It only seems a short time ago that I was in a new house ripping up all the floors to fit my underfloor heating system. I had this great envision of an economical house which one day might be supplemented with another technology like ground source heating or solar heating to really run green. What I ended up with was lots of mess and lots of effort, still glad I did it as the tank and heating system for hot water that was there was ancient and a bit grim.
I placed plastic piping throughout the floors of my house, bought a boiler and some plumbing connections. Knowing then what I do now I would buy a proper distribution manifold but me being me I decided I had to make it myself (just so you know, I did not fit the boiler myself). I used the MIAC to switch the relays for the different zones and also to switch mains to the gas boiler, a fifth electric driven zone and a pump. I have some previous experience at plumbing but some of this took a good few attempts before I was happy with the result.
The first winter was still cold but then I did have old wooden window frames, drafty doors and unplugged air bricks which didn’t help. The purchase of a solid fuel burner came in very handy at times as this provided a bit of extra heat on top of the underfloor to make the place warm. I had the system switched on a lot of the time so bills did not drop by much and guests sleeping on the floor described the situation as tropical.
Since then whenever i’m not behind a computer or bent over a circuit board I have been doing many improvements to the house including me and my dad recently fitting doubles glazed doors and windows ourselves with no experience. Actually very easy in the end but there were some moments. Now the underfloor heating ticks away nicely and I just have to light the stove every so often just to take the nip out the air. I do have one large radiator to act as a heat source when the boiler is off and this works well to compliment the heat and keep the boiler off for as long as possible. Bills are very reasonable and I still have some tricks up my sleeve to further improve the efficiencies. With rising fuel bills and a handy 3D printer you can’t afford not to.
Since the initial install 3 years have passed and the MIAC, boiler and pipework are all now hidden behind a fake wall in the spare bedroom, all that remains is a little window I can pop open to reveal the MIAC display and keypad. Apart from the slight adjustment of the clock on the MIAC every 6 months or so I have had no issues what so ever and the system has functioned fairly flawlessly. The initial project and discussion can be found at the links below.
With the new benefits of Flowcode v6 I am toying with the idea of linking the MIAC to my PC or phone using Bluetooth and then using this to log the state of the system to try and improve the efficiency and maybe even for remote control purposes via the internet. For example I could heat up all of the zones to a set temperature and then switch off the system and log which zones get coldest the quickest.
If your interested in this then you may also be interested in this project to make a stack-able wind powered generator cell.
Low RPM Axial Flux Generator
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