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Hi there,

 

I'm building a new hot room alongside my shed and want to know what sort of heating to use. I know that I should heat the floor but do I go electric or hot water, and do I need other heat sources as well? Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers

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What are the supers on, trays of some kind or what? IE, is there an air gap for ventilation / heat exchange running below the supers?

 

Only hot room set up I've had much experience with was electrically heated, the supers were stacked on small pallet type things that raised the stack off the ground perhaps 10 cm and air movement was forced along the rows underneath.

 

If the room is well insulated it takes surprisingly little heat to get a room up to temperature, water could be overkill but I don't know what people are doing these days my experience is from many years ago.

 

Honey came in & went into the room end of the day & was extractable next day, although we would try to work one side of the room then the other so honey was sometimes in there 2 days. Different guys extracted, from the teams bringing in the honey.

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if its under timber or in concrete water heating is better than electrical. the electric elements have a tendency to go pop and also lightning/power spikes loves electric underfloor heating.

heating the floor is a good way because your using the thermal mass. however you need to take special consideration to how its insulated and how much weight the setup can handle.

also underfloor won't be the primary heating as the honey is heated via air in the room. circulating hot air is important.

 

a few crowds use heat pumps. down side is they often have max temp of about 34c.

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if its under timber or in concrete water heating is better than electrical. the electric elements have a tendency to go pop and also lightning/power spikes loves electric underfloor heating.

heating the floor is a good way because your using the thermal mass. however you need to take special consideration to how its insulated and how much weight the setup can handle.

also underfloor won't be the primary heating as the honey is heated via air in the room. circulating hot air is important.

 

a few crowds use heat pumps. down side is they often have max temp of about 34c.

 

Thanks Tristan,

Good info. What do you mean by electric elements popping?

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What are the supers on, trays of some kind or what? IE, is there an air gap for ventilation / heat exchange running below the supers?

 

Only hot room set up I've had much experience with was electrically heated, the supers were stacked on small pallet type things that raised the stack off the ground perhaps 10 cm and air movement was forced along the rows underneath.

 

If the room is well insulated it takes surprisingly little heat to get a room up to temperature, water could be overkill but I don't know what people are doing these days my experience is from many years ago.

 

Honey came in & went into the room end of the day & was extractable next day, although we would try to work one side of the room then the other so honey was sometimes in there 2 days. Different guys extracted, from the teams bringing in the honey.

Thanks , We are palletised so should get reasonably good air flow.

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Thanks Tristan,

Good info. What do you mean by electric elements popping?

heating elements blow ie open circuit. no different to any heating element ie stove jug toaster.

but because they are on the ground (concrete) lightning loves to go through them into the ground and obviously frying them. back in my sparky days they would not warranty electric underfloor heating unless spike/surge protection was installed.

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What are your current thoughts on how to build the room Jason?

Well so far I understand that I need to put down an insulated concrete slab. Expol do a product that is very high density that is suitable for heavy loads. I thought that electric cable heating would do but I have been told that it is limited to it's heat output and is expensive to run. But I understand that water heating can be expensive to install and needs maintenance and I only extract for about 10-14 weeks. Walls and ceiling would be 150mm chiller panel. I have found fan heaters that have 6-9kW outputs that I would use to circulate heat. I would just need a good sparky to put all heating on a thermostat so I don't burn the shed down.

With concrete you only get one chance to get it right so I think I should get some quotes and good advice on the floor heating.

Any other thoughts?

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heating elements blow ie open circuit. no different to any heating element ie stove jug toaster.

but because they are on the ground (concrete) lightning loves to go through them into the ground and obviously frying them. back in my sparky days they would not warranty electric underfloor heating unless spike/surge protection was installed.

Thanks again.

 

THE SCORES

Electric - 0

Water - 1

Geothermal - I wish

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regardless of if you do any in floor heating, insulating the floor helps a lot.

heat pump would be better than normal electric heater. while they are expensive considering that they are on for such a long time and your heating up a lot of mass, they will pay for themselves fairly quickly.

a few fans to circulate the air.

 

you have to remember that with boxes stacked they take a long time to heat up. you can heat them up faster by crisscrossing them or put spacers between each box.

if you crank up the heat you will end up with the outside parts to hot.

 

solar is not a bad idea. only catch is you can't turn it off. so if it gets to hot you have to be able to get rid of the heat.

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trouble is solar can get to hot and boil the tank.

the problem with solar hot water on houses is they are sized for summer not winter. cause if you have a nice big one which works well in winter its to big in summer and boils the tank. they can get around that by using something like a swimming pool as a heat dump.

same thing with solar powering a hot room. if the hot room doesn't take all the heat, the system can heat up and boil. so you need a way to get rid of that extra heat. maybe big radiator outside.

otherwise you would have to undersize the solar setup to allow safety margin and use other heating to top up when required.

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Hot water all the way I say. Solar is a good idea but being a uncontrolled heat source it is hard to manage for a underfloor set up. Most under floor heating pipe work is plastic and you don't want to overheat it. You could simply use a heat dump like coils buried in the ground outside or "store" it in a thick crushed metal base lower down under the building to support the concrete floor when needed. If you fed the solar water/ heated water to a dual coil hot water tank set you could regulate the solar by bleeding heat through the second coil to outside, another heat sink like your home hot water needs or a spa if you like. The tank become a buffer tank for temperature control and safty. For a short season like you need you could use a wetback type set up if you have access to timber for fuel. It's less trouble to control also. This would be cheaper to set up than solar I think. There are lots of high output wet back fires available. For insulation under the concrete think high density polystyrene sheets. most plaster supplies or builder suppliers stock it or can get it. The sheets are cheap really, expol or the like is expensive compared because you are paying for the name. If you want some sketches pm me and I will be happy to help if I can

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Hot water all the way I say. Solar is a good idea but being a uncontrolled heat source it is hard to manage for a underfloor set up. Most under floor heating pipe work is plastic and you don't want to overheat it. You could simply use a heat dump like coils buried in the ground outside or "store" it in a thick crushed metal base lower down under the building to support the concrete floor when needed. If you fed the solar water/ heated water to a dual coil hot water tank set you could regulate the solar by bleeding heat through the second coil to outside, another heat sink like your home hot water needs or a spa if you like. The tank become a buffer tank for temperature control and safty. For a short season like you need you could use a wetback type set up if you have access to timber for fuel. It's less trouble to control also. This would be cheaper to set up than solar I think. There are lots of high output wet back fires available. For insulation under the concrete think high density polystyrene sheets. most plaster supplies or builder suppliers stock it or can get it. The sheets are cheap really, expol or the like is expensive compared because you are paying for the name. If you want some sketches pm me and I will be happy to help if I can

If it was me this is the direction I'd be taking - hotwater; either via a small solar facility or a wetback if you have a (cheap) fuel source available. @Plumberman seems to be on to it.

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