Updated June 2017

What runs best from home solar depends on the relative price of gas and/or grid power, and your typical solar input. This article explains what – and why.

Until recently it has been cheaper to use gas for cooking – but that may change, however, as its cost continues to rise. Water heating is still best done by solar hot water heaters plus gas. Space heating, where feasible, is best done by using the sun’s heat directly via sun facing windows. Where that is not feasible, however, (and at night) use the latest ultra-efficient reverse cycle air conditioners on their heat cycle. The best currently available produces 2.5 kW of heat for only 420 watts of electricity. 

air conditioner Daikin US7

The Daiken US7 shown above draws only 420 watts for 2.5 kW of heat. Pic: Daiken.

What runs best from home solar

What runs best from home solar is almost everything else that does not as its prime function produce heat. Much can thus be economically powered from solar.

A great deal of money can also be saved by using efficient LEDs lights and high efficiency appliances. 

Before attempting to scale the solar capacity required, see what can be done to slash existing usage. Savings of 30% are readily achieved at virtually zero cost. Moreover, in many cases savings of well over 50% are common.

What runs best from home solar – and how to do it – is fully explained in my books Solar Success (for homes and properties). Solar That Really Works! is for boats, cabins and RVs. These books are promised to save you money.

For cabin, boat and Rv-related solar etc please also our associated caravanandmotorhomebooks.com