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Am I sustainable?

  • 12-02-2019 5:12pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    Researching a new house (2 bed) & just wondering what the current thinking is?

    The house in question would have solar for water heat, photovolataic panels for electricity storage & gas condensing boiler with three zones...

    I presume the three heating zones would be ground floor, first floor & hot water. Plan would be to fit a Nest thermostat.
    Would solar be enough to heat the water year-around?
    I'd never heard of photovolataic before, but it's nice to know a big word. Does this supply enough power to be useful?
    Would I be looking at big cost savings over the year?

    I'm kinda stone age... grew up with oil burning central heating and an emersion.


Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF


    Solar water heating will need back up heating (you mention gas)

    - Solar thermal will not heat rads or HW all year round
    - PV will be ‘useable’ when the sun shines, most install to meet Part L requirements (BER)

    You need your arch/eng to do a provisional BER, ideally in conjunction with design of the house

    As regards ‘sustainable’ is this house urban or rural ? There is nothing sustainable about having two cars in drive, that you need to use to get to work/shop/pub/school.

    Building materials, heat loss, energy usage, transport, amongst other things, all contribute to sustainablity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    I don't own a car... Have a bike, walk and public transport. House is suburban.


  • Registered Users Posts: 801 ✭✭✭ lucast2007us


    I have no idea how many zones I have would I have to get in a plumber to check for me?
    I'm totally new to all this.

    All I know is that I have a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard and a green kersonse oil tank and burner in back garden and old a timer switch in the kitchen cupboard but I can't set the temperature from that, just turn on heating and water from it my options are on off or set a timer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    I have no idea how many zones I have would I have to get in a plumber to check for me?
    I'm totally new to all this.

    All I know is that I have a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard and a green kersonse oil tank and burner in back garden and old a timer switch in the kitchen cupboard but I can't set the temperature from that, just turn on heating and water from it my options are on off or set a timer.

    Def worth putting in some smart thermostats in by the sounds of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,537 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    you'll want a nest or similar per heating zone.
    What's the BER?
    New houses should work well with heatpumps.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 801 ✭✭✭ lucast2007us


    Def worth putting in some smart thermostats in by the sounds of it.


    Would a smart thermostat work with that old style setup?


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF


    Bluefoam wrote: »
    I don't own a car... Have a bike, walk and public transport. House is suburban.

    Assuming new build

    I’d recommend looking into passivhaus as a design philosophy, the software/design (phpp) assessment is precise in comparison to the BER (BER is complusery, phpp is not)

    Assuming some day soon in Ireland electricity is ALL produced from renewable sources

    Your BER assessment will lean towards Air-water heat pump (ground source also an option, with better COP but more expensive & probably drilling in suburban location )
    PV / solar thermal will likely mean a gas back up boiler.

    There are lots of options, read around the forum, lots of people have been here before.

    Stove with backboiler and PV May also be an option, assuming you’ve a sustainable source of bone dry wood etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    Would a smart thermostat work with that old style setup?

    Yep, a fairly straightforward setup.

    Your thermostats will be wireless. A lot of the consumer electricity companies now offer them at good rates with install.

    You need to figure out how many zines you have to get an idea of what you need.

    So

    1) how many time switches do you have, and what is each time switch for ?
    2) Does your hit water heat separately to your heating when the oil burner is running, it do you have the option to do so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 801 ✭✭✭ lucast2007us


    First thanks for your advice
    1) one switch in kitchen and one in airing cupboard
    2)each switch controls hot water and heating there doesn't seem to be a way to separate it them. So they both need to be on at same time.

    We never use the switch in the airing cupboard only ever use one in kitchen


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    First thanks for your advice
    1) one switch in kitchen and one in airing cupboard
    2)each switch controls hot water and heating there doesn't seem to be a way to separate it them. So they both need to be on at same time.

    We never use the switch in the airing cupboard only ever use one in kitchen

    So , during the summer how do you heat the hot water ?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    @ OP

    Have a look at EvoHome for zoning.
    Does individual TRV radiator zoning plus central touch screen dashboard control AND a smart mobile / web application.
    In case that MrCLoud goes belly up,you have local in home control and report.

    Saved hundreds since got it installed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 801 ✭✭✭ lucast2007us


    So , during the summer how do you heat the hot water ?


    Turn radiators off with their dials and continue to use the switch in the kitchen for heating water


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    If possible, I would try and get the builders to beef up both solar thermal and in particular solar PV installs. It costs very little extra to install a few more PV panels while they are installing them anyway and it would mean your system generates a lot more electricity. You can later add home battery storage when pricing is coming down further, which could then give you zero kWh bills for most months of the year

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    Turn radiators off with their dials and continue to use the switch in the kitchen for heating water

    Ah ok,

    So,.I would

    A) contact a plumber and see if it is possible to zines your hot water, giving you towards zones, 1 for hit waters the other for heating.

    A single nest thermostat can control that.

    Alternatively you could look at nit zoning it, but adding a smart thermostat with smart trv valves in each radiator. Dint have experience of these, others may advise


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    Bit of a clarification... I am looking to buy into a new build development.

    PhotoV, Solar and Gas Condensing Boiler would be provided. Do builders just supply these to meet arbitrary BER figures, are they underspecified? Are they worthwhile?

    I have asked to get allot of the info need, but it's slow to arrive. What I do know is that there is no payment and possibly no supply back to the grid. When I asked about batteries I was told 'use it or loose it'...

    Is it worth while or a sales gimmick? How many kw of Photovoltaic would be recommended for a 80m/sq 2 bed house?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Lot's of questions that are hard to answer. But yes, the install is just to comply with building regs. It's a shame, but you can not blame the builders here. It's the regulations that are at fault.

    Most new builds have PV only and the systems are far too small. It would cost very little extra to put up a few more panels.

    Some new builds have a very small solar thermal array or just a panel. It will help with your costs, but as above, beefing it up would cost very little extra during the build.

    And yes, with PV, anything you don't use, will go back to the grid and you won't get a cent for it. This is not as bad as you think though. And this can and will be remedied once you add batteries to your system. Batteries are still expensive, but are coming down in price a lot every year. Don't do it now, but in 5 years time it might be a no brainer saving you lots of money going forward

    And apart from all of the above money talk - there is a moral viewpoint as well. Do with that what feels right to you and what you can afford :)

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    I was looking forward to having sustainable power in the house, but it looks like once I have the basics in place I'll be able to upgrade in the future to make it more effective. Thanks for the response.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭ quentingargan


    Just a wee flag here. Very few new 2-bed houses are fitted with both PV AND solar hot water. In such cases, it can be that some other area of the energy rating for the house was weak and the PV is added as an afterthought to scrape the house over the line. If you can, i would ask to see the full BER report (not just the cert). But it can also be that the builder has done this to get the house up from A3 to A2.

    Either way, don't beat yourself up - living without a car and using public transport is a far more serious contribution to sustainability than having solar panels. Your new house will be at least an A3 - better than most of the Eco-houses built more than 10 years ago. Housing efficiency standards have improved immensely in recent years. Your house is also modest in size at 2-bed. It will use less energy than larger houses of the same rating.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    The house in question is in build stage at the moment. All houses in the development, 2, 3 & 4 beds have both sets of panels. So it's by design. Hopefully it will be to a high performance standard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    While I wasn't able to get more info on the function of the system, I do know that the two solar units are by Joule & the boiler is a Worcester with a EPH 3 zone controller. I'm guessing that it is unlikely there will be a mobile app to control the system? I'd consider adding a nest, is that a good way to go? Is there a better way to control & analyse the output?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭ quentingargan


    I'm wondering if there is some confusion here on the part of the sales agency. It would be more normal these days to have an array of PV panels and a device that diverts surplus unused electricity to the immersion using a CT to measure exports and a sort of dimmer switch on the immersion. This may be referred to as having solar electricity and solar hot water.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,123 ✭✭✭ Bluefoam


    There is no emersion, there is a tank, but it is heated by solar directly and the gas boiler to top it up. I can see that there are two different panel types on the roof.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    If the panels are made by Joule, they are indeed solar thermal panels (heating your hot water) and the other type panels are solar PV

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Bluefoam wrote: »
    While I wasn't able to get more info on the function of the system, I do know that the two solar units are by Joule & the boiler is a Worcester with a EPH 3 zone controller. I'm guessing that it is unlikely there will be a mobile app to control the system? I'd consider adding a nest, is that a good way to go? Is there a better way to control & analyse the output?


    The solar tubes will come with a controller for the solar pump system.
    That can be linked to internet for reports.
    I need to know what system you have in order to give you the right advice on harwdare and software.

    I have my system online HERE,is a controller,data logegr,website and annual subscription.Very professional design and outputs if you have the time to add all parameters of the controller,inputs and outputs.

    Re controlling the heating,i suggest going for EVOhome,zone every and each radiator individually controlled.

    Enjoy it.


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