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Heating your home

Solar assisted heat pumps

Benefits

  • A low carbon heating system
  • Provides hot water to your home
  • May be able to heat very small or thermally efficient homes

What is a solar assisted heat pump?

A solar assisted heat pump is a heat pump combined with a solar collector (a series of panels that convert sunlight into heat). Like other heat pumps, a solar assisted heat pump takes heat from the outside environment, which can be used to provide hot water in your home and may even be able to meet your heating needs if your home has a high level of energy efficiency.  

Unlike other types of heat pumps, a solar assisted heat pump can also take heat directly from sunlight. It does this using a solar collector like those used in solar hot water systems.  

However, unlike the collector used in a solar hot water system, the one used in a solar assisted heat pump can also extract heat from the air. This allows the system to produce hot water even when the sun isn’t shining. 

Solar panels for a solar assisted heat pump. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

How does a solar assisted heat pump work?

A solar assisted heat pump combines an air-to-water heat pump with a solar collector panel. Usually, the solar collector and heat pump are linked directly, sharing the same refrigeration circuit.

Heat from the outdoor air is absorbed by the solar collector into a refrigerant gas. This warmed gas is passed to a heat pump compressor, which raises the temperature further. This heat is then transferred into the home – usually to heat the water in a hot water cylinder.

For further information on how a heat pump works, including details on system design and control, see our in-depth guide to heat pumps.

Is a solar assisted heat pump right for me?

How much does a solar assisted heat pump cost?

The cost of a solar assisted heat pump varies depending on the brand, model and size of heat pump, hot water cylinder, the size of the property and whether it’s a new build or an existing property.

We recommend speaking to at least three installers to provide a quote for your heat pump system to give you the best idea of likely costs for your home.

Last updated: 9 March 2022