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Liquid Fuel Heaters

 

FUEL


LIQUID FUEL

The liquid fuel is stored at atmospheric temperature therefore if there is a leak it will be slow and not cause any harm to the surrounding infrastructure or other systems in the house.

The installation technique used makes the piping inherently leak free in the pipe with gravity/suction feeding the liquid fuel to the boiler. A tank is required to store the paraffin and is generally kept outside away from the house – ideally but not necessarily in a utility area.

Paraffin is odourless and cannot be set alight with a naked flame and is not explosive. It is used in an intrinsically safe boiler made to European CE standards and will not freeze in very low temperatures.

Very importantly, paraffin is Vat free and has the lowest running/operating cost in South Africa, free from the electrical monopoly.

 Left: Plastic fuel tank utility area l Right: Steel fuel tank installed in the gardenLeft: Plastic fuel tank utility area | Right: Steel fuel tank installed in the garden

GAS

Stored at 7 – 10 times atmospheric temperature. Therefore if it leaks it causes serious damage to the surrounding infrastructure as it is highly explosive and any slight spark or flame can ignite it. As a result of the high pressure gas can force its way into the main drinking water supply – making your drinking water poisonous. With the required energy for a full heating system you will need a greater amount of pressurised cylinders stored on your property, increasing your risk per gas cylinder. For this reason it is recommended to store the gas cylinders far from any other systems in your home. Unfortunately a utility dedicated area generally incorporates other systems of the house such as water purification, pool pumps, etc and is therefore not ideal. Finally gas is the most expensive running cost in South Africa.

 

HEAT PUMP

A Heat Pump must have an electric connection to the mains. It draws extra energy from the heat in the air outside.  Thus if the temperature outside is low the efficiency of the heat pump drops exponentially. For this reason the heat pump should be sized for the required energy when it is cold outside (e.g. winter at night) and not when it is hot (e.g. summer and daytime). As a result this requires the heat pump should generally be double in size. This can cause your electricity supply from the mains to be overloaded. Therefore the impact of an undersized heat pump is that your house does not get to the desired temperature when you need it – when it is cold.


boilersLeft: Boiler installation | Right: Boiler and heat pump installation

SOLAR

This heating system must be a supplement to a bigger primary energy source such as a boiler, heat pump or the electricity mains. It is important to be aware that the primary energy source will provide at least 60% – 70% of your total energy requirements for heating. Therefore the solar energy can only provide a maximum of 30% to 40% of your heating requirements – even when there is sun. The solar energy must be stored in a large battery (tank) of water when there is sun to provide energy when there is no sun – such as at night or a rainy day. As a result of requiring 2 systems instead of just one primary system the installation cost is extremely high. However the running cost is, at best, moderate but certainly not zero.

 

 

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