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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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  1.  
    I am looking at a village hall with heating via fixed elec panel heaters, 2 stand-alone elec heaters and an apparently very disappointing ASHP with claimed output of approx. 3kW.

    The hall was built in 1998/99, should have U values of 0.45 (walls), 0.25 (roof) and 0.45 (floors). How 'tightly' it was built is not known, although there is generally 200 - 300mmm in the roof. User experience suggests that, particularly for activities involving being on the floor, it is not perceived as warm.

    Use of the hall is regular, but quite low, suggesting that the best short-term 'fix' might be remote control of the existing heaters rather than any replacement of heaters at this stage.

    There is no mains gas in the village.

    I am not an electrician, and do not often deal with electric heating.

    Has anyone used 'remote' control of electric heating, either via an on-site multi-option controller or something accessible by mobile phone?

    Thanks,

    Nick
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    Something like this may work Nick, there most likely are others, but I imagine they are all not cheap. However replacing the CU with something similar would be a relatively simple job so not much labour charge, and may be the way forward.

    https://lyntec.com/remote-control-breaker-panel/
  2.  
    Cheers Owlman,

    It looks like it can do what I want, but it's BIG for what they'd need at the hall, I think. I did not check the CU, but I suspect they have 1 ring-main, one lighting circuit and maybe 3 or 4 (but perhaps as few as two) circuits for the heaters. The minimum size of this one appears to allow 30 circuits.

    Again, flagging up my electrical ignorance in public, but I wonder how things like 'hive' work. At its very simplest all a 'remote control' would have to do is turn on the power supply to a 'stat', provided 'all on'/'all off' was acceptable.

    (As I wrote the phrase 'remote control' I had a whimsical vision of a drone with a camera, operated from afar, with a 'poking stick' attached, allowing the operator to turn on the power isolator :bigsmile:

    I feel simpler possibilities may be out there!)

    Thanks again. Nick
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    If the use is regular, would a 7 day programmable stat not fit the bill? Problem with the likes of internet based control is I suspect the hall will need a landline and broadband connecting. Maybe something can be done over 3/4G but then youd be in the realms of mobile contracts or topping up a PAYG phone??
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    I've always used Hager breakers, because I've found their tech department very helpful. A call to them may be a good place to start.

    https://www.hager.co.uk/product-catalogue/building-automation/38695.htm
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Posted By: Nick ParsonsI am looking at a village hall with heating via fixed elec panel heaters, 2 stand-alone elec heaters and an apparently very disappointing ASHP with claimed output of approx. 3kW.


    Fixed wiring or 13A plug? Does the ASHP have any sort of controller you can interface to?

    Is there a WiFi connection that can be employed?
  3.  
    We have electric panel heaters (https://www.millheat.co.uk/) that can be controlled remotely. Bought for aesthetics and because they are 'Lot 20' (efficiency standard) compliant and bathroom safe, rather than remote control specifically.

    Against my better judgement we finally gave in and started using the WiFi function recently, having lived for a few months on manual only and now of course we use it quite a lot in these 'shoulder' months where the temperature varies quite significantly.

    It's a fairly simple interface that's controlled over a smartphone app. As philedge mentions above, it relies on having an internet connection, though for other reasons we also don't have a fixed landline either so use a 4G dongle for this. EE sell a tiny yellow one that's pay as you go and works well provided it's plugged in.

    All commercially available off the shelf and easy to install. You'd need to figure out your heat load first but I'm hoping others on here might help with that. It would be easier with an idea of the surface area of heat loss and the floor area of the building.

    As usual you probably want to look at minimising any obvious draughts and weak points first.
  4.  
    Nick,

    I've used this a few times, for doing exactly what you're trying to do.

    www.rfsolutions.co.uk/remote-control-systems-c9/gsm-telemetry-system-2-i-p-2-relay-ip68-enclosure-p265

    You text, rather than using the internet, which is much simpler for those of a certain age. It's got a couple of internal relays. Send a message to switch on. Then another to switch off there's actually no text charge (not that that really matters anymore with unlimited text phone packages), as it rejects the call before any charge is made.

    It can also reply with a confirmation, or even link it to say the alarm, so sends warning texts automatically to a chosen number of phones.

    Like many control systems, its power through put for the relays is low, so you couldn't directly connect it to the heating system, but just link it via an interposing relay, or a couple if the loads are large. Maybe something like this...

    https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/latching-relays/5111076/

    but you'd need to think about the logic to know if it's double/single pole or double/single throw, and the current capacity.

    I've possibly gone beyond your controls knowledge, but it's actually very simple.
  5.  
    Thanks everyone. A good range of options. I had thought about simply using a 7-day programmer, but I think the committee wants a bit of flexibility. GreenPaddy's solution sounds particularly basic/simple (apart from the bits which he rightly assumes have whizzed over my head, but I think my electrician will understand). I have not got their consumption figures yet, but I have everything I need (except knowledge of how the as-built U values match up to those in Part L at the time - possibly not that well) to do the heat-loss calcs.

    I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks again.

    Nick
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I know that you say that the hall is quite low, but does it have destratification fans? They should help to avoid the warmth accumulating above head height.
  6.  
    Hi Mike1, ah no, the *elec usage* is quite low, but so's the hall, at 2.4m. Too low for de-strat fans, I think, but thanks for the thought. The last village hall I did had an apex height of nearly 4.5m, so yes, that would have applied.

    Cheers,

    Nick
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