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Thermodynamic Solar Panels
 Started by  LUCYMO
 27 Jul 2010, 1:55 PM

Hi ~ does anyone have any personal experience of these? I'm renovating a 60's build detached bungalow with large south facing roof & am considering having Energie thermodynamic solar panels fitted to provide both domestic heating & hot water. Can't have underfloor heating so will be going for oversized rads instead. Property is cavity wall, won't be doing cavity wall insulation, decided cons outweighed pros. In due course will be having PV's also, & with FIT and RHI hope to offset the costs of thermodynamics. What I really want to know is ... has anyone got them, have you gone through a winter with them, did you need any back up system, have you got radiators, did you have to change to aluminium. As they're a new product to UK I can find plenty of technical info but not solid customer experience. Any comments gratefully received to help me make properly informed decision!!!
I never came across the term " thermodynamic solar panels " unless I was confronted with salesmen who tried to lure the ignorant consumer to purchase a heat pump from them.This term is a chimera, a word non-existing in the technical,logical world. A salesmen term. Like "fresh water","warm heat", "green shopping" and so on....
THERMODYNAMIC is Greek and means turning thermal energy into kinetik energy, into movement. Not the other way around and nothing else...
These HP sellers are as stupid as their prey.
The term "solar panels" is used for PV panels using the sun as energy source to produce electricity.
The term "solar collectors" is used for all sorts of devices which collect the sun's rays to creat thermal energy.
Tubes, pipes, panels,concentrators,lenses and so on.
Please let us know what you mean when using the term "thermodynamic solar panels".
Also please don't start to talk about heatpumps (in case you planned to do so!) for household's heating demands, we had enough of this. See the previous threads and articles in the magazine.

I am also considering installing the Energie panels for central heating and think Heinbloed has been overly negative and dismissive of the technology concerned. As you have probably discovered by now the Energie technology is a hybrid, combining a heat absorbing panel and heat pump in a single integrated unit.
For an Energie based Domestic Hot Water solution my calculations show a 6 year pay back if you currently heat water using electricity. If you have a cheaper heat source such as natural gas then the pay back time is more like 10 years. Installing an Energie based central heating system without suitable Government renewable heat incentives (and I don't think these are definite yet), will have an even longer payback. Also I am not sure how the system would be deemed under the proposed RHI scheme - is it a Solar hermal Panel or a Heat Pump?
Of course there is the unquantifiable feel-good-factor. What value do you put on that?
Let me know how you get on, and I will do the same.

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