Micro combined heat and power

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– Heat provided for domestic water usage/space heating (radiators)
– Production of electricity (1 kW)

Parts of the installation:
– 20 m² solar panels
– micro combined heat and power (a whispergen)
– adjusted microprocessor control unit (own development), control system C-Control PRO Unit Mega 128 by Conrad and coupled to the PC for visualisation, registration and settings using a self-made program made in Visual Basic

Functioning: two grey water storage tanks (containing 500 L of water) retain warmth. This is the warmth for the domestic water and heating.

Heat sources for the two grey tanks:
Sunny weather: the 20 m² solar panels heat the bottom heating spiral of the 500 L orange boiler. The temperature of the water in the boiler can thus be elevated up to 70°C. In which case the control system transfers the hot water of this boiler to the two grey water storage tanks. This is done through the top spiral in the orange boiler. (In a typical solar energy installation, the top spiral is used to further heat the water to 60°C if needed (preventing legionella).
– Less sunny weather: the micro combined heat and power transfers heat to the grey water storage tanks. This heat can be called the excess heat of the production of electricity provided by a stirling engine. If heat is needed, electricity is made (additional information can be found by surfing the web for ‘Whispergen’)

Often, micro combined heat and power is used with a 300 L tank. But since we want the possibility of storing extra heat in the grey water storage tanks, two 500 L tanks are provided. The two tanks act like communicating vessels at the top, middle and bottom.

For thermal isolation (pipes) we choose rock wool.

During strong winters, the burner (dark orange box in the drawing) is automatically enabled.

Most houses have 20 m² solar panels or less. In this case, a considerable heat production is possible. This installation contains the heat of a nice day until a next potential less sunny day.

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