Hybrid Solar Radiant Heating System
Radiant Floor Heating pairs very well with solar thermal as the concrete is a mass storage sink for the heat energy. Paired with a small back up, a hybrid solar radiant heating system can be a great investment.
Design 1 - With Solar Hot Water
This hybrid solar radiant heating design includes a primary solar heating loop with both a top and bottom heat exchanger and 4.5 Kw heating element in the thermal solar storage tank. The solar loop feeds the bottom heat exchanger heating up the domestic water storage tank. The hydronic loop is feed through the top heat exchanger using a second radiant zone pump where the energy in the storage tank is transferred to the floor heating loop. The middle electric element turns on only when the demand exceeds the stored solar energy supply. An advanced solar controller seamlessly controls both the solar loop and the hydronic loop ensuring maximum performance. A dissipation loop is used to prevent overheating in the summer (optional solar covers can be used). The advantage of this deign is it also provides domestic hot water by using the SolarStor thermal tank.
Design 2- SunAmp Thermal Battery
This hybrid solar radiant heating system includes a primary solar heating loop but uses the SunAmp Thermal Battery. The primary solar loop heats the battery resulting in a phase change. The hydronic loop is feed through the 2nd heat exchanger in the thermal battery using a second radiant zone pump where the energy in the thermal battery is transferred to the floor heating loop. A 2.8 Kw element in the thermal battery turns on only when the demand exceeds the stored solar energy supply. An advanced solar controller seamlessly controls both the solar loop and the hydronic loop ensuring maximum performance. A dissipation loop is used to prevent overheating in the summer (optional solar covers can be used). A gas or electric boiler can be added to the hydronic system for larger projects.
Sizing a Hybrid Solar Radiant Floor Heating System:
Sizing depends on the square footage of the building and the location and construction the of the building. Good southern exposure is the 1st requirement for any solar radiant floor heating application. As a general rule of thumb, a house located in the Northern US and Canada will require one collector per 300 square feet of floor heating area, Mid US States will require 1 x TZ58 1800 30R collector per 400 square feet of floor area. Our Solar Radiant Floor Heating systems are recommended for up to 1500 square feet with 5 panels. If you have more heating area, then we recommend you purchase additional system. A 3000 square foot home in Colorado will generally need 2 systems with 4-5 collectors each.
Pool Heating In Summer:
One of the biggest challenges of a solar radiant hybrid heating system is that in the summer months there will be even more heat energy in the winter and this energy needs to be removed from the heating system. A few simple options can be used such as covering the solar collectors or dissipating the energy in a ground loop with buried copper pipe or by using external heat fins. However, if you are so fortunate to have a pool then using the excess solar for solar pool heating is the best choice. Dumping the summer heat to your pool is a win win!