Part 3: Heating

It’s ironic that part 3: Heating is receiving so much traffic on the web and until now I hadn’t added any explanatory text to the system. Well I guess it must be self-explanatory. Individually it’s a very simple system  but as a whole it was a gamble if it would be enough.

An 8m2 solar collector supplies the 600ltr solar tank making sure it can sufficiently run its daily hot water demands for 4 people through-out the warmer months. From September to March the design works on solar gain from the south elevation and the projects wood burner with a 7kw back burner pumping its contributing hot water to the solar-tank.

It takes roughly 30 minutes after lighting the stove for the back burner pump to kick in and an hour from cold for it to produce hot domestic water. The insulated solar tank will hold useable temperature hot water for about 24 hrs enough for time lapsing for the morning radiators and showers. I had the solar tank fitted with an electric back-up coil heater for the rare days the system was overloaded but its never been used. It’s now just set on frost In case we would be away in the winter months and the internal temperature dropped drastically but as the house works on solar gain it kind of works on the theory the colder it gets the warmer the house is, as in cold days are clear days which gives us 6 hrs minimum solar gain heat through the shortest days in winter. The house is designed for the centrally located burner to move its warm air freely around the whole interior without any internal restrictions.

It averages out at 35 euros a month for the system to supply domestic hot water, the heating and the exterior hot tub.

If I had gone into a little bit more depth at the design stage I would have run a copper coil pipe on a open able valve out to the hot tub from the solar tank and coiled it around the hot tubs submersible snorkel stove and cycled it back into the solar tank. In the summer months the solar tank would have enough grunt to heat the hot tub…oh well next time!



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