DIY floor heating, and it’s solar!


A heated floor can be just the tonic in winter. Per-Steinar Jacobsen shows how he installed his own solar hydronic floor heating.

I have long been an advocate of renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power. In the mid seventies I built a house in Hahndorf, South Australia, where I installed underfloor heating, radiators and a central heating boiler. I made provision to connect solar panels to the boiler when I had the money to do so.

Renewable energy is just as important with the house that my wife and I are currently building in Port Germein. However, the renewable energy features have been installed from the very beginning, including the solar hydronic underfloor heating. Here’s how I did it myself.

To start off, I searched the internet for evacuated tube solar collectors. I found some in America which were reasonably priced; interestingly they were used for space heating as well as for hot water. I investigated transportation costs to reflect the true cost of buying from overseas.

In the end I decided to buy them locally from Sunplus CPC Solar in Victoria. I purchased a retrofit (conversion) kit containing four 12-tube collectors. With this kit came three pumps, two temperature pump controllers and some plumbing hardware. This was the easy part, now I had to decide on storage tanks.

Again I searched the internet for suitable hot water tanks. A local hardware store had some 315 litre tanks in stock. I took the model number, rang the factory in Sydney and asked whether it had internal heat exchanger coils. The answer was ‘yes, all our tanks have internal coils,’ so I bought this $1,000 tank, only to find out later that there were no internal coils in this tank. So much for correct information from the manufacturers!

Read the full article in ReNew 104