Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Do You Know How Solar Power Works to Help Your HVAC System?

In our sunny climate, many homeowners know it makes sense to use our abundant sunshine to power our homes. Although investing in solar energy can be somewhat expensive, for many homeowners, it’s worth the cost. Not only can you reduce your electric bills by using solar energy, you may be able to receive payments for surplus energy generated. Furthermore, your solar system may also be used to run your air conditioner or heat pump, which will result in additional savings when you know how solar power works.

How Solar Power Works

The amount of sunlight that hits the earth’s surface in a mere 90 minutes is enough to power the world’s energy needs for a year. All it requires to gather this energy is photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. The energy that is gathered can generate electricity in a home or commercial building, it can be stored in batteries, or it can be put into thermal storage. Simply put, solar power works by mounting solar panels on roofs or nearby a building and collecting the energy from the sun in batteries that, in turn, power appliances and lighting in the home. When the sun is not shining, your system won’t be working unless you have a storage system.

What’s more, to run an energy-hungry appliance like an air conditioner, you need a lot of power. Happily, with developments in the industry, performance has improved vastly, as has energy storage. Some mini-split heat pumps (these do not require ductwork) come with variable speed compressors so they can operate on less energy than other systems.

How Solar Power Works for HVAC Systems

A ductless mini-split heat pump can be powered by solar energy, but for it to work optimally, you should choose a mini-split with a high SEER (seasonal energy equivalency ratio). But despite improvements in battery storage, running a unit all night can be expensive or inadequate. One solution that is emerging is a hybrid system that collects solar energy, but at night, when the sun stops shining, it taps into the hard-wire connection.

For more on how solar power works, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.