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Old 02-02-11, 03:28 AM   #1
officialpa
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Default geothermal and solar heating for a house

Hi,
I have a house in South of France and I am planing to rebuild it totally. The house is about 600 square meters (6 460 sq feet), on a south facing hill, on the hight of 555 meters (1 820 feet). The structural work is concrete and the front elevation will be all glass. There is little flat surface around the house, most of the land is on slope of the hill. I am considering geothermal heating and/or solar panels. Do you think this is a good idea for such a house or should I go with traditional heating/cooling systems? What would you advise? All advise and ideas are much appreciated!

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Old 02-02-11, 05:10 AM   #2
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Hi, welcome to ER

A south facing hill in Southern France is about as good as it gets! Your solar and heat pump setup could be relatively cheap have a quick payback. I say DO IT!
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Old 02-02-11, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by officialpa View Post
I am considering geothermal heating and/or solar panels.
Are you going to Do It Yourself?


I'd say a good solar exposure combined with a small mini-split would be a great combination.

What do you know about the composition of the earth around and under your house?

If you're planning on a concrete structure, I'd say insulate under the floor and foundation and around the outside of the house, and rely on the concrete as thermal storage. You should put at least twice as much insulation in the roof as is normal for your area.

I assume that you know about window overhangs, and that if they are properly designed, the sun will shine in on winter days and shade your house in the summer.

If you really did your house right, your need for auxillary heat would be very small.

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Old 02-03-11, 04:29 AM   #4
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As to the windows I have them all figured out

As to the ground around the house, most is rock, however I have not done any probing yet.

I would really want to use as much heat in the summer as possible. I am quite convinced about solar heating to get hot water in the house, maybe also store heat and get hot air in the winter but what I would really love to do is to use the heat produced by air conditioning the house in the summer and use it to heat up the water in the swimming pool. Do you know how to get round this?

And of course I would be using professional engineers to set up the systems.
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Old 02-03-11, 08:27 AM   #5
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If you insulate the house well enough, have some high quality south facing windows and have thermal mass then your solar hot water system should only need to heat your domestic hot water and like others have said, a mini split air source heat pump should take care of your heating needs on a cloudy winter day and you can use it as air conditioning if you need it, but with good insulation, proper roof over hangs and your house being built in to a hill side you should never need to cool your house in the summer, so you will end up with very little waste heat to heat your pool so more solar hot water panels would be the answer, at that point using the solar hot water panels to add heat to the house in the winter, to the concrete floor would be a good idea, allowing you to have fewer or smaller south facing windows.
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Old 02-06-11, 03:13 PM   #6
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Yes I also think a good solar exposure combined with a small mini-split would be a great combination.

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