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Solar panels to back up stove for heating - viable or not?

  • 25-07-2018 2:53am
    Registered Users Posts: 43 aismac
    Registered User

    Hi everyone,

    I recently bought a rural cottage which has a stove and rads, but the stove takes a good while to heat up the rads. We're not always there so when we arrive in Winter the place is freezing, the same in the mornings. I'm looking at heating options that can be on a timer and back up the stove. I'd love to go renewable rather than an oil tank.

    In terms of options would you guys know if it's viable - particularly in winter - to use solar to heat e.g. storage heaters? I can't imagine it could provide enough to heat water to fuel the rads, regardless of how far the technology has come.

    It's a small cottage, with thick walls, so tends to stay cool (freezing in winter) all year round.

    Has anyone attempted anything like this before?

    Very grateful for any information/feedback. Thank you!



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,052 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005
    Registered User

    You'd be better off insulating than trying to heat an old building.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,136 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai
    Registered User

    No it is not by and large viable to heat a house in the winter with solar energy.

    If you want something with a cheap up front cost buy some electric heaters. A blow heater will make the place feel warm quite quickly.

    You can time electric heaters but to do this properly you need the advice of an electrician. You do not want to risk a fire due to faulty wiring.

    The mid-range cost option is probably oil.

    An air-air heat pump might be an option but it depends on the house.

    The right thing to do is to really insulate it well and then pick an appropriate heat source. Probably a big and expensive job though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭ a148pro
    Registered User

    Solar will only really deliver when its warm - which is when you don't need heat

    If you are only rarely there a heat pump is unlikely to be financially viable

    I have an inkling that old houses should be heated the way they were built for - in your case, by open fires. Realistically, insulation and a stove is probably your best bet, as stove obviously a lot more efficient. Bear in mind that burning fuel from renewable forest is actually better for the environment than fossil fuel

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian
    Registered User

    Insulate as much as you can afford.

    Then oil is your best option, but because you insulated sommich you will hardly need any ;)

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I've had an idea...I'm going to heat sink and magnetise and induction hob to my wood burning stove.

    Oh it makes no sense because I've no solar when I need a stove but hey neither does 3 phase in a motorhome :cool:...:pac:

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