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Author Topic: Advice needed on 'greening' an existing building  (Read 11838 times)
M
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« on: September 29, 2019, 02:51:32 PM »

Hello all.

My sister and family are moving, and changing lifestyles quite a bit, with a property with an agricultural leaning.

It's a biggish property that's been extended a few times, and currently has two oil boiler based heating systems, as it can effectively be regarded as two halves.

It has no gas supply, but I suspect it either has 3 phase, or has it running right outside.

The whole electrics and heating systems need replacing, and she's asked me for advice on what renewables approach she can take, as she has (not a lot) but some spare monies based on the respective prices of old and new home.

Straight off, I thought of RHI, but wasn't sure if it would have a good enough EPC rating, but the more I research, I can only find a need for an EPC (to prove it's domestic), no mention of a required EPC level - is that right?

If RHI is possible, then I'm thinking with ages north of 50, biomass might not be ideal, as they won't want to be shifting bags of pellets in 20yrs time, or I might be overthinking it? So ASHP or GSHP, is there any reason not to think of going down that/those routes?

She's also asked about PV, and there is a large south facing roof, and I believe if your property is agricultural, then PP is not an issue, so ground mounts, barns for rooves etc.. My immediate thought would be to go as big as budget allows, especially if 3 phase, so 10kWp+, as that will help a bit with HP heating, and perhaps charge BEV's in the future?

Not sure about batts at this stage, but certainly something to watch?

Any general thoughts and ideas? Chat and comment welcome as always. Also, to all and Navitron, any suggestions for good contacts re RHI, MCS installers etc willing to visit S. Wales?

Many thanks, Martyn.
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
brackwell
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2019, 03:33:06 PM »

Not much responsiblity there then Mart.

These days I always think of a boiler as a just in case insurance policy.  However if one is not going down the eco route then why not just replace the oil boilers but if going down the eco route then why waste money on something you are trying to use so little of.  For me it would be GSHP, loads of PV and you guessed, loads of insulation/draught proofing. Starting with getting rid of fireplaces and chimneys.

The biggest problem is that to claim the RHI you need to have MCS certification which means it needs to be able to maintain good efficience COP 3 ? and 21C in virtually all rooms in the worst winter etc, something i very much doubt you could achieve without HUGE additional expense. Now if you know someone with a digger then...

I do wonder how TOU tariffs change matters with Batts, HPs and even storage heaters.

Ken

« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 03:36:01 PM by brackwell » Logged
titan
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2019, 04:39:13 PM »

I am surprised that someone with over 5000 posts is asking for general renewable advice for a property based on  "it's a biggish property that's been extended a few times" it just raises a load of basic questions, like what is the energy requirement, do they want to dig up floors for UFH or some of the land for GSHP pipework is it a quiet site would an ASHP be intrusive, how well insulated is the property, what is the current energy use, oil I assume how many ltrs a year any open fires any wood burners the list goes on.
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todthedog
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2019, 07:17:30 PM »

I think Mart is doing this for two reasons
A fresh point of view
Help for others lacking in experience
A more considered reply when I have a proper keyboard.
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Kidwelly South Wales
ecogeorge
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2019, 07:39:33 PM »

I would ..........
-insulate , insulate and insulate .
-then insulate a bit more -just in case ........
-As much pv as you can fit .10kw or more ........
-Big thermal store with inputs for GSHP (run on pv during day ), wood burners , pv diversion controllers.

Do you have a wood supply ? are you willing to stoke fires ?? cut wood ??
Can you install GSHP -I did it -you can -thread somewhere here but old now..........
I would have say 20kw back boiler wood stove with surplus pv and GSHP as back up. Run GSHP say 10am-4pm  (3kw input -9kw output at cop 3).
Surplus pv to immersion heater (s).
Personally i would forget oil or gas but be prepared to run a woodburner hard when required.
any windturbine options?? not huge input but nice to watch and give a smug feeling.
any streams ? hydro ??
Mofe pv Huh -its so easy and cheap.
RHI -would forget about -so dear -new kit, specialist installers to sign a bit of paper .
George.
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rogeriko
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2019, 10:21:51 PM »

RHI is now only feasible on a GSHP. Unfortunately GSHP's and old farmhouses dont mix.
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M
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 07:46:30 AM »

I think Mart is doing this for two reasons
A fresh point of view
Help for others lacking in experience
A more considered reply when I have a proper keyboard.

Yes, and many thanks.

But also, i don't have full info yet, just basic chats with my big sis, though we will have a sit down on Wednesday for me to run through options and ideas. I've asked her to bring building specs and EPC, and she's hoping to do a site visit today (I can't go, got cat rescue cleaning, dog boarder going (sniff, cry) and a fever). I asked her to note where the leccy supply is for 3 phase.

But, and sorry titan, but whilst I love chatting about all things renewable, I have very little practical experience outside of PV, so I need real input from real do'ers, especially regarding pro's and con's.

At this stage I was opening the door for any and all info, and will of course update with more details as I get them.


Ecogeorge - a WT hadn't occurred to me, I need to see the site, and presumably how it lies regarding wind from the SW(?), but I don't know anything about wind, just the hard work many on here have reported it to be ..... plus fun of course.

I suspect this is more evidence that we need a professional to offer suggestions and advice, and some budgetary ideas. Again, suggestions welcome/appreciated?


Rogeriko, can I ask what you mean, are you saying ASHP might not be doable/available now?
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
benseb
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2019, 07:44:30 PM »

Of course ASHp is feasible if GS is

If you have the land to do a ground array go with GS. Otherwise AS

Our RHI will be approx £11,000 over 7 years so will pay for the entire heating system (14kw ASHP plus new DHW tank)

RHI pays out more for energy hungry houses

But insulate lots anyway (after youíve done the EPC) to lower your carbon and costs and be more comfortable.
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rogeriko
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2019, 11:56:21 PM »

Ashp earn 10p per kw and gshp earn 20p per kw RHI.   https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-rhi/contacts-guidance-and-resources/tariffs-and-payments-domestic-rhi/current-future-tariffs

In very cold weather and damp conditions ashp's tend to ice up a lot so even though the compressor is running it is not heating the house.
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M
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2019, 07:49:07 AM »

Ashp earn 10p per kw and gshp earn 20p per kw RHI.   https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-rhi/contacts-guidance-and-resources/tariffs-and-payments-domestic-rhi/current-future-tariffs

In very cold weather and damp conditions ashp's tend to ice up a lot so even though the compressor is running it is not heating the house.

Thank you. I had seen the subsidy rates, but also understood GSHP was about twice the price, so roughly balanced?

However, I also understand(?) that as GSHP is more stable, then it's a safer bet for those occasional extreme times. I was going to suggest that they also add one or two small AC units, like my ickle one, that way they can have some localised cooling as I've been told RHI isn't available if the main system is used for cooling too.
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
brackwell
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2019, 08:33:07 AM »

Mart,
I do not believe a solid house made from stone,concrete etc needs AC. The thermal mass makes a good job of stabalising temps.

Have you researched my comment that you will have difficulty achieving a MCS system for the purpose of RHI ?

Ken
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Moxi
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2019, 09:02:56 AM »

Morning Mart,

I would have to say the first thing I would do would be to get the external walls insulated - for us, in our exposed west facing stone cottage, this eliminated a lot of draughts that had previously thwarted our attempts at eliminating.  At the same time we laid in over a meter of loft insulation and almost over night the house became notably warmer to the point of being comfortable, condensation and mold issues were almost totally removed as well with just one or two spots which required further intervention.

After that we had time to deal with the internals, without being really cold for around 8 months in the year, so being able to live in one section of their property adequately warm and comfortable while they strip out and renovate another section may appeal to your sister and family and compliment their funds for the project?

 
Moxi
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todthedog
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2019, 12:15:38 PM »

Good morning Mart
Only can tell you what we did, what works and what didnt.

First of all the house it was about 150 m2 construction  stone earth bound 1.5 m thick walls, slate roof no insulation. The wind used to blow through  the walls, single glazed windows. In Finisterre . Money was a large restraint.

Shed loads of insulation in the roof.
Walls repointed with lime mortar.
Dry lined stud and track plasterboard with rockwool. PIR not available in France. Clockman did similar but with plasterboard with insulation attached.Not a solution that would work for us as there wasn't a single straight wall the place. Both of these with photographs are available on the site somewhere.
Windows replaced by double glazed (French b&q) All well sealed as was dry lining.
Heating wood burner with stainless liner up the existing chimney, which was sealed and insulated. This was supplemented by an air/air ashp used in  the shoulder months and worked brilliantly.
Solar thermal again worked fabulously.  200 l tank 'free' hot water for 9 months of the year. If this had been the UK not France I think that I would have gone with an instant electric shower and water heater, not a workable solution in France due to the vagaries and cost of electric supply. No stored hot water at all.
6 kW of PV again due to the peculiarities of the French system we sold half and used half so all our costs were more than covered.
2.5kW wind turbine good experience and fun essential if you were off grid but more pv and some battery back up might have been better in our case. Or a big thermal store a la Biff.
Small continuously running extract fan low energy used about 3 euros a year in the kitchen lounge no humidity problems.

Good luck

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Kidwelly South Wales
M
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2019, 12:17:26 PM »

Hello again guys and girls.

Looking forward to getting some more specs tomorrow. I seem to recall the EPC is an E with C potential, but will need to see and have a read.

From short chats and a slightly confusing phonecall, I think the newer parts have CWI, but I don't know about the older parts. We had CWI probably 15+yrs ago and it's simply brilliant. Just done my stats for end of Q3, and if Q4 is average for gas consumption, then we'll be looking at just 6,000kWh's this year (including oven and DHW), not bad for a 1930's British semi. First day we've needed heating on here, and that's just a marginal little bit of top up, and all from the ASHP (air con) and 'free' PV.

I've also pondered a two stage build out, but as there will be investment money at the start (new property slightly cheaper than old) my sis is looking to put most 'stuff' into storage, allowing for a clean house for leccy and heating works, which is another reason why now seems to be the time to consider ideas to slot in ...... budget allowing.

Thanks Tod, posts crossed.
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
benseb
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2019, 01:46:19 PM »

Ashp earn 10p per kw and gshp earn 20p per kw RHI.   https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-rhi/contacts-guidance-and-resources/tariffs-and-payments-domestic-rhi/current-future-tariffs

In very cold weather and damp conditions ashp's tend to ice up a lot so even though the compressor is running it is not heating the house.

Thank you. I had seen the subsidy rates, but also understood GSHP was about twice the price, so roughly balanced?

However, I also understand(?) that as GSHP is more stable, then it's a safer bet for those occasional extreme times. I was going to suggest that they also add one or two small AC units, like my ickle one, that way they can have some localised cooling as I've been told RHI isn't available if the main system is used for cooling too.


We had a big dilemma about AS vs GS heat pump.

On paper GS is better. More stable at low temps, better COP

However

It can be riskier (if ground array is too small lots of work to increase). Also often if the system isnít specced  correctly you donít realise until year 3 onwards.

Saying that we still would have gone for GS if we had the land for horizontal pipes. Probably.

As we didnít, boreholes were going to cost an extra £10k so made it so much more of an upheaval and increased the risks if they werenít sized correctly.

In the end we went with ASHP. We got a decent brand (Mitsubishi) and the COP ainít that much different to what we were quoted on GS.

£10k less RHI but £10k cheaper.

Not had a cold winter to test yet but so far it just works and is keeping us warm 24/7 rather than for 4 hours a day that our oil boiler ran for!

At work we have 3 ASHP. During beast from the east they maintained their temperatures fine. The only issue was the UFH that had been installed by a cowboy with 1 inch chipboard on top.... so didnít give out nearly as much heat as it should. But that wasnít a fault of the heat pumps.
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