'The panels are exceeding expectation'
Project: Self Build
Charlie Luxton’s self build project and the use of Herschel “state of the art” electric heaters are featured in The Sunday Times.
Location: North Cornwall, UK
Charlie Luxton is an architectural designer and television presenter who writes and speaks about the environment and sustainable architecture. With a keen interest in self build projects, his latest project in Cornwall has seen Herschel infrared panels installed as the preferred heating solution for this low energy build.
Self Build Specification
Located just 700m from the rugged, wild North Cornish coast the 78m2 two bedroom build was designed with the objective of constructing a highly efficient, well-insulated property that lowered usage of embodied energy.
The construction has used pre-cut timber I-beams, wood fibre insulation, offcuts of English oak for cladding, reclaimed stone for the lower walls and reclaimed local Cornish slate for the roof.
The roof is designed to provide the perfect angle for the 4KW solar array, whilst camouflaging it within the surrounding Area of Natural Beauty.
Why Involve Herschel?
Charlie was looking for a low energy electric solution that could work with, and maximise the opportunities from, his solar PV installation. When combined with solar, Herschel heaters can be 100% CO2 free and can use the renewable energy to generate free heating. The construction type and well-insulated specification of the property meant that infrared heating would provide the perfect solution, enabling thermal mass to build up from a low power requirement, just 15wm3. The total wattage of all the heating is less than the capacity of the solar PV, meaning the electricity generated can be used to heat the property and keep a background level of warmth even when the property is unoccupied.
The installation of Herschel heaters is very simple and unobtrusive and the wiring could be planned upfront, ensuring minimal hassle and speed of install with no ongoing maintenance, leaks or noise to contend with. The system allows full room-by-room zoning and temperature control with none of the complexities associated with installing underfloor or central heating systems.
Herschel Inspire White 1200W Herschel Select XL White Glass Towel Rail 600W
Heating was required for all rooms within the property including the living room, hall, 2 bedrooms, bathroom and utility.
Herschel’s ultra slimline and discreet white, high quality Inspire panels were installed throughout the living areas with the stylish Select XL white glass towel rail chosen to complement the contemporary bathroom.
Charlie combined Herschel heaters with Herschel’s IQ control system which allows heating to be controlled remotely over WI-FI and full room-by -room control.
The whole system including installation and controls cost less than £5,000 and has the benefit of a 10 year warranty and zero ongoing maintenance.
“I wanted an efficient, cost effective and easy to install electric heating solution to complement a solar PV installation for my recent eco self-build in Cornwall and the Herschel infrared panels fitted the brief perfectly”.
“We are half way through our first winter and the panels are exceeding expectation, the house is warm and comfortable without knowing where or how it is being heated. The internet control and monitoring is fantastic, allowing us to pre-heat the house before anyone arrives and we can check temperatures of rooms when no-one is there, giving us peace of mind”. Charlie Luxton, December 2016.
Paul Morey from Herschel Infrared said “This was an exciting and ground breaking project for Herschel. Charlie Luxton has a wealth of expertise in eco-friendly design and sustainable architecture and so we were delighted that he saw the benefits of Herschel infrared panels for his latest self-build project. Because the property is so well insulated, the energy requirement for heating is less than half of that required by most older houses and as a result the payback on alternative heating systems such as ground and air source heat pumps just didn’t stack up, especially when ongoing maintenance costs are factored in”.
“Our panels are low wattage and directly heat the thermal mass of the building. This is far more efficient than convection based systems which heat the air because, once warmed up, the building itself stores the heat and our heaters then simply top up when necessary. By linking the Herschel panels to the solar and our fully zoned control system Charlie’s project is an excellent example of the future of sustainable, cost effective and low energy heating for the self-build and new build market”.