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Old 09-04-16, 02:37 AM   #6
Apprentice EcoRenovator
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tortosa, Spain
Posts: 218
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I guess it depends a bit on how much you intend to spend on incorporating the panels.

By far the most efficient heating is under floor but there is a lot of labour and cost involved, however you do say your floor insulation is sub-par, maybe a good time to improve it?

Under floor heating only needs the water to be warm, not hot. The water in mine is usually between 26C and 32C.

The system I have is a real hybrid, 3 solar panels connected to a 100L tank with a heat exchanger. The tank is the first point of heat generation for the heating system. The control system monitors the tank and panel temperature and reduces the flow through the panels depending on the temperature difference, this extracts maximum energy.

Next the now warm water goes through a plate heat exchanger connected to a home-hacked heat pump, this boosts the temperature (if needed). On occasions (when it's very cold which isn't very often!) the heat pump can't satisfy the heating requirements so the water then goes through a conventional oil boiler.

This combination works incredibly well. It's difficult to accurately say what difference this has made but it is substantial. Previously I had just the heat pump and boiler and was heating around 120M2, now I'm heating around 240M2. Adding in the solar panels has reduced my electric consumption from 43Kw/day to 30Kw/day, and at the same time I've doubled the heated area.

The great thing with under floor heating is that in the summer you can use it for cooling. I have a set of valves to isolate the 100L tank in summer and ceiling fans to circulate the air in the rooms to minimise dew forming on the floors.

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