battery that costs more.

 Call For Complete Kit Pricing.    Prices Are Subject To Change. 

NOTE: Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C Does Not Sell Or Install Hot Spot Energy’s HVAC System.

 

Additional Residential Products:

E. Heat-Recovery Water Heater that uses discarded heat from the A/C.  Their website states: “Get 100 gallons of hot water per day.”

F. Heat-Recovery Pool Heater that uses the discarded heat from the A/C — so heating the pool is low or no cost (during summer).

G. DC To AC Power-Converter — that allows anything inside the house to be powered by the solar panels.

H. They also plan to introduce a Heat Pump that installs in a window.

Commercial Products:

Hot Spot Energy also offers some commercial products — see: “Products’ section on their website.

 

How Electricity-Producing (PV) Solar Panels Work

solar panels on roof of home

Image Source: ShutterStock

Shown: Solar Electricity Panels

Click Here To Learn More About PV (PhotoVoltaic) Solar Panels Work: AlsPlumbing.com Rooftop Solar Collection System

solar panel diagram

Image Source: ShutterStock

Shown: Electricity-Generating Solar Panel Diagram

Solar PV panels have many small photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity.  These cells are made from a material (usually silicon) that conducts electricity — while maintaining the electrical imbalance needed to create an electric field.

What Is Meant By: “Electrical Imbalance” For Solar Panels

  • Each solar cell has both Positively & Negatively charged semiconductors that are sandwiched together.  They are what creates an electric field.
  • When sunlight hits the PV cells — the energy from the sunlight is absorbed.
  • The sunlight energy knocks loose many electrons — then the electrons flow freely within the solar cell.
  • The electrons all flow in one direction — toward metal plates that line each PC cell.
  • The electrons flow creates an electrical current.
  • Once the drifting electrons hit metal plates — the electric current is captured and sent to wires.

 

  • Solar panels generate Direct-Current (DC) electricity.
  • But, nearly everything needs Alternating-Current (AC).
  • So, after the solar panel generates DC current — the current flows into a DC TO AC Inverter — that changes the DC current into AC current.
  • Then, the electrical current goes to the home’s Circuit-Breaker Panel.
  • From there, the panel distributes the electricity throughout the building.

photo of circuit breaker panel

Image Source: CanStockPhoto

SHOWN: A Home Circuit-Breaker Panel

 

electrical grid diagram

Image Source: ShutterStock

SHOWN:  Electricity’s Path From The Power Plant To Your Home

When your Solar Panels are generating more electricity than you need— the excess electricity goes from your home into the Power Grid.  When this occurs, the electric meter runs in reverse — and you get credit for the excess electricity.   This credit will be used when solar collectors don’t work — at night, or on very cloudy days.

When your Solar Panels generate less electricity than you need — electricity comes from the Power Grid into your home.  The electric meter runs forward, and you’re billed for the electricity it measures (or it’s charged against your credit).   At night, or on very cloudy days, all needed electricity comes from the Power Grid into your home.

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The Article Was About Solar-Assisted, Heat Pump HVAC Systems.   Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally, we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides full-service plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in Wylie, TX; Murphy, TX; and Rockwall, TX.  We service all homes in southern Collin County, TX and Denton County, TX with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience