Carbon Based Heating systems - Anybody use em?

Italyis4me Image
05/13/2012 - 18:57

Dear Fellow Expats,We recently purchased a small 13th century house near Arezzo and we are having some renovation done.One of them is heat. We were hoping to connect with anyone in Italy that has any experience with Carbon fiber wire radiators heating systems, not under floor mates. Also for domestic water we using carbon wire boilerWe have been considering 2 options. One was Heat pumps, but they are very expensive and have limitations to where we are in Tuscany. Because our house is not in use year round, we can't consider the more popular pellet systems and we have no room for an oil tank.Then some one told us about a company called Thermal Technology. are a innovative heat company using Carbon Based Heating systems. We would like to connect with anyone who has any experience with this system or can give us any feedback.Thank you



I have not used him myself yet but check out: Patrick Littlehales' informative site. What about air-source heat-pumps? I think the "carbon heaters" look like conventional electic  that uses carbon resistors rather than the usual element materials. Which might be more efficient but I bet you can't get a spare parts down the local hardware store! In bocco al lupo

I too was interested in this product but the only information I could find was produced by the manufacturer, Thermal Technology, and I couldn't find anything from customers, satisfied or not. My plumber investigated and suspects that the product is a 'bufala'. Be that as it may, I have decided on an electric water heater that incorporates an air/water  heat pump - info in English here:

The laws of physics will answer this one for you. Resistive electric elements use electricity very efficiently only as far as you get out what you put in - and pay for - and certainly no more. Carbon elements don't break the laws of thermodynamics so they certainly don't have performance edge over any other resistive element. Heat pumps have come into this conversation and the comparison is easy to make. A resistive element has a Coefficient Of Performance or COP of 1 - same in same out.  An air source heat pump driving fan coil units at 40c instead of your proposed radiators will give a COP of er .... consults table ... 2.5 when the outside temperature is Zero and rising to  a COP of over 3 for just a few degrees above. So it produces out of thin air more times than what you paid for and in this instance is 2.5 times better than some carbon strands. Without writing the full essay, this is the way to go and if you mix a bit of wood energy with a small air source heat pump you can have a delightful heating system that won't cost the earth to run.  By the way - deep snow and power cuts this winter reinforced the desirability of having mixed source systems. I have added a couple of tweaks to my standard system to make it fully workable without any power and retain some cooking facilities too.  And finally my web site kindly mentioned by Chris Notton is liable to disappear any minute as Microsoft have withdrawn support so I have to rewrite it when I get some time... if you want to grab the Excel models off it before it goes now is the time.  If you ever want a copy of 'The Heating Guide' just PM me and I'll happily send it to you.

It would be a real shame if your very useful site went off air, sagraiasolar. What's the snag? Have you looked at wordpress (a popular and full featured blog hosting site) - I'd  imagine you could retain the 'heatingitaly'core word, and even if you want it 'ad free' it is peanuts costwise.

In reply to by Fillide

Thanks Fillide - the snag is that the web site was constructed on the Microsoft small business platform. They are no longer supporting the platform so the web site officially is not functioning although they may pull the plug properly any day now. I refuse to transfer to their new platform so I'm going to buy Xsite -pro and start again. I'm just finishing writing a technical restoration book for Kindle publishing then I'll get down to it. You might be right about a Wordpress blog .. they are a bit touchy about biz plugging though... a chum of mine who writes on things Italian was chucked off for mentioning a rental opportunity.  Meanwhile though I'll continue to e-mail the newsletter to anyone who cares to be on the list so do all check in if you'd like to get it. I did a heat pump open coffee morning last month and that was fun with a slideshow - Aermec enjoyed it and have offered their showrooms in Perugia for the next one... so much to do and the strimmer is calling.

At 2 years, they obviously do not have a lot of confidence in their product. IVT are 5 years as standard. But, as they have only just started producing domestic ASHP's, then they have no reliability history in the market place. I only asked the warranty question, as it was not on their website, plus other searches said they were not disclosing the warranty.

Yes Badger I tend to agree with your sentiments. As my expectations for these things is a good 15 years of service - they're just like a fridge after all - I would think a 5 year warranty would help to overcome the apprehension some new adopters might feel. The Aermec ones use the latest scroll compressors with minimal moving parts so they should be intrinsically very reliable. 

Yes, 15 to 20 years is the expected life, but, you must factor in the experience of the installer. With GSHP, there are less moving parts, as no fan to break down, icing up issues etc.  The price you quoted on your website, presumeably did not include the DHW tank? What is the model of the compressor, as again, their site is very vague?

Badger,   I don't have that much to do with Aermec but I'll do my best to answer your points. 1/. Experience of installer - as one of the biggest aircon installers in Italy there are hundreds of experienced installers all over Italy.  2/. No the price did not include a tank.  3/. I don't know offhand who makes the compressor but it is up with the most modern standards - variable speed and running on r410a

Thanks Sagraiasolar. There are so many aircon companies now jumping on the ASHP bandwagon, that it always preferrable to see customer feedback. Having hundreds of engineers does not mean they are good in the ASHP market, for design etc.