We now have HOT water.

Oooh, such luxury! I installed a temperature probe in the top of the thermal store, at the level at which the water exits the boiler stove, and ran a wire through the ceiling (using the hole which used to be for the television aerial) to the gauge. This is obviously a temporary measure; I will be making up a panel which will have 5 gauges;
Temperature at top of tank
Temperature at bottom of tank
Temperature of hot water supply
Temperature of solar panel outlet
Room temperature upstairs.

If you’d like to read about the construction of the thermal store, it’s detailed on this page:Thermal Store. Yesterday we had finally purchased the two missing pieces of stovepipe, so these were installed. It looks very odd to have a great big stainless steel pipe running across the lounge just below the ceiling! This morning (because even though the outside temperature had reached a balmy 9 °C it still felt cold) we then put some paper and kindling in the boiler stove, lit the touchpaper, and stood back.

The stove took a while to get going, but we watched the temperature gauge with fascination.
10h45: Stove lit. Temperature of water 13.1 ° C
11h33: Now at 16.7 ° C
11h55: 42.3 ° C
12h02: 46.8 ° C
12h13: The magical 50 ° C
The temperature seems to have stabilized at around 51 ° C (well I estimate we have around 450 litres of water to heat up). But at 12h30 we couldn’t wait any longer, and turned on the hot tap. Well, I say hot tap. There is a tap, but it’s a stopcock-type, leading to a flexible tube which will eventually be connected to the kitchen sink tap. Imagine our delight when hot water started flowing! We may even be able to have a bath tonight without having to heat the water in large saucepans on the wood stove. Having piped hot water is definitely a first for this old house!

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