Hi Barry ,
We spoke with a heating engineer recently out on Corfu . I wanted to power our house with solar panels .
My idea was to have 2 x panels with 250 litre drums to power hot water all year and have a three way valve for underfloor heating in the winter . The system I had in mind would be backed up by electric immersion or oil fired boiler should there not be enough sun during the winter months .
In short we would have free hot water all summer and during the winter the underfloor heating would be on constantly and any hot water we needed would come from the boiler .
I was shot down in flames for a couple of reasons:
1/ Underfloor heating has the potential to leak ? thus meaning that the floor tiles would need to come up to sort out
2/ Solar panels have to be replaced every 2-3 years as they wear out quickly
3/ The sun in winter would not be strong enough to give us 20% of our needs and we would be reliant on the boiler anyway .
In addition to our discussions I asked about Combi boilers and were told that the heat exchange capillaries corrode/ clog up very fast due to the high limescale content of the water .
So.........We are having conventional central heating [ altho it was conceded that we could choose some nice looking radiators !! ]
And we are having the same boiler [ oil fired ] to give us our hot water year round .
I know that the technology exists for me to have my way , but if you realise that building has only taken off bigstyle over the last decade over there and the Greek engineers are very loathe to accept new technology......then you go with the flow [ excuse the pun ]