Solar panels and storage heaters

  Colonel Graham 11:01 AM 02 Sep 11
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I'm hopefully having solar panels fitted shortly. It occurs to me if I put a small storage heater in the conservatory, it would charge during the day and release the heat on a winters evening.

Is this practical?

  woodchip 11:06 AM 02 Sep 11

Does not work like that, its stored in Batteries, unless you have the hot water solar panels

  Colonel Graham 11:10 AM 02 Sep 11

When I say 'charge' I mean the electric element heats the bricks in the heater during the day.

  woodchip 11:12 AM 02 Sep 11

There is not enough power comes from Panels to work like that on most setups

  Aitchbee 11:44 AM 02 Sep 11

During winter the sunshine (light duration) will not be very good.

  interzone55 11:52 AM 02 Sep 11

Unless you're looking at several acres of panels you'll be lucky to pull in a kilowatt of power, which isn't nearly enough to charge up a storage heater.

We sell a kit for powering a CCTV camera and transmitter, the panel is 4' x 2' and is used to trickle charge a 65amp leisure battery. The camera pulls 6w and the transmitter pulls around 8w. The battery generally lasts a month before it needs to be properly charged from the mains.

Adding a small wind turbine extends the life by a couple of weeks.

This is similar to the kit we sell http://www.maplin.co.uk/60w-solar-power-kit-223250

  Aitchbee 12:08 PM 02 Sep 11

alan14 - could I fit a small wind turbine to my windy verandah? The solar panel you described would also be a viable addition to my south-west facing dwelling perhaps.

  interzone55 13:38 PM 02 Sep 11

AitchBEE

There's no reason why not, although the small panels & wind turbines only deliver a tiny current, typically 50kw then you're looking at spending around £170,000 for the turbine, deliver, installation and connection to the national grid

  Aitchbee 14:03 PM 02 Sep 11

alan14 - I would like to harness a little of nature's 'free-gifts' and see them in operation on my verandah, which is ideally placed...weather-wise, for solar and wind power, on a very small, and manageable scale.

  interzone55 20:59 PM 02 Sep 11

AitchBEE

If you get a lot of wind across your veranda then one of these would work, but it only delivers a maximum of 50w

http://www.maplin.co.uk/50w-telescopic-vertical-axis-wind-turbine-396269

  DM. 21:32 PM 02 Sep 11

Colonel Graham

We are getting panels fitted to our south facing roof. They will generate 1.6Kw of dc energy. This is then converted to AC and fed into the house.

**I'm hopefully having solar panels fitted shortly. It occurs to me if I put a small storage heater in the conservatory, it would charge during the day and release the heat on a winters evening. Is this practical?**

Yes. Even if it does not fully charge the storage heater it will use all of the dc power and then be topped up from the grid. the trick is to use one appliance at a time. This will maximise the output of the panels.

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