Renewable energy in our homes
5 mins read

Renewable energy in our homes

Ostania aktualizacja 30 January 2023

Renewable energy in our homes – when building a single-family house, we can often come across proposals to install various types of new technologies in our house. Recuperation and heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and advanced insulation systems. These are the offers we are most often offered. How does it work and is it really worth it?

Recuperation and heat pumps, photovoltaic panels – active systems for obtaining renewable energy

Nowadays, a lot of emphasis is placed on making the use of our living space as emission-free as possible, from the point of view of CO2 emissions. We can reduce CO2 emissions very effectively if we use energy from renewable sources. Such sources include solar energy, wind energy and thermal energy. Photovoltaic panels are of course used to obtain solar energy . Wind power plants for obtaining wind energy, while heat pumps and recuperators for obtaining or recovering thermal energy.The most popular forms of obtaining electricity from renewable sources include photovoltaic panels, because they are definitely easier and less troublesome to install and operate than wind power plants. Of course, we are talking here about the exploitation of energy production on a consumer scale. Recuperation and heat pumps are used to recover and extract heat energy.

Recuperation and heat pumps – how does it work?

Recuperators and heat pumps work, in general, on a very similar principle, i.e. they use the temperature difference between the two centers to exchange it and transfer it to the interior of our building. Their efficient operation gives us the most benefits in winter, when we typically incur very high energy (and thus financial) costs related to heating. The recuperator recovers energy that normally escaped from our house through the ventilation system. The recuperator in a general description recovers heat from the air that leaves our house and transfers it to the air that is pumped into our apartment. Thanks to this, the outside air that enters our house is already pre-heated, so it does not cool the apartment so much. Thanks to this, we need much less energy that is needed to heat the interior.The heat pump works on a similar physical principle, except that it uses the fact that the ground at a certain depth, like surface water, even in winter has a much higher temperature than the temperature of the air and shallow layers of ground and water. Thanks to this, it is possible to diffuse the temperature from the warmer layers to the cooler layers, which heats it and transfers this energy to our home. Heat recovery and heat pumps work best together . This makes them the most efficient then. Recuperators and heat pumps that work separately also give significant effects, but not as spectacular as in the case of combined installations.

Photovoltaic panels

Photovoltaic panels have become loud recently, mainly due to the “my electricity” program, which allows you to obtain a government subsidy for the construction of a new photovoltaic installation for consumer use. At the same time, by building such an installation, we become prosumers, i.e. on the one hand we produce electricity, and on the other hand we can receive electricity from the network for free. Of course, there are various regulations, including one that says that we can collect about 80% of the amount of energy we give back to the grid for free, but these restrictions are supported by reasonable calculations. It is worth remembering that a well-designed and calculated solar power plant is able to reduce the costs associated with electricity fees to almost zero.

Is it worth installing all these systems?

When asked whether it is worth installing recuperators and heat pumps as well as photovoltaic panels there is no simple answer. A lot depends on the energy needs of our house. It may turn out, for example, that recuperators and heat pumps installed in our house, combined with good thermal insulation, will be sufficient so that our building does not have to be additionally heated. Building an additional solar power plant in such a system may be an unnecessary expense. If we build a photovoltaic installation when we do not actually need it, then it will turn out that it simply will not pay for itself and will be an excessive burden. Similarly, it may turn out that if we have strong photovoltaic panels and good insulation. Then, for example, recuperators and heat pumps may not necessarily be profitable from this point of view. In practice, however, it is best to use recuperators and heat pumps as well as additional photovoltaic panels. However, all this must be well calculated in terms of the energy intensity of our household and how much energy all these devices working together can produce. Having three of them also gives you security in case one of them is not working efficiently for some reason.

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