Heating News

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Heating News

Post by Sagraiasolar on Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:43 pm

You may moderate this away as a commercial post and I won't mind if you do. As there is not much going on though, you might like to see the latest 'Heating News' on www.originaltwist.com where a ultra cheap bandit heating system for campers is described along with a couple of whimsical ideas.
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Re: Heating News

Post by Admin on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:23 am

Very interesting - thanks. I couldn't find a link to the Kindle book though. Could you post one?

Also, I have a question. We will need to heat a small house (90sqm) and provide a LOT of hot water (we'll have a mini-campsite - just 4 tents of 4 people and eventually 2 x one-bedroom appartments).

We have free wood so we were looking at a wood-powered boiler/furnace like these with a heatstore. Eventually we want to hook the heatstore up to solar panels for the hot water but that will have to be in the future. We want to have as low tech a solution as possible and like the idea that you fire the furnace once every couple of days to keep the hot water topped up rather than having it run constantly. Why low tech? Well, it's a country house and I don't want to be without hot water if the electricity fails. Plus, less to go wrong.

We live in Liguria at 300m altitude and we are blessed with mild winters (rarely below 5 degrees) plus lots of sunshine.

Any hints/tips or things we should watch out for?

The boiler will be in the cantina with bedrooms/bathroom on the ground floor and living space on the first floor. I don't know if that makes any difference.

Any advice very gratefully receieved!


Last edited by Admin on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:28 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added link)
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Low tech heating

Post by Sagraiasolar on Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:21 pm

Hi Admin,  Thank you for all your efforts on this forum. It is my pleasure to help you in any way I can.
The book pops up on Amazon if you search for 'Dream House down to the details' Here's a link
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dream+house+down+to+the+details
As you might expect it has lots of eco-energy content and there will be some worthwhile ideas in there for you. The title page says 101 technical tips tweaks and tricks by Patrick Littlehales

As for your project, a few thoughts.
A wood furnace is nice BUT:
it is unlikely to run at all in a power cut - they have pumps and controls
they are twice the price of a wood burning stove
regular cleaning is a boring chore
to store energy for heating for a long time you are looking at absolutely huge storage tanks - more cost
you can't use it as a cosy fire
high power - yes but transmission issues can negate this.

A stove + solar panels will cost the same and do a better job
Your huge hot water demands can be met, on most summer days, with a pair of tanks and massive solar + an immersion heater that comes as standard on the heat store. If you need absolutely guaranteed and continuous hot water supply then a gas boiler, used just for backup, works perfectly. With a direct connection to the tank ( no coil) it delivers all its power in condensing mode and makes the tank like a combi boiler with a huge buffered reserve.

If the alfresco shower for happy campers is really a consideration I can send you a sketch of the cheap drum heater.

Many decisions should, as you suggested, be 'does it work in a power cut?'
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Re: Heating News

Post by Admin on Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:41 pm

Thanks for the reply :-)

The big advantage the furnace has is that we can fire it up in the summer in the cantina without dying of heat in the living room. The one I linked to is around €1800 which I didn't think was too bad to be honest.

We don't have gas and where we'll live (on our farm) it is impossible to get a lorry up there so it wouldn't work for us. Plus they charge a massive premium for coming out. I'll give you an example. We currently pay €4.80 a cubic metre for gas (!) in the main village. When we lived at the coast it was €0.96. Plus the wood is free so it would not make sense to pay for fuel.

We'll have wood burner in the living room with an oven as it means we don't need to put one in the tiny kitchen and so it frees up some space. We'll just have a hob. Noone bakes in summer anyway - too hot!

When you say transmission issues do you mean heat-loss when you pipe the water? The shared showers/toilet block is next door to the cantina so that shouldn't be too bad and the two appartments are within 10 metres so I'm hoping with good insulation it shouldn't be too bad. I guess there might be a delay in the hot water reaching them though.

I take your point about pumps. Is that going to be a problem for us no matter what as the storage tank will be in the cantina and the kitchen/living room on the 1st floor so the water has to go upstairs?

How big a tank do you think we'd need? In winter it would only be us and maybe the 2 appartments - no tents.

We'd like to make the tents self-sufficient in all energy. It'll be a glampsite so they'll be yurts or safari tents. The drum heater sounds very interesting. To pass the inspections we have to provide a proper shared bathroom but what we offer on top is up to us. We have a lot of yacht supply companies here and it's quite easy and economical to rig up a little yacht solar panel system and we thought we'd do that to provide an electricity point to each of the pitches.

We also have to treat our water. We're planning on UV and carbon filtering, with a unit at each pitch rather than one big system as then you have the storage problem and it runs more risk of contamination.

As a rough guide what is a realistic amount to budget for a solar panel system? I know that's a vague question :-)
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eco-heating

Post by Sagraiasolar on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:20 pm

The furnace sounds very reasonable and, at that price, probably doesn't have electronics so no power-cut issues. A gravity circulation to an elevated tank would be ideal.  Furnace specs re power output are not often true so treat with a pinch of salt.

Tank size - 500 litres is a good blend of performance (5 - 6 showers stored) and price (about £3,000 depending on spec). The furnace is directly connected and therefore delivers all of its power without a coil and perpetual showering is probably possible.
The tank + furnace + immersion is a good start and solar can be added later. Another tank can also be added later and that really makes a big difference, particularly with solar power due to my solar stripper circuit.

The tank is full of murky water and directly connected to rads, furnace etc. and the showers etc are heated via a plate heat exchanger on the tank... ie the shower water is as fresh as your supply and at the same pressure.

Panels - Favoured clients can get a 3 panel kit for €2,000 + IVA

PV panels.. take care with regs. Roofs only these days.  A light system with a couple of batteries and you'll have enough power to run the heating system (a 40W pump on the DHW) when the power goes. There's quite a lot about all that in my book.
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Re: Heating News

Post by Admin on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:27 pm

Thanks so much. That's really helpful. I'll be downloading it Very Happy
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Re: Heating News

Post by Geotherm on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:40 pm

I would suggest a couple of air/air type inverters for the apartments. Cooling in summer and can provide heating if needed in the cooler months.
With the DHW, then you will need some highly insulated pipes, as the ground can draw out the heat fairly quickly. Otherwise, you could use a air to water type unit just for the DHW.
With the tent units, then you may well need a large DHW thermal store type unit, possibly heated by solar panels in the summer, as in the winter not a good idea.

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