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The hybrid way to a warm home

Oilon has recently launched a hybrid approach to domestic heating that is both environmentally friendly and light on the pocket in terms of householders’ electricity bills. The concept is based around combinations of systems – such as solar heat collectors, geothermal heat pumps, air/water heat pumps, and oil-fired boilers –┬áto give maximum flexibility.
Oilon International Oy

Building on its well-established experience and expertise in oil-fired heating, Oilon has developed its new hybrid heating concept to take advantage of the perhaps surprising fact that the heat from the sun in the summer can be sufficient to generate up to half the energy needed for hot water in a typical home, even in northern countries such as Finland.

In addition to homes, Oilon’s hybrid systems are also suitable for hotels, schools, day care centres, spas, and similar locations. Even greenhouses and light industry can benefit.

Solar power alone, of course, cannot meet heating needs year-round, which is why it needs to be combined with other forms of energy. Oilon recommends oil (fossil oil and bio-oil), natural gas and biogas, geothermal energy, air/water pumps, and pellets as potential partners. The basic idea behind a hybrid solution based on a combination of these is to use as little electricity as possible and focus instead on energy that can be stored or is otherwise available locally.

Geothermal energy and an oil or pellet furnace can shoulder the heating burden during the colder parts of the year and during any other periods of peak demand, air/water heat pumps during the spring and autumn, and solar power during the summer.

The heart of the system

Oilon’s hybrid storage tank lies at the heart of its combination systems and is connected to all the heating sources used. An in-built electric immersion heater provides backup heating.

Existing systems, such as oil boilers and radiators, can be incorporated easily, reducing the need for remodelling, speeding up installation work, and helping keep investment costs down.

Oilon emphasises the importance of thorough planning to ensure a well-performing system. This includes reviewing heating and hot water needs in detail, deciding what combination fits best with local preferences, and estimating probable running costs. Once these parameters have been finalised, Oilon or one of its authorised representatives can set about specifying, designing, and dimensioning the new system. Installation times are kept to a minimum, as are any installation-related outages in the hot water supply. Comprehensive advice on how to make the most of the new system is very much part of the package.

Oilon’s hybrid concept features a mix of technologies.

Oilon is northern Europe’s leading manufacturer of oil, gas, and multifuel burners for power plants, industrial processes, district heating units, ships, and domestic heating systems. Reducing emissions and incorporating higher levels of intelligent automation are particularly important priorities. Combustion research, for example, covers a range of emission control issues, such as nozzle performance, burner head construction, flame temperature profiles, and burner flame and flue gas emission levels.

> Juha Huusko
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)