#1 June 3, 2014 20:17:00

SolarDave
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


Hi all,  i have a 4Kw array, and it seems like a lot of the PV energy goes back to the grid.  i was thinking of the technology such as iboost, Immersun as a means to tap back that energy for use within the house.  The dilemma is that we have a combi boiler, so no water cylinder.  so costly to reput this back into the house.  So next thought, space heating. we have an older house, solid walls, and rather than put on the gas boiler, why not use the panels to gently drrift some warmth around the house.  What products out there would be able to divert the solar energy to say infra-red heaters, and would you need a thermsostat so that in the warmer months , the warmth is not unbearable.   So no water heating, only space heating required. any idea of costs or distributors?  if viable, will share the pro's and con's on the forum.  cheers, Dave





Edited SolarDave (June 3, 2014 20:17:00)

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#2 June 4, 2014 09:14:00

rogerhoward
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


In order to have the heating when you really need it - in the evenings - wouldn't an ordinary storage heater be better? I experimented with one in the spring, see http://www.microgen-database.org.uk/forums/pv-impact-on-home-moving-home-energy-usage/energy-storage-heating-







Economy 10 tariff provides 6.9p/kWh off-peak import between 12am-5am, 1pm-4pm and 8pm-10pm; http://www.pvoutput.org/aggregate.jsp?id=21047&sid=18934&v=2&t=m on approx. 63% off-peak usage, 22% solar usage, and 15% peak-rate usage.
1,900kWh annually is exported, mostly in summer, on approx. 3,200kWh generation. Approx. 4,500kWh/year is imported, mostly for (a) winter and springtime off-peak Storage Heaters, and (b) off-peak hot water Immersion heating (which is “dumb”, i.e. not linked to the solar PV).
PV array is split East-West. Income is from Phase II 21p/kWh Feed-in-Tariff plus smart metered 3.2p/kWh Export Tariff.

Edited rogerhoward (June 4, 2014 09:14:00)

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#3 June 4, 2014 17:43:00

SolarDave
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


Thanks Roger.  i have thought of this, and have use a 500w oil-filled radiator,but i like the idea of a proportionate controller, with a hard-wired in electrical resistive-type heater .  so my thought patterns and scenario are these.  The Panels produce at a moment in time, 200w at 8am, the electrical heater Panel turns on - and only uses the wattage that is above the background load.  so maybe 100w at this time. so having such a heater on, in say the cold rooms of the house , for the 8 hours of the day , the rooms warm up gradually, and hopefully stay warm during the early evening.  So utilising the ‘excess’ solar energy to keep those rooms warm, free of condensation and potential mould due to temperature drops during the spring, winter and autumn months.  From your reply, are you noting that you linked in a storage heater during the day to a proportionate controller, so the heat was stored during the day, and released during the evening hours?





Edited SolarDave (June 4, 2014 17:43:00)

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#4 June 4, 2014 20:56:00

rogerhoward
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


Correct me if I'm wrong Dave, but as I understand it no energy storage for later in the day is undertaken by infra-red heaters and so the heat would not last beyond their (solar) usage period during the day.


Storage Heaters by contrast, and as the name implies, are specifically designed to store their heat energy in their high thermal-mass tiles for release later over a period of hours. My old thing does at least have both an ‘output’ control which I kept to minimum until the heat was needed in the evening, and an ‘input’ control which isn't working but presumably regulates the input watts.


At 1.6kW, my castoff Storage Heater seemed overkill for purposes of my room in question, so I'm wondering about getting a smaller one for next spring. Experimentation might also be needed as regards both the time of day to ‘charge up’ and length of charging time for the desired heating period later. You have to get used to the possible permutations.


I didn't have a proportionate controller for my Storage Heater experiment. But if you want to completely avoid any grid usage I'd certainly recommend automating things with one, otherwise the ‘charge up’ timing too becomes another ‘suck it and see’ element (see my original thread).


Hope that gives some idea. Happy to answer any more questions on Storage Heaters(if I can!).










Economy 10 tariff provides 6.9p/kWh off-peak import between 12am-5am, 1pm-4pm and 8pm-10pm; http://www.pvoutput.org/aggregate.jsp?id=21047&sid=18934&v=2&t=m on approx. 63% off-peak usage, 22% solar usage, and 15% peak-rate usage.
1,900kWh annually is exported, mostly in summer, on approx. 3,200kWh generation. Approx. 4,500kWh/year is imported, mostly for (a) winter and springtime off-peak Storage Heaters, and (b) off-peak hot water Immersion heating (which is “dumb”, i.e. not linked to the solar PV).
PV array is split East-West. Income is from Phase II 21p/kWh Feed-in-Tariff plus smart metered 3.2p/kWh Export Tariff.

Edited rogerhoward (June 4, 2014 20:56:00)

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#5 June 5, 2014 19:29:00

SolarDave
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


Hi Roger,


Yes, storage heaters do seem better, ie. warmer when you need them in the evening.  as we work, we're out most of the daytime.  Which is one reason for automating the system, as we're not there to turn the heater on and off suring the day, when the clouds come over!   i've put the challenge to a renewables company who say the proportionate controller plus infra-reds are an option.  they're just checking on the viability and safety side of things with the manufacturer, with tripping out and the usual going on and off during the day, when the consumption is above the solar production - so heater should go off, so not drawing from the grid at any point.  as a point, can you purchase storage heaters with different storage capacities, so that you could have a mini-one in a smaller room and a larger storage capacity one in a larger room?  Are they heavy? with a proportionate controlller, i believe that you need the ‘resistive’ heater hard-wired into your electrics, so a portable solution wouldn't be an option, i presume. so i would need to hard-wire each storage heater into each room? Anyone else employing such a system?





Edited SolarDave (June 5, 2014 19:29:00)

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#6 June 5, 2014 21:40:00

rogerhoward
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


We're mostly out at work during the day too.


I got my Storage Heater off Ebay for a pittance, and there seemed to be plenty of them at all kinds of power ratings. They've traditionally been widespread and proven, and I daresay you could pick up some for free to experiment with differing power ratings to suit your room concerned. I just put a 3-pin plug on mine, plugged it in and off we went.


I appreciate that this new infra-red technology is a welcome low-energy alternative to electric convection heaters (and we very occasionally use a convection heater ourselves).


But the question is Dave, do you want heating to last beyond the afternoon when solar generation drops off during the months concerned? If so, you need energy storage.


Even in the summer, you'll have noticed that solar generation drops off in the early evening, so you'd not likely have ‘spare solar’ to power even an infra-red heater if - like in my household - the ‘spare solar’ is always needed for the lights, the Good Lady's favourite soap on the googlebox, or preferably the Good Lady's evening meal, and a host of other things once we get home from work. And that's just in the summer!


Hmm. Which is this renewable energy that claims solar can provide evening power for appliances from autumn through winter and spring - without energy storage?


Other than Storage Heaters, the only other type of heating energy storage that I know of is expensive ‘phase change material’ (and only then, because I heard that our local social housing body have stuck some to the ceilings of some of their council homes, courtesy of some generous EU Low Carbon funding).


Whether it's an immersion heater for hot water, a towel rail, a space heater, or any other appliance I certainly see the desirability of avoiding grid usage by employing a proportionate controller for the appliance concerned - but a proportionate controller is only likely to detect ‘spare solar’ during the day. So isn't this an entirely separate issue to the previous paragraphs about the heating appliance to choose? I quite fancy a Wattson Solar Plus for mine, although I'm not sure if the Good Lady would approves of the cost of my toys.










Economy 10 tariff provides 6.9p/kWh off-peak import between 12am-5am, 1pm-4pm and 8pm-10pm; http://www.pvoutput.org/aggregate.jsp?id=21047&sid=18934&v=2&t=m on approx. 63% off-peak usage, 22% solar usage, and 15% peak-rate usage.
1,900kWh annually is exported, mostly in summer, on approx. 3,200kWh generation. Approx. 4,500kWh/year is imported, mostly for (a) winter and springtime off-peak Storage Heaters, and (b) off-peak hot water Immersion heating (which is “dumb”, i.e. not linked to the solar PV).
PV array is split East-West. Income is from Phase II 21p/kWh Feed-in-Tariff plus smart metered 3.2p/kWh Export Tariff.

Edited rogerhoward (June 5, 2014 21:40:00)

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#7 June 6, 2014 11:17:00

morrisok
From: Sussex
Registered: 2011-11-09
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


Hi Dave,


I have the same issue, a combi boiler (which isn't that old) and a desire not to see all the  spare solar going back to the grid.


Unfortunatly my combi doesn't allow pre-warmed water as an input because that would have been the best of both worlds.  I've been reading about Thermal Stores recently which can work with a Combi Boiler to some extent but there is a lot of expense and you can't benifit from the RHI.


The battery option is just not yet cost effective   Will be keeping an eye on technology and inovation and see what comes up.


Kevin


3.92KWp 12x 327W E20 SunPower panels Sunnyboy 4000 inverter, facing ~south, no shading issues. Location: Sussex, URN 131 http://pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=12216sid=10156







Kevin

URN 131, 3.92KWp 12x 327W E20 SunPower panels Sunnyboy 4000 inverter, facing ~south, no shading issues. Location: Sussex, http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?userid=12216

Edited morrisok (June 6, 2014 11:17:00)

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#8 June 26, 2014 08:27:00

stuk
Registered: 2014-06-26
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


Hi


Combi boilers work on heat transfer technology and use raditators to heat water and provide central heating for the home. As this is on demand hot water supply, it does not involve water storage. This works well when there is less space and less demand for hot water say small homes. For storing water you will require an additional hot water tank at the inlet of the boiler. This makes sense when you want to save energy and gas bills. You can completely eliminate gas and run on electricity(solar pv) alone and more efficiently with power diversion managers like solarimmersion. All along you will still be exporting power to the grid to get a considerable FIT payout.








Edited stuk (June 26, 2014 08:27:00)

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#9 Sept. 30, 2014 18:19:00

brianarm
Registered: 2012-09-04
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?


 pre heat compatible combi boilers. i have installed my own solar termal syseam full cost 1800 pounds www.navitron.org.uk and payed to get a new pre heat combi boiler fitted worchester bosch greenskies 32cdi compact boiler in the first three months compared to last year will save around 45 pound





Edited brianarm (Sept. 30, 2014 18:19:00)

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#10 Jan. 31, 2015 18:00:21

Gary
Registered: 2014-06-29
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Immersun-Warm Air Heating?

I have an immersion tank and Immersun. First, this can be used to power 3 outputs as long as they are all resistive loads and don't have fancy digital switching. My set-up is to put the immersion heater on the primary load and once the water is hot - about lunchtime on good days, even in winter - the output switches to a 2kW oil filled radiator. it checks back every 15 minutes or so to check whether the water is still hot and feeds output 1 if necessary.

This works well but the radiator reaches full temp and turns off at times, so a 3kW model might be better. Also, it is only adding heat while it is on, so storage rads would be a better idea. It is just that they look terrible and are permanent fixtures. I would love to find a more mobile and aesthetically pleasing model of storage radiator but no luck so far.

On the combi boiler front I have seen a suggestion to simply put a tank and thermostat in, space permitting, and to use that as either a hot water system in its own right, e.g. over the summer my boiler is off from mid April to mid October and the Immersun provides 95% of my water from free PV electricity, with the balance from the grid boost facility on cloudy days (just a press of a button to turn the immersion on in the evening for 15 minute periods as necessary) or to use it as a pre-heat for the boiler water feed. I can't remember where I saw that but a bit of Googling should find it…


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