Aerotermia: What is it and how does it work? Advantages of combining it with solar panels

Aerotermia: ¿Qué es y cómo funciona? Ventajas de combinarla con placas solares

The aerotermia is booming. In recent years, many users have adopted this renewable energy as a system for generating heat and cold, replacing the traditional boilers that were common in homes.

What is aerothermia and how does it work?

The aerotermia systems are heat pumps of last generation that are used to produce hot water, cooling in summer and heating in winter. It is a highly efficient system.

The aerotermia is, therefore, a heat pump that extracts heat from the air to produce cold or hot water and use it for heating , air conditioning or domestic hot water (DHW) .

 Aerothermy can be associated with numerous heating / cooling systems such as underfloor heating, fan-coils (water-air equipment) and low-temperature radiators. The most common association is that of aerotermia and radiant floor.

 

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The radiant floor is a system of heat / cold that has a high thermal inertia since the entire mass of the ground is heated so that it, in turn, warms the air of the house. Thermal inertia is the amount of heat that can accumulate and preserve a solid body. It is the cause that when we turn off the heating, the house stays hot for a certain period of time.

The fuel used is electricity and the yields range from 250% to 450% depending on the outside temperature and the water temperature that you want to reach, whether for use in radiant floor or hot water. In the areas near the coast is where you get the maximum performance of aerotermia equipment.

Aerotermia: What power do I need?

In order to know the exact power of an aerothermal equipment, it would be convenient to perform a calculation of thermal loads taking into account the effect of thermal inertia. The method recommended by IDAE is the RST (Temporary Radiant Series) and is summarized in the following image:

  For this calculation to be accurate, it must be done by an expert and there must be a safety margin on the 100% theoretical result for unforeseen events.

Let us suppose the following example: the calculation of thermal loads strut has determined that your single-family house needs 18 kW thermal at the time of maximum demand, so we would need an aerothermal equipment of at least 18 kW.

Let us suppose now that these 18 kW are only needed during the coldest 6 hours of the day, during the 12 intermediate ones we need 12 kW and in the 6 hottest ones we only need 6 kW.

In this case, we could provide a constant power of 12 kW (18 * 6 + 12 * 12 + 6 * 6) / 24 and use the thermal inertia in our benefit.

This is an example, although it is usual for cold and heat installers to use approximations of 50 W / m2 and 100 W / m2 depending on the location, whether the insulation is good or bad, …

Price of Aerothermia

In existing buildings, the average price of an aerothermic equipment is between € 1,200 and € 2,500 for homes with less than 4 bedrooms. The amortization can be between 5 and 12 years depending on the fuel to be replaced: butane is more expensive than natural gas.

Combination of Aerotermia with Solar Plates

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The aerotermia machine can be supplied with photovoltaic solar energy in the event that the installation of solar panels produces enough electricity. In this way, we minimize consumption and optimize more savings.

If you combine photovoltaic energy with aerothermy to produce ACS, you can have a 350% more performance , that is, 3.5 kWh produced by each 1 kWh electric energy used in design conditions (outdoor temperature lower than 35ºC in summer and higher than 5º C in winter).

This combined solution of aerothermy with photovoltaic is more efficient than solar thermal energy to produce ACS.

5 reasons to combine Aerotermia with Photovoltaics

  1. The aerotermia can be considered a renewable energy because it contributes up to 75% of its energy for free thanks to the air.
  2. The performance of photovoltaic energy to produce ACS increases more than 80% together, exceeding the thermal solar performance.
  3. You use solar panels to generate part of the electricity needed by the aerothermal machine to generate heat and cold.
  4. The surplus of photovoltaic can use it for other electrical consumption of the house. The saving is double.
  5. The maintenance of both the installation of solar panels for self-consumption and that of aerothermy is minimal and much lower than any conventional boiler.

For these 5 reasons, the aerotermia with photovoltaic plates is an excellent solution. You are also saving energy and money without harming the environment.