The owner of a detached house in Meulebeke, Flanders, Belgium, has reconciled several things that don’t really go together. He wanted to save money and do something good for the environment at the same time, but he also didn’t want to do without the high level of comfort and various amenities he had previously enjoyed.
Heating element installed
These comforts are not just the well-heated parlour. The homeowner also has a jacuzzi. This hot tub in front of the house in the garden needs a lot of energy to heat up the 1,500 litres of water. Previously, this had to be supplied by the existing gas heating system. This was expensive, and not just since the rising energy costs due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which have also affected the Belgians.
To save money, the homeowner looked for an alternative for himself and his family of four. In the end, he opted for a solar-electric heating and hot water system. A 200 litre hot water tank is charged directly by a heating rod. This heating element is in turn controlled by an AC Thor power controller from the Austrian manufacturer My PV.
Own solar power in the hot water
This means that the homeowner can now utilise the profits from the existing photovoltaic system on the roof. This has an output of 15 kilowatts and provides enough energy to supply the partially renovated house with heat and hot water from March to October and also to heat the water in the jacuzzi to a pleasant 37 degrees Celsius. A second power controller from My PV was installed for this purpose, which is solely responsible for the heat in the jacuzzi.
Saving energy costs
This means that the building is almost completely disconnected from the natural gas tap. The fossil fuel is now only used for cooking. The previous gas boiler still takes over the peak load in winter.
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This is noticeable on the energy bill. This is because the homeowner saves 350 euros a year compared to the prices in 2021, i.e. before the energy crisis, just for operating their hot water boiler. For the current electricity prices, he estimates that he actually saves €45 per month. What’s more, the homeowner doesn’t have to have a guilty conscience when he takes another hot bath. “In addition to the financial aspect, the relaxed feeling of complete comfort is worth mentioning, knowing that all the energy needed to heat the water in the house and in the hot tub comes from your own photovoltaic system,” emphasises the homeowner. (su/mfo)