Installing Underfloor Heating And Solar Panels

Starting this discussion with a glimpse into underfloor heating (UFH) where the floor itself becomes the heat emitter and heats the room from the floor up, both electric and water based underfloor heating systems are readily available. Maybe a little more difficult than an electrical system which uses resistance to generate heat, water based UFH uses pipes imbedded into the flooring to let for the recirculation of heated water affixed to condensing boilers often using heat pumps or solar water heaters.

Three main categories of flooring should be taken into consideration before deciding on which method of UFH to install:

Underfloor Heating for solid floor installation
Underfloor Heating for tiling on suspended flooring
Underfloor Heating for timber suspended flooring

The heating pipe/cable is normally embedded in the floor screed in new builds with solid floors. In current constructions with strong floors, the pipe/mat is laid on top of the solid flooring which lifts the level of the floor up meaning doors and skirting boards will additionally need to be lifted. If an electrical underfloor heating system is being installed by lying on top of an current surface instead of imbedded in screed, heating mats made with a flexible mesh backing are used. For tiled floors, flexible tile adhesive is used to secure the piping/cable onto the existing floor before the tile is installed over the top. Options for suspended wooden floors would mounting pipes and cables between the joists.

Turning ones attention towards the means to power underfloor heating systems, one shoould look at the possibility of installing solar panels to provide the power necessary to warm the room and to power the pump to re-circulate water if this proceedure is applied. Fitting solar panels are, starting to be less expensive and a lot more popular every day, are a viable alternative with today’s technology and readily available materials.

Although often installed on rooftops, solar panels can additionally be installed in stand alone fashions (like those solar powered road signs which you see on the sides of the road). What is vital is finding a place that has a lot of direct exposure to the sun and is not encumbered by tree branches or subject to shade from buildings.

Choose the solar power mount that is appropriate for your installation. Mounts are readily available in pole mounts, roof or ground mounts, and flush mounts. Advanced pole tracking mounts are readily available that will alter the solar panel throughout the day for optimum exposure all day long.

Entertaining the use of solar power to provide the energy to power UFH leads one to the question, “What does one do for a power source at night time?” Tying the solar panels into a battery system permits the solar source to recharge during the day while allowing for a power source to draw off of at evening is the easy solution to this problem.

Posted under Solar Water Heaters

This post was written by editor on July 13, 2011

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