Underfloor Heating Types Page:
Solar Panels Page: 2
Air Source Heat Pumps Page: 2-3
Conclusion Page: 3
Appendixes Page: 5-8
Appendix A : Flat-Plate
Solar Collector Page: 5
Appendix B : Solar Underfloor Heating Page: 6
Appendix C: Air Source Heat Pump Page: 7
Appendix D: Underfloor Heating Sources Page:
Within the project requirements provided
you have stated you wish to install an underfloor heating system in the new
extension which will make use of either solar panels or an air source heat pump.
I have reviewed information on these systems from online articles and a guide
on underfloor heating and cooling published by the BSRIA (The Building Services
Research and Information Association), a non-profit organisation who publish
nonbiased reports to best inform companies about areas of construction such as this.
In this scenario the method that will be
most effective will be an Air-to-water heat pump system making use of extract
air. Within this report are the descriptions, advantages and disadvantages of
the methods which have brought me to this conclusion
Solar panels utilise the energy provided
by the sun to heat the water for the system.
It is recommended that this should not
be used as a sole method for an underfloor heating system as often roof area
available cannot hold the number of panels required to be sufficient on its own.
However, as the extension is only a small area in comparison to the existing
building, it would not be unfeasible to use this as a primary method if
additional panels could be installed on the existing roof.
There are two commonly used solar power techniques
which have differing methods and advantages. These are flat-plate collectors
and tube collectors.
Flat-plate connectors make use of an
absorber plate which collects the heat energy and transfers it into the copper
tubes. These circulate the heated water to the heat store and then through the
underfloor system (See Appendix A & B).
With evacuated tube collectors, the heat
is absorbed through a heat pipe embedded within a glass tube. This heat is then
transferred to the heat store ready to be circulated through the system (See
Flat-plate collectors provide a higher
peak of solar energy per unit area while evacuated tube collectors are more
effective at providing a useful all-round heat method through most weather
conditions. Space for the collectors is not an issue if the existing roof can
be utilised so it would be more beneficial to have the system work better
through winter months.
Air source heat pumps come in two main
types; ‘Air-to-water heat pumps’ & ‘Air-to-air heat pumps’.
For this scenario an Air-to-water heat
pump is required as they produce hot water for usage in radiators and
underfloor heating systems while Air-to-air systems feed heat into rooms from
The system can be setup to make use of
externally extracted air or exhausted air from the building. However, by
utilising the heat content of the building’s exhaust ventilation air, the
temperature will be much higher than that of externally extracted air and work more
effectively through cold winter periods.
The system works by extracting heat from
exhaust air by means of a direct expansion (DX) refrigerant coil. This air is
used to heat a liquid refrigerant, then the pump is used to compress this
liquid to increase its temperature.
Upon condensation, stored heat is
released from the liquid and transferred to the heat store (See Appendix C).
The main advantage of this system is
that it functions well through all weather conditions and does not directly
require heat to be present to generate hot water for the system.
there is no requirement for groundworks or
high level support bracketing as all the system is contained within the
A potential disadvantage for this system
is that the pump unit can be very loud and cause disruption if acoustic
attenuation measures are not taken to dampen the output.
In conclusion, I would recommend you opt
for the Air-to-water heat pump making use of extract air. However, we would be
equally happy to and capable of installing either system.