Heating & Hot Water


OK, time to come clean, this is the project I’ve been inspired to create from discarded pallets. We’re looking at building a decent-size covered woodshed to hold all the firewood we’ll need once our woodburner arrives. I’m sure ours won’t be anywhere near as beautiful as the woodshed in this video. particularly as I’m going to try and make ours almost entirely from reclaimed timber, keeping the costs down to just fixings and waterproofing for the roof.

 

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When the council started taking down some of the large trees around our estate I asked the fellers for the mulch and logs from the closest. They were only too happy to oblige so we got a huge pile of mulch – now providing paths around the garden and protection to the orchard.

The logs sat in a large pile while I asked for advice on what to use on them, and the advice came back that (beyond just a basic saw) I needed a splitting maul, not an axe as I was expecting. It wasn’t expensive – we got ours from the local Machine Mart – but it does an amazing job.

Here’s what we started with:

Here’s the result, a good pile of split logs ready for our yet-to-arrive woodburner:

A quick update to my post yesterday on Woodburning Stoves for Heating & Hot Water in Smokeless zones. I’ve just had it confirmed by Rayburn/Aga that they do no wood-fired boiler models which are suitable for smokeless zones. So that means that I should update my Bin your Aga – buy a Rayburn post to “Bin your Aga and Rayburn – A Dunsley Yorkshire’s the only one for me”, and it means I can kiss my prospects of a Rayburn Solar Thermal System goodbye too. 

Maybe it’s time to move to the country 🙂 or look for alternatives to a wood-fired stove for my back-up water heating.

dunsley-yorkshireWe’re slowly narrowing the field in our wood-fired heating search. Following up on my previous posts on Woodburning Stoves for Heating & Hot Water and Using a Wood-Burning Stove in a Smoke-Control Area, I’ve found an interesting thing:

The Dunsley Yorkshire is the only stove with a back boiler that can be legally used in a smokeless zone

They cost £1922.30 for the wood-only version or £2218.40 for the multi-fuel.

So, if we’re looking at a wood-fired top-up to our solar hot-water that the sort of outlay we’re looking at.

The other consideration is overheating the house – if we succeed in super-insulating the house then having 4.5kw coming out of the Yorkshire into the room might cook us all! I’ll have to do the calculations, and look at how SIP and PassivHaus houses heat their hot water.

ecocamelJust seen the EcoCamel aerating showerhead – their test results claim a more pleasant shower with almost 50% of the water consumption of a standard shower. At the moment they are £40 for two – not the cheapest option, but a major saving if they work as forecast. Not only do you save water, but also they save the energy required to heat that water – assuming you’re not a devotee of cold showers! Potentially it could also mean that you ned to install less Solar Hot Water panels, which would be a significant saving!

esse100seThis is something we need to work out – our new house will be in a smoke control area. To check whether you’re in a smoke control area look up your local authority here. If you are then the only wood or multi-fuel burning stoves you can fit are listed on the exempt appliances list. It also explains what types of fuel you’re allowed to burn in them.

There is a good collection of the usual suspects – Clearview models, the Dunsley Yorkshire range, several Rayburns and Morsos. And some I haven’t looked at before – Dovre, Hwam, some Stovax models, and Westfire. Stoves Online have a great list of their clean-burning stoves, with links to piccies and details

In a surprise, Esse do not have any models on the list, but a quick check of their site shows that they have just launched (9th Feb) a new model that is OK in smoke-free zones. It’s the compact 100SE model – as shown in the photo!

In my PassivHaus Renovation post I said that:

Any non-solar water heating to be Gas Condensing boiler or CHP – wood fired stoves are not permitted (this conflicts with my peak-oil resilience planning)

In return I got a comment posted by Andy Simmonds at the AECB stating:

The AECB standards do not proscribe wood stoves, nor does the german version of the PassivHaus standard.

I’ve been back to the AECB standards and here are the sections of the Proscriptive Standard that deal with heating & cooking:

Space heating (Silver Standard):

Normally radiators or underfloor pipes. Fed from SEDBUK A-rated mains gas condensing boiler, CHP or, outside the gas supply area, SEDBUK A-rated LPG or oil condensing boiler, earth-source heat pump (seasonal COP ≥3.0) or cleanburning biomass boiler; i.e, one using liquid or gaseous fuels. Wood pellet boilers are permitted outside the gas supply area but are not encouraged due to the exhaust emissions. Blocks of flats or maisonettes to have a central boiler and/or CHP plant or heat mains connection; i.e. heat distribution within the block rather than individual boilers or electric heating.

Space heating (Gold Standard):

Normally hot water coil(s) in ventilation ductwork. Circulating pump consumption ≤0.1 W per m2 floor area or pro rata; e.g., Grundfos Alpha Pro or equiv. Heat sources as for Silver.

Cooking (Gold Standard):

Hobs gas, LPG, electric induction or clean-burning biomass – liquids or gases only. Ovens gas, LPG or electric A-rated. Electric min. A+ or A++

I don’t see anything in there which suggests a wood-burner would be permitted? I’ll have a chat to Andy and see if he can clarify things for me!

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