Solar thermal water heating

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Solar thermal water heating


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Old 12th April 2014, 01:14 PM
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Default Solar thermal water heating

I need some advice on whether or not to fit Solar thermal water heating. We are currently doing up a ruin and have to put in everything. So we want to know if anyone has had experience with solar thermal water heating.

How much did it cost?
Was it worth the cost?
What sort of system did you go for?
Is there a grant?

That sort of thing.

Hope that someone can help.

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Old 12th April 2014, 02:06 PM
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What else are you putting in?

Around here they usually combo systems. They handle 100% of the spring/summer needs. Then the other system (could be gas,wood etc) handles deep winter.

Cost will depend on size and complexity. If I was doing a 100% rebuild I'd put in in floor heating. Combined with a large solar bank. This would cost but would lower your over all heating bills.

If you aren't ripping up the floors you could still plumb the solar system into your radiators but it's less efficient.


OTOH if you're on mains gas with a modern boiler then hot water isn't a big cost. I can't imagine it making sense from an economic point of view. At least not on it's own. Plumbed into the heating system maybe.

I think there is still the 55% tax deduction but no grant. Of course the government could change things any day.
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Old 12th April 2014, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by NickZ View Post
What else are you putting in?

Around here they usually combo systems. They handle 100% of the spring/summer needs. Then the other system (could be gas,wood etc) handles deep winter.

Cost will depend on size and complexity. If I was doing a 100% rebuild I'd put in in floor heating. Combined with a large solar bank. This would cost but would lower your over all heating bills.

If you aren't ripping up the floors you could still plumb the solar system into your radiators but it's less efficient.


OTOH if you're on mains gas with a modern boiler then hot water isn't a big cost. I can't imagine it making sense from an economic point of view. At least not on it's own. Plumbed into the heating system maybe.

I think there is still the 55% tax deduction but no grant. Of course the government could change things any day.
Thank you so much for your very informative answer.

We have to do everything. There are no floors either on the ground or first floor so out options are open. The house will only be used in the months from April to October so not in the really cold weather. The builder has suggested a wood burning stove with three tubes. One for the main room and one each for the two bedrooms.

We don't however, want to have it on in the summer when most of the hot water will be needed. If the house is rented we want to make sure that we aren't lumbered with the high cost of water heating by electricity.

Mains gas is not an option as we are in the mountains and there is only bombola gas.

I will use all that you have told me when I speak to my builder and plummer to see what they can add.

Thank you very much.

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Old 13th April 2014, 03:03 AM
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Please keep us posted on what you decide and your progress. I'm a bit jealous -- it sounds like a great opportunity to put in something wonderful.

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Old 13th April 2014, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftfairy View Post
Thank you so much for your very informative answer.

We have to do everything. There are no floors either on the ground or first floor so out options are open. The house will only be used in the months from April to October so not in the really cold weather. The builder has suggested a wood burning stove with three tubes. One for the main room and one each for the two bedrooms.

We don't however, want to have it on in the summer when most of the hot water will be needed. If the house is rented we want to make sure that we aren't lumbered with the high cost of water heating by electricity.
.
Unless you have your own wood source you might think about pellets.

Solar would be a perfect compliment to your setup.

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Old 13th April 2014, 11:10 AM
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We do have our own wood source, so that's not a problem. We are out in the sticks, no pun intended. We have some land below the house and we can get our wood there. Lots of old trees, which to be frank have been falling down on their own. The snow two years ago and the rain last winter has done for them.

Good news today as the roof is on and the builders are about to excavate the earth on the ground floor. I did say that we are starting from scratch.

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Old 13th April 2014, 11:10 AM
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Please keep us posted on what you decide and your progress. I'm a bit jealous -- it sounds like a great opportunity to put in something wonderful.
I will keep you posted but the house is quite small really. Only 10 metres x 4.

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Old 13th April 2014, 11:51 AM
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We've got a solar assisted water heater (and got a substantial tax credit here in France for installing it) which has worked out very well - given a few caveats.

On a sunny day, the solar heating provides most of our hot water needs - even in mid winter. We've got the water heater on a timer so that it only uses mains power during the "low rate" hours, and then only if needed. I'd estimate the heater cut our power bills by a good 20 to 30%.

One caveat, though, is that our water heater developed a bad leak about 4 years after installation. This was apparently linked to the hard water that is the norm for the area. We wound up having to replace the water heater and add a water softener to guard against the same thing happening again. (And the settlement we got from the manufacturer didn't include the cost of the water softening equipment.)

All in all, we've been pretty happy with the set-up. And there is definitely something to be said for having soft water in the house - something I hadn't experienced since my time in the US.
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Old 13th April 2014, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
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10 metres x 4.
Cozy!

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Old 13th April 2014, 09:38 PM
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Totally agree with Bev. We had panels fitted 4 years ago and it is the best investment we ever made. We have saved a fortune as our electricity/oil bill has been cut by at least half.

We choose one with an internal tank rather than one on the roof.

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