Fireplace inserts and stoves
Romotop advanced fireplace inserts
Since a long time ago, fireplace stoves and inserts are no more just interior decoration but they have become up-to-date and efficient heat sources, not only for space heating but also for DHW heating. Judged from the annual operating costs viewpoint, this is a source comparable to e.g. a heat pump – wood is still one of the cheapest energy sources.
Their elaborate inner design includes an advanced system of secondary combustion called EEEC (Economy – Ecology – Emission Control) which makes it possible to reach combustion efficiency as high as 86% and meet the most severe European standards and limits. They are equipped with a CPV system (centralized air supply) that enables supply of air into the combustion chamber of the fireplace insert from outdoors, entry halls and furnace rooms.
Fireplace inserts with CPV are not dependent on the air quantity in the space to be heated, they do not take away its natural moisture and do not impair the air quality nor the amount of oxygen in the interior. This not only contributes to maintaining pleasant climate in your home but also brings savings in your heating costs (the air once heated is not used for combustion). Fireplace inserts with CPV are especially suitable for low-energy houses.
How does a hydronic fireplace insert work?
Fireplaces and stoves have always been considered sources of radiant heat for the room where installed. However, as the energetic demand of buildings decreases, there is a tendency towards reducing the radiant component in fireplace heating and the need of heating also other rooms from a fireplace arises.
An ideal solution can be found using a hot-water heat exchanger that takes away most of the fireplace heat and transfers it into heating water. The heat can be then used for other appliances in the system – underfloor heating, radiators, storage water heaters, pool etc. As much as 75% of its total heat output can be used this way from a well designed hydronic fireplace.
A hydronic fireplace stove alone is not enough
In order to operate a hydronic fireplace in an effective and efficient way with a high level of heating comfort, it is almost always necessary to connect the hydronic fireplace into a heating system via an accumulation tank. This tank, if designed correctly, can level fluctuating output of this source with a fluctuating output of the building’s heating system. In other words, a fireplace has different heating outputs when just lit, or when fully loaded, or when just a small piece of wood is burning, and on the other hand a heating system needs different heating outputs when the sun is shining, or when the wind is blowing, or when it is +5°C or -5°C outdoors.
In order to prevent fluctuations in comfort temperature indoors, excess heat from a fireplace is stored in an accumulation tank. Vice versa, the heat from an accumulation tank can be supplied into a heating system long after the fireplace is out. Another advantage of using an accumulation tank is easy connecting other energy sources – a solar system, heat pump, gas-fired boiler, electric heating rods etc. So the accumulation tank turns into a heating center that is easily controllable – various sources can be switched independently under various conditions and the entire heating system can be optimized in order to operate as economically and efficiently as possible.
A heating controller is a very important appliance with a direct impact on the economy of a heating system, securing its optimum operation. Even if the most sophisticated components and appliances are used, they will not bring the expected savings unless controlled by actual heating/DHW demands and respecting the state of each energy source (fireplace, solar system etc.).
Possible combinations with solar systems
Similarly to a solar system, also a system with a hydronic fireplace shall be completed with a source that would support or replace the fireplace at moments when it is extinguished, or when the heat supply is not sufficient. A very advantageous combination is a hydronic fireplace with a solar system. You can learn more on the advantages and problems of this technical solution in this article.
Correct design of a system with a fireplace insert
Working order of the entire system depends on the right accumulation tank selection and sizing, on the right number and type of solar collectors, and on the type and size of a DHW tank. These components should be designed by an expert with respect to the properties of the building in question. It will be our pleasure to help you for free to design a proper system for your building, just fill in this Cost Calculation Form.
We are ready to design and supply you a complete solar system consisting of top quality components that are tested and certified, and install it to your building in cooperation with our trained and certified partner companies.