This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  James Alcock 1 year, 8 months ago.

  • James Alcock
    Keymaster

    Hi Frank – it is absolutely possible. You can get the FIT for every (eligible) technology you install.

    In terms of CHP boilers the issue is there are not that many to choose from. Flow is a company offering them, but under their business model they take the FIT payments for the first 5 years and only will install them in certain circumstances (i.e. if there FIT return is big enough to cover the cost of boiler + install).

    Reply
    Frank Tunney

    Is it possible to have FIT for both a 3.6kw Solar PV array and a CHP boiler?

    I know its a simplistic question but I am new to this game and have just had SPV installed and have been reading about CHP Boilers too (We currently have a Combi)

    Reply
    Andrew Martin

    When comparing PV-T Hybrid panels what would you recommend for a family home in Italy, I have looked at a few and so far a new panel from SIC Divisione Elettronica http://www.sic-divisione-elettronica.it looks good as it can replace the roof and can be upto 3m long.

    I would like to know the key pionts before I start contacting them and getting a lot of technical information I dont understand.

    Thank you

    Reply
    Susan Shaw
    Participant

    If you have space, the biomass boilers work very well.

    Reply
    James Alcock
    Keymaster

    Hi Paulie, yes – that is what we reckon (and GSHP instead of ASHP if funds allow). Agree though, very very expensive to implement – but the Feed-in tariff should cover the cost of the solar PV in 7 or so years (pays out for 20 years) and the RHI should cover the cost of the ground source over the 7 years it gets paid, although this is based on the heat demand off the EPC.

    Reply
    Paulie

    Seems to me that the best way to combine renewables is to go for a heat pump and solar PV? although expensive, which is why i haven’t done so. Just had my cavity walls insulated…baby steps. Will look at Solar PV next.

    Reply
    Alan Bouquet
    Keymaster

    Hi Richard,
    Biomass works equally well as a heating system in any property, provided that there is room to store the fuel! What you get in a modern well insulated property is a lower heat demand. This means less money via the RHI, making the system take longer to pay back. Even so, the RHI is still generous and I wouldn’t rule it out just because your house is modern. Far more important are the questions of maintenance.

    Solar thermal is great at reducing the work that heat pumps have to do. As you may know, heat pumps are usually taking water at about 15 degrees and ramping that up to 40 or 45 degrees in order to heat the house. The solar thermal, even on a cloudy day, should be able to boost this starting temperature up ten or twenty degrees, which means your heat pump will be working less hard, and be more efficient. Biomass works at a higher temperature, so this boost isn’t quite a stark, and the savings likely won;t be quite as high, but it will still be worth doing what with the RHI and reduced fuel costs.

    Reply
    Richard.Richardson
    Participant

    Hi James,
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
    I understand the RHI is really generous on biomass, but with my property being fairly modern, as I understand it, biomass is less good in these situations?
    Also, Im guessing solar thermal is going to work better with heat pumps, what with their lower operating temperature, compared to say biomass?

    Reply
    James Alcock
    Keymaster

    Hi Richard – that is a good question. So in the first instance, if you have a south facing roof then solar PV is a great idea provided your roof is in good shape and can support the panels. A 3.5kw system will produce an annual return of about £800 when you take into account the energy savings and the feed in tariff. The best thing here is to get someone to assess the roof (size and strength) and see how many panels you could fit on it first.

    Once you are producing electricity you can start considering a heating system. So biomass are great EXCEPT you need to feed them fuel. This becomes a pain if you go on holiday during the winter since you will need someone to come in and fire up the heating. However if you can get over this, they produce nice hot water and obviously you get paid the RHI which depending on the size of the property can be rather generous.

    If capital is not an issue and you are going to be in the property for 10 years or so, the best way to heat the home would be a ground source heat pump. Despite using electricity, they produce heat efficiently, producing 4.5 units of useful heat for every one unit of electricity consumed (so 450% efficient if you will compared to a brand new gas boiler that is only 90% efficient). These are fantastic, and the efficiency doesn’t drop during the winter which is important seeing as this is when heat demand is at its highest. If you are producing electricity from solar too – then obviously this will help cover some of the running costs too, hence we are strong advocates of setting them up together. It is worth pointing out though that heat pumps produce hot water at lower temperatures than conventional boilers so they need to be installed on really well insulated homes.

    Hopefully that is a decent starter for 10, but i am sure other community members will jump in and have their say!

    Reply
    Richard.Richardson
    Participant

    Combining renewables

    I was thinking about how you could combine different renewables to create a really efficient and high payback solution. What do you experts think is the perfect combination for an average off-grid house? My house has a decent sized south facing roof and a bit of room in the garden, plus it was built about 20 years ago and is well insulated, so I think any of these options are on the table.

    I want to be convinced that my hard earned cash is going to, whilst maybe not turn a profit, get my money back within a reasonable amount of time. So would it be better to combine a ground source heat pump with solar thermal, or go for biomass with solar pv? What are the pros and cons?

    Cheers,
    Richard

    Reply
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