Renewable energy with underfloor heating?
In Scotland most homes are heated through conventional radiators. These radiators, are heated with water that flows through it with a temperature from 60 to 90 degrees. The hot radiators radiate the heat in the room and warm up the air in the room accordingly. To get the water for these radiators to the required temperature a lot of energy is needed. In addition, sustainable sources such as a hybrid or electric heat pumps cannot be combined or are difficult to combine with such radiators. This is because the heat exchanger cannot heat the water to such high temperatures efficiently.
A solution for this is low temperature heating. A well-known example of this is underfloor heating. With underfloor heating, water flows at a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees through a system of pipes that is fitted in the floor. Because it slowly flowing speed, it can produce relatively good heat. The result is a fine warm floor that can heat the entire space very well from below. It is both sustainable, durable and comfortable. Underfloor heating is easily combined with floor insulation. The underfloor heating will actually work better.
Underfloor heating or low H2O radiators?
If the property is very well insulated, it may also be possible to use the existing radiators in combination with water of a lower temperature. There must be extra investment in insulation, however this can be recouped on the saving that will be achievd wth the low temperature heating. In older homes, it is not always possible to isolate to such a high standard. In that case, in addition to the underfloor heating it is an option to replace the old-fashioned radiators LT (low temperature) radiators or by Low H2O radiators. These radiators are able to let the warmth of the water off better and faster than old-fashioned radiators and harm up the room better. This allows water of a low temperature that is the result of a heat exchanger like with gound source heat pumps or water source heat pumps. From an investment point of view, installing these radiators are often a better option than underfloor heating. There may also be a combination. For example, underfloor heating in the living room, where comfort is of the utmost importance, and low H2O radiators in the other rooms.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The new energy performance regulations for new build houses in the UK is expected to boost interest in ground source heat pumps systems for heating the house.
A heat pump is a device similar to a water pump. It is pumping heat from low temperature on to higher temperature. It takes the free heat from its surroundings. Because thit heat is sunstracted freely from the surrounding area, it results in a lower energy bill. In addition, it is an excellent way to significantly boost the sustainability of the system. In addition to this you can switching from heating to easily with a click of the thermostat. The heat pump can extract heat in 3 different ways from its environment, being air, earth or water. The ideal scope of the heat pump is low temperature heating such as underfloor, wall and/or ceiling heating. This will improve the efficiency and decreases the monthly energy bill.
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