Why did you install a Vitovalor fuel cell unit from Viessmann?
I did not set out to install a fuel cell unit, but I had some problems with my old heating and power systems, and I called in Patrick of VitoEnergy to look at modifying some of my radiators. He suggested that to fix the issues, I might need a nuclear reactor in my loft! At first, I thought he was joking, but he introduced me to the concept of fuel cell technology for heating and electricity generation and recommended the Vitovalor made by Viessmann. I’m a retired systems engineer and a self-confessed geek, and it appealed to me very much.
What were the issues you wanted the new system to solve?
The heating in my home was not working well. I rent a room to a professional masseuse, Coleen. She needs a good ambient temperature in the space, so her clients enjoy the experience. At the start of the day, the room would be too cold for her first client. Then it would be too hot and stuffy for her second. Throughout the day she was always trying to manually adjust the radiator to get the temperature right and it was always either too hot or too cold, and this was affecting her business.
I also had a second problem in that the power supply to my house was intermittent.
What are the benefits of the Vitovalor?
The boiler is a proportional heating system; it gauges the temperature of the house and adjusts the heating on a continuous basis – I do not have to try to do it manually. Coleen no longer has to come to work an hour early to warm up the room or worry about how her clients are feeling. Unlike me, she is not interested in how the system works, she is just happy that it does!
The Vitovalor also generates electricity by heating water for my shower. Now I can shower for as long as I like, knowing that I am creating electricity and saving money.
How do you operate the Vitovalor?
I use the Vitotrol app on my smartphone. It means I can do it while I am relaxing and watching TV. I can change the temperature or adjust the times of day that the heating is on. It is very straightforward.
What else do you like about your new system?
It was an interesting project to introduce something that was brand new and no one else had. That is always an exciting thing.