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Dual boiler wet CH system?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Andy Hunt, Jan 3, 2004.

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  1. Andy Hunt

    Andy Hunt Guest

    Hello all -

    I live in Manchester, UK, and my home heating system is currently a wet
    central heating system running off a natural gas non-condensing combi

    I'm planning on re-jigging the house to reduce my dependency on
    non-renewable resources, which will include a solar thermal system (which I
    hope will give me around 70% of my hot water annually) and a domestic wind
    turbine (giving me 15% of my electricity, enough for lights and a couple of

    I have a gas fire in my living room, but I'm considering removing it,
    getting the chimney sorted out, and replacing it with some sort of solid
    fuel fire. The chimney goes up through my bedroom upstairs, so some heat
    would reach that room if I had a fire downstairs.

    I'm considering what I would need in the way of a solid fuel fire if, for
    example, my gas supply got cut off. It would be nice to be able to cook with
    the solid fuel fire, maybe with iron "ovens" either side of it, and also it
    would be nice to have a "back boiler" fitted so that I would be able to
    connect it to my wet central heating system (hot water taken care of by
    solar thermal system).

    I suppose my question is, (along with what solid fuel fire would be best),
    would it be possible to connect a back boiler up to my wet CH system to run
    in tandem with my gas boiler, so that I could easily switch between the two?

    I was thinking of using wood (carbon neutral) or pellets or something for
    the solid fuel fire, or possibly just smokeless fuel as I'm in a town. I'd
    rather use something that was carbon neutral.

    Any suggestions appreciated!!!

  2. SQLit

    SQLit Guest

    I do not know about Britton but here in the states we have no wood burn
    days. I have a natural gas fireplace and the regulations do not apply to me.
    I would do some checking and find out. Your source of pellets and or carbon
    neutral wood might be hard to find in the future.
  3. Andy Hunt

    Andy Hunt Guest

    Ah, right - I think that "back boilers" (are you in USA? It must be a
    British term) are just connected onto the full height of the back of a solid
    fuel fire or stove, and thence to the water tank, so there isn't actually
    anything in the firebox, just behind it, wich would make it less efficient
    but radiate a lot of heat into the room from the fire.

    I think we are talking about very similar set-ups, but I was thinking of
    using mine to heat my radiators in my wet central heating system rather than
    the DHW, but then I suppose I'd still need a pump to pump it round the
    system. I'd also have to connect it up in tandem with my gas boiler, but it
    would be nice to be able to choose which system I used. My DHW is currently
    provided by my gas boiler, but I'm hoping to get solar thermal so I can
    dispense with that boiler completely, if necessary.

    Your "Holly Hydro" sounds good, but as you say, a little *too* efficient!
    It's definitely the sort of thing I'm after, though . . .

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