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Author Topic: Heating a Village Hall  (Read 6959 times)
merkland
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« on: February 12, 2015, 11:23:11 AM »

During a hall committee meeting yesterday we were discussing how we might improve our hall heating. We presently have an oil fired air heater which blows hot air through ducting and down through a number of vents in the ceiling. As floor to ceiling is just over 3M the hall can be slow to warm and most of the time you can have a warm body but cold feet.
The possibility of installing underfloor heating was raised but this would normally mean lifting and relaying the existing wooden floor on which a lot of work has already been expended to keep it suitable for dances and playing badminton. The question was then asked as to whether it might be possible to install heating to the underside of the wooden floor from the crawl space under the floor beams?!!
Someone then had a brainwave - could we modify the existing system so that the hot air was blown into the space under the floor, and allowed to enter the hall through a series of vents cut in the floor near the walls, with return air taken through the existing ceiling vents and trunking back to the heater.
On the face of it this sounds like it might be an unorthodox but simple and practical solution to our problem. Are there any reasons why it should not be considered as a realistic option?

merkland.
 
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pj
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 11:45:17 AM »

Well it certainly worked for the Romans a few thousand years ago  Smiley
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JohnS
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 11:46:23 AM »

Beware, the underfloor space might be ventilated with air bricks and the hot air will go outside.
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Ted
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 11:47:01 AM »

I'd be concerned about the possibility of the timber floor drying out too much and shrinking or cracking. Depends on the temperature of the air being pushed through the ducts. I suppose the ducts could be wrapped in insulation. How big is the crawl space?
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dhaslam
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 12:31:04 PM »

A better way would be to have  vents around the walls, if air is used to transfer heat instead of water  the ducts need to be fairly large and well insulated underneath.   Air needs roughly 1000 more volume to carry the same heat.    Water would be better  to distribute heat because heat would be more even but would need a way to extract the heat.   If radiators are used they should be large single panel ones.   Of course the walls won't warm much if they aren't insulated.      Heating should be turned on  several hours before heat is needed  and off earlier as well, otherwise the  hall will be warmest  when not in use.   The optimum timing  should be obtained by  tracking the  temperature rise.   
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Ivan
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 07:42:09 PM »

I think Ted's right - wood tends to warp and crack if it's heated unevenly. If you put underfloor heating below a wood floor, you generally have to use 'engineered timber' - ie wood that's been thickly veneered onto plywood.

The other worry I'd have is that air tends to lose heat VERY quickly as it has an extremely low heat capacity - so I suspect you'd lose a lot of the heat downwards even if you insulate it well.

Take a look at the RHI and see whether you could benefit from installing something like a pellet-boiler. You'd get 20years RHI and it would pay for itself and bring in an income for a lengthy period.
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merkland
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 08:37:59 PM »

The longer term aim would be to instal a pellet boiler with possibly skirting system radiators but we thought a "cheaper and cheerful" method might be to modify the existing system to see how successful it might be. If it works we would then look at the possibility of replacing the oil burner with a wood pellet unit.
Have had prices from three different skirting radiator manufacturers and the ball park figure for a complete new installation would appear to be between twenty and thirty thousand pounds inclusive of pellet storage and automatic feed system. We would have to try and raise at least half of that which is a big ask for a small village hall!

Merkland.
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JonG
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 09:11:50 PM »

They aren't necessarily pretty, and have no grant funding but air to air heat pumps can be a good option in a scenario such as yours, with a much lower cap ex and less invasive installation practices required.

With the falling incentives on pellet, ASHP and GSHP are looking more favourable from a financial perspective and could be linked to fan coils/oversized rads.

We inherited a GSHP for servicing and mainternance that heats a hall from a bankrupt contractor and the committee there have been very happy with it.
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merkland
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 10:13:45 AM »

We don't have any space outside the hall for GSHP, with the exception of a couple of square metres where the oil tank sits. From what I read on here ASHP would be problematical in northern parts when most needed.

Merkland.
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Countrypaul
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2015, 10:51:06 AM »

How much Oil and electricity is spent on annualy heating the hall?
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JonG
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2015, 11:31:37 AM »

I depends where you are but a correctly dimensioned ASHP can be a good option, a lot of the bad press ASHP and GSHP has had is due to bad installation or design. Heat pumps generally are used in climates harsher than ours in N Europe and in Sweden GSHP sales are declining due to improvements in ASHP efficiencies which are very close to GSHP now.
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Ivan
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2015, 02:33:50 PM »

Would it not be possible to consider a 'rent-a-boiler' option for a pellet boiler? Eg Navitron has done a few installations where costs are paid for by Navitron in exchange for the RHI payments. There are other arrangements where joint ownership can mean near free heating costs.

Alternatively, is it possible to arrange a loan? Usually the loan would be paid for, to a greater extent by the RHI income.
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merkland
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2015, 05:29:36 PM »

Ivan,

That is suggestion worth bearing in mind, I will file it away for when we reach the stage that we know exactly what we want.

Merkland.
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2x55w PV to batteries, 24vx440ah battery bank. 3.5Kw grid tie (14xSanyo 250w facing 160degrees at 80 degrees inclination, Aurora 3.6 inverter), 2xflat panel water heating (for over 30 years )
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