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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorHoveTom
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2019
    Does anyone have any real data on Thermodynamic Panels or Solar Assist Heat Pumps as they’re sometimes called?
    I’m renovating with all new plumbing and electrics on the south coast.

    My roof isn’t suitable for Solar PV unfortunately being predominantly East/West so I have been considering Solar Thermal with a new Solar Cylinder. However I’ve just come across this and been told all it’s amazing potential down the phone. I was told it would cost around £3500 - £4000 for a two panel system with a water tank. (I’d also have a mains gas new boiler too) It would heat hot water only and has nothing to do with central heating.

    It’s sounds like the new version of Solar Thermal and was sold as such, but there isn’t much data on it and Solar Thermal is a proven tech.

    It’s MCS accredited now as of a few years ago but not eligible for RHI payments.

    Any experience or thoughts greatly appreciated.
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2019 edited
    If you do a search on here for "thermodynamic panels", you should get a sense of the general level of enthusiasm.
    • CommentAuthorHoveTom
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2019
    I did that and it was rather muted. It was all years ago however so I wondered if the tech had developed or any of the pitfalls overcome.

    I have just been told by a Solar Thermal installer that you can’t buy round glass tube Solar Collectors anymore as no one makes them and that they’re all flat panel now. This was news to me?
    I have just been told by a Solar Thermal installer that you can’t buy round glass tube Solar Collectors anymore as no one makes them and that they’re all flat panel now. This was news to me?




    for example.

    Also if the sun is not right for PV why is it right for SWH? I agree that occupancy is part of the answer, but plenty of people have E/W PV and SWH.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2019
    It's the first I've heard that evacuated tubes are no longer available.
    I was under the impression that they can collect Solar Radiation more efficiently and over a longer period each day than flat panels. Roof weight is supposedly a consideration too as an evacuated tube array is generally lighter.
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2019
    Recently visited a place with a load of Thermodynamic panels being used as part of main heating system. It was not working well but the couple had only been there a short while and coulnt say for sure why it was not working properly.

    You say "roof isn’t suitable for Solar PV unfortunately being predominantly East/West" but if I remember rightly you can still get 85% of the panels maximum anually and more likely to be generating at times you are around to use it. Our system is due south and wish we had gone for east west.
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2019
    My PV is half east, half-west. Not so great at this time of year, but nice in summer where you get generation from dawn to dusk, ie even when the sun is NE and NW!


    • CommentAuthorHoveTom
    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2019
    Hi Damon,

    Thanks for your comments. I am leaning back towards Solar PV now, I was told an East/West array was no good so to just forget it. With everything else going on in my renovation I did for a while but having looked at the alternatives I’m leaning that way again. I’ve just received a quote for Solar PV and put in a new thread so those who know better can spot if there’s anything I should be concerned about in it.

    What percentage of your total electricity usage do you manage to generate with your East/West array? Either annually or Summer/Winter if it’s markedly different.

    Many thanks,
    • CommentTimeNov 15th 2019
    (Sorry, missed this until now.)

    We generate annually double our electricity demand, but that varies from about 4 times demand in summer to 25% of demand in winter.

    Here's last year's figures as an example:



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