We have updated the documentation of monthly and seasonal measurement data – now including also the full season September 2014 to August 2015.
The overall Seasonal Performance Factor was 4,4 – despite the slightly lower numbers in February and March, when was the solar collector was off during the Ice Storage Challenge.
Edit: I have learned from a question that the SPF is also calculated in BTU/Wh. ‘Our’ SPF uses the same units in nominator and denominator, so 4,4 is in Wh/Wh. The conversion factor is about 3,4 (note that I use a decimal comma BTW), so our SPF [kWh/kWh] is equivalent to an SPF [BTU/Wh] ~ 15.
The SPF determines economics of heating with a heat pump.
It’s time to compare costs again, based on current minimum prices of electricity and natural gas in our region in Austria (published by regulator e-control):
- We need about 20.000 kWh (*) of heating energy per year.
- Assuming a nearly perfect gas boiler with an efficiency of 95%, we would need about 21.050 kWh of gas.
- Cost of natural gas incl. taxes, grid fees: ~ 0,0600 € / kWh
- Yearly energy costs for heating with gas would be: € 1.260
- Given an SPF of 4,4 for the heat pump, 20.000 kWh heating energy demands translate to 4.545 kWh of electrical energy.
- Costs of electricity incl. taxes, grid: ~ 0,167 € / kWh
- Yearly energy costs for heating with the heat pump: € 760
- Yearly savings with the heat pump: € 500 or 40% of the costs of gas.
(*) As indicated in the PDF, In the past year only the ground floor was heated by the heat pump. So we needed only 13.300 kWh. In the first floor we got rid of the remainders of the old roof truss. The season 2012/2013 was more typical, requiring about 19.700 kWh.
The last winter was not too extreme – we needed 100 kWh maximum heating energy per day. The collector was capable of harvesting about 50 kWh / day:
Ice formation in this season was mainly triggered by turning off the solar collector deliberately. As soon as we turn the collector on again in March the ice was melted quickly, and the temperature increased to the set value of 8°C – a value picked deliberately to prepare for cooling in summer:
Further reading / about the system:
I am maintaining a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.