The Electric Heating Company solar PV heating trials – get involved?

EHC have launched a new range of Solar PV Ready Electric Radiators which adopts a different approach to utilising Solar PV gain. Through the use of specially adapted EHC Solar PV Ready Radiators and an Intelligent Controller, a tenant can now benefit from every watt of power their solar panels produce whilst ensuring the Landlord can keep the full export element of the FIT payments.

The Intelligent Controller will utilise Solar PV gain not being consumed by the tenant by diverting it to specially adapted EHC Solar PV Ready Radiators. EHC believe this will provide the tenant with an increased level of base heat to their home meaning their exisiting heating system will not be required to work as hard to achieve the tenants desired temperature. Where the tenant does not normally switch their heating system on due to cost, the EHC Solar PV Ready Radiators will provide an increased level of heat to that tenant for free.

To prove the various benefits that EHC believe these Solar PV Ready Radiators and Intelligent Controller can provide to a tenant, EHC are seeking RSL or Housing Association participants for a trial study they are undertaking.

Purpose of these trials

The purpose of these trials is to provide an objective economic analysis of this proposed solar PV heating solution and provide a techno-economic comparison against competing technologies in the domestic heating market (storage heaters, solar thermal, etc..). EHC have engaged an Independent External Specialist to monitor the trial data and;

  • Test the EHC solar PV concept in a range of house types;
  • Quantify how much PV self-consumption can increase through the use of the Intelligent Controller and specially adapted EHC Solar PV ready radiators;
  • Establish the economics of running such a PV solution in comparison to competing heating systems; and
  • Publish an independent report highlighting the outcome of the trials and the techno-economic analysis.

The trials will run for a period of 6 months with the independent report being completed thereafter.

What would be provided to a trial participant?

EHC are looking for RSL or Housing Associations who believe they might have tenants that would benefit from this solar PV heating solution. For all eligible trial participants, EHC will provide the tenant with

  • two PV ready ceramic radiators in the output sizes that are suitable for the tenants home and PV array;
  • the Intelligent Control unit and monitoring kit;
  • a full initial survey to determine the output requirements of the Solar PV Ready Radiators and consideration where the radiators would be situated in the tenants home; and
  • full technical support to each trial participant throughout the trial period.

EHC will also install a small temperature data logger which they hope will show an increase in the base heat of the room where the PV ready ceramic radiators have been fitted. This is a small unobtrusive data recorder and should not be too unsightly. It is not a wifi ready data logger therefore EHC will require to periodically download the information from this data logger.

EHC will not cover the costs of installation of the two Solar PV Ready Radiators or Intelligent Contoller and monitoring kit. EHC ask that the RSL or Housing Association cover the installation costs. However, EHC will provide full technical support to the installation team throughout the process.

Snapshot of online monitoring tool

EHC have provided below a snapshot of the online monitoring tool that is being used for the trials. The pound value of diverted PV generation to the Solar PV Ready Radiators is purely indicative and will be dependent on the trial property.

What would the tenant agree to by participating in these trials

By participating in these trials EHC would require;

  • information on the tenants previous 12 months gas and electric bills;
  • confirmation the tenant has wifi availability in their home;
  • the tenants agreement to allow EHC to monitor their gas and electric consumption over the trial period (trials will most probably run until 31 December 2016); and
  • entry to the tenants property to survyer the property, review the initial installation, programme the controller and then periodically download the temperature data from the data logger (EHC would give the tenant as much advanced notice as possible when they wish to visit).

EHC reserve the right to remove the trial equipment should a tenant not cooperate throughout the trial period or invoice the RSL or Housing Association for the costs of the trial equipment provided should EHC not be able to remove the trial equipment (EHC would hope this wouldn’t ever be an issue!).

On satisfactory completion of the trials, the trial equipment would be left at the tenants disposal to remain operational or to remove if they wished.

Want to be a trial participant – next steps

If you would be interested in participating in the trials being run by EHC or would like to find out more details on how the Solar PV Ready Radiators and Intelligent Controller operate, then please contact Calum Black, Operations Director of The Electric Heating Company on 01698 820 533 or email: info@electric-heating

Published on 25-07-2016
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