Oil fired boiler vs Electric boiler


Postby smoki1969 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:45 pm

Hi there

I am just in the process at looking at replacing our current heating system with a wet underfloor system in the lounge and rads elsewhere.

I was wondering (with the price of oil) what people think as regards the costs of installing either oil or electric boiler.

We have no oil at the moment so would be a new tank etc.
Also we cannot get gas (remote area)

Thanks for any advice in advance.

Simon
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Postby plumbbob » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:41 am

There is no such thing as an electrical boiler. Boiler means to "burn" a fuel.

There have been attempts in the past to have instant electrically heated air, but it is absolutely terribly expensive. The only way to heat by electricity is by using night storage when the electricity can be bought at night on the low rate economy 7 period.

Fuel prices have changed considerably since I last did a cross comparison on fuel costs, but then off peak was by far the most expensive after LPG. As oil is used to generate electricity and gas prices have risen too, I am not sure that anything has changed. It's just all so expensive now and still rising.

My guess is you have to choose between oil and storage heating. Got a coin to flip?
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Postby htg engineer » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:47 pm

'There is no such thing as an electrical boiler'

What is an electric combi boiler then plumbob ???
http://www.discountedheating.co.uk/shop ... oiler.html

I'd go for an electric combi boiler rather than oil - but you'll have to weigh up the costs if you do not have a personal preference. The installation of the electric boiler will be cheaper (i'd imagine) as oil tanks and boilers are expensive.

htg
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Postby plumbbob » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:05 pm

Well to be honest Htg that post started as rubbish and went down eh? Lol.

Must admit I have never seen an electrical wet boiler before, but to be honest My opinion still stands. Maybe I am biased against electricity but I can't see how it can work out cheaper than oil especially if you cannot use "off peak" prices for the heating.

I think a very careful look at the property power supply would be necessary because of the amount of current drawn.

In all the domestic and commercial systems I have seen over the last thirty years or so, I have never seen anyone choose electricity for a wet heating over traditional fuels!

But you learn every day! Ha
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Postby plumbbob » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:50 pm

Oh, and another thing what do you heat with 9kw? Why don't you just buy 4 electric fan heaters?
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Postby ericmark » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:50 pm

Plumbbob’s comments on no such thing as an electric boiler are technically wrong but most houses have a maximum of 100 amp supply and not all of that can be used for heating even if back in the 1950’s that was the whole idea behind the 13 amp socket. The night storage heaters were a failure but the modern idea of a heat store does work better but needs a lot of room although it does allow multi-sources for the heating for example solar. Main advantage of electric heating is radian heat can be used which heats the body rather than the air so drafts do not cool you as much as with air heating radian heaters are very common in garages where the doors are often open and air is exchanged and is the big argument against energy saving light bulbs. But there are also some new systems like the sterling engine where electricity is also generated when burning oil and it does become very complex when comparing systems. But in general control is one of the biggest considerations if its cold in the morning and warm in afternoon you don’t want too much delay between asking for heat and getting it or you end up with the heat you paid for in the morning going out of the window in the afternoon. Also the tariff if you get cheap electricity at night it may be well worth using a heat store and also then your looking at timers for washing machines, tumble dryers etc as well and washer dryer becomes better option when run overnight. But then you also get noise from washing machine and house design may make this unacceptable. So with space, and noise plus max power available compared with heat required for size of house it is not easy to plan the best option. I would not think anyone could do it from a remote position like we are. There is also the options of using heat pumps which with larger houses where there is limited electrical power may be well worth while but in a small flat would be not even considered.
Sorry not really answered your question but I hope it will help you make you your mind. Although I have said you have not given enough information to really advise even if you had it would be unlikely anyone would work out the sums for you. First question must be with a max of approx 12Kw (52 amp) over 7 hours could the system cope with heating your house if not then off peak will not work, and with 12Kw 24/7 can it cope with heating house otherwise electric heating will not work unless you use 3 phase supply or a heat pump which will really cost so not really worth thinking about. Most oil and gas boilers can produce double that heat. As to heat pumps which yes can be reversed in summer to cool house they are really well beyond my ken as to all pros and cons.
Eric
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Postby sparx » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:04 pm

Hi smoki, only correct answer so far is from htg eng.
there are lots of different electric 'boilers' such as amptech now sold by heatrae-sadia, which come in range from 6-12 kW and are only 150mm square about 1Mtr long and can be 'lost' in the corner of an airing cupboard!! largest one takes about 50A
Because they are relatively 'low-temp.' compared with a gas boiler they are fine for under floor heating systems,
can run two smaller ones , one each for heating and hot water,
or as suggested an electric combi, which I have no practical experiance so am about to follow htg eng's link myself,
regards SPARX
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Postby smoki1969 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:34 pm

Thanks for the replies peeps.

House is an old converted barn.

The intention was to go for a wet underfloor system in the lounge (very large full height room) and then rads in all of the other rooms (more of a normal size).

What i am gathering from your replies is that although electric fired boilers exist they are still not mainstream and if electric is used it is still storage heaters?

Sounds like I will be best going for oil if this is the case.

My concern was really based around the cost of oil today and also in the future but if there is no staright forward electric solution I guess oil it will have to be.

Simon
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Postby plumbbob » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:24 pm

To be honest, I think what will make up your mind is the size of boiler required, and you may have difficulty finding an electrical one to satisfy your needs.

Use this link http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/rads.htm to calculate the radiator size required for each room. Add the total plus, say, 25%, and that will give the approximate minimum boiler size required.
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Postby htg engineer » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:58 pm

I know someone with an electirc combi boiler and he is extremely happy with it. He's had no bother and heats a 2 bedroomed house.

just found this on the web, Thermaflow Electric combi:

The Thermaflow range of Electric Combination boilers are designed to meet evolving needs and address issues raised by high energy prices and climate change.

'The 99% plus efficiency rating and its design to operate on peak avoidance tariffs allows for major savings on running costs and energy use.

The range is suitable for sealed heating systems and underfloor heating with different outputs of units available.

THERMAflow boilers provide an extremely fast response to both hot water and heating needs;

Hot water at taps within approximately 5-10 seconds
Radiators reach maximum temperature within 3 minutes'

http://www.thermaflowheating.co.uk/installation.htm

I thought the same as you plumbob when I first heard - they wouldn't be much good and too expensive to run - if i didn't know someone that has one i'd probably still think the same. You can't beat gas central heating - but I think this is the next best thing. The way oil prices are going, the price of the oil boilers and oil storage tanks - just too expensive (in my opinion)

Oil boiler around £1600
Oil tank around £900
radiators, pipework, controls and valves etc

Electric combi £1400

For maintenance between gas, electric and oil - oil is the most expensive.

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Postby htg engineer » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:39 pm

They wouldn't make 9kw combi boilers, if they were not capable of heating a house.
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Postby plumbbob » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:41 pm

Maybe a studio flat or apartment, but not a three bedroomed house.

Just because something is made is no guarantee of suitability. Boilers are made in a wide variety of sizes and should be chosen after giving careful consideration to the heat loss of the living area.
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Postby htg engineer » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:19 pm

smoki1969 - hope some of this helps with your decision

9kw,11kw,13kw,14kw and 16kw Electric Combi boilers

The Thermaflow range of Electric Combination boilers are designed to meet evolving needs and address issues raised by high energy prices and climate change.

The 99% plus efficiency rating and its design to operate on peak avoidance tariffs allows for major savings on running costs and energy use.

The range is suitable for sealed heating systems and underfloor heating with different outputs of units available.

THERMAflow boilers provide an extremely fast response to both hot water and heating needs;

-Hot water at taps within approximately 5-10 seconds - impressive from electric
-Radiators reach maximum temperature within 3 minutes - again impressive
-The integration of expansion tanks allow the fast response and mains pressure hot water at high flow rates. This makes the unit ideal for power -showers without the need for a booster pump.

http://www.bhl.co.uk/product.php?productid=94653

http://www.thermaflowheating.co.uk/thermaflow_range.htm

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