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KeithBold

Alde Central Heating

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Hi all,

I would be grateful for insight into the Alde system please. We have just picked up a swift conqueror 2012 with this heating system. It's a 2kw heater. I put it on with an outside temp of 19 degrees so feeling quite chilly as night begins. After 120 mins the thermostat is reading 21 degrees, the pump is still running and we're still cold. The setting on the controller is 30. This seems an unreasonable length of time to wait if on a site in winter. We use the van for skiing in Scotland so this will be an issue. Does anyone have any experience of this system who could comment please? I took it back to the dealer (the alarm isn't working either) about this but he called me and asked me to visit the workshop and he demonstrated the caravan warmed up to 30, would he have needed to run it all night to get it to that? I'm feeling a bit disappointed. This has been a stretch to upgrade and I feel as though the blown air on our previous van is much more effective. Thanks in advance, Keith.

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To get it up to temperature quicker you can run both gas and EHU at the same time.

 

On the latest 3020 HE you can prioritise EHU over gas or visa versa,don't know if this was available on a 2012 version.

 

Heating up a van from cold in cooler weather may take some time but not two hours I would have thought,is there a 3Kw setting,there is on ours ??

 

You could try asking Alde who are very helpful in these circumstances.

 

As it is three years old,has the fluid been changed after two years ?

 

Don't know if this would make any difference to the warm up time though.

 

Ian

Edited by Tandem Man

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I was the exeception on this forum that thinks that Truma blown air is better than Alde - you seem to have found the same.

 

Check out the air flow over the radiator elements, not just within their compartment but the airflow in/out of each compartment.

 

I find an £8 fan heater from Amazon very effective at supplementing the Alde!

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We are also fans of blown air heating, works really well and quickly. We have used it down to -10 and the caravan has always been toasty warm in very little time!

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We had a 12 conqueror, there is no 3 kW. A good tip, don't forget to turn it down at bed time especially if you have a TI bed. Fry's your head.

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Hi

We have Alde in our Lunar. I believe they are known to take some time to warm the caravan - as they warm the entire caravan. We have certainly sat in our fleeces for 20 mins or so, waiting for the caravan to warm up. I'm sure it would take longer if the outside temperature was less than 10deg.

We dont have an outside temperature gauge. Our system has a variable input 1, 2 or 3 Kw, and/or it can run on gas. We normally use 2 kw to warm up and then turn back to 1 kw. If its really cold we use gas as well for the warm up time.

I wonder if you have any air locks? Is the fluid topped up to the correct level? Have you tried using the gas as well as electric to get heat more quickly?

Cheers

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Extra power doesn't always give more heat - when I was analysing the issues with my Aldi, I found that increasing from 2kw to 3kw or adding gas gave no extra heat output as the the heating elements cuts out when the coolant temperature reaches it's limit, about 83 C degrees as the radiators can only emit a finite amount of heat.

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If the builder has not put in enough radiators, or put them where air can't circulate well enough to carry away the heat, or you have the lockers stuffed so the air flow is inhibited then no way are you going to get the Alde's considerable heat output into the van. Designed properly, then on gas plus electricity the Alde boiler is able to pump out 7 or 8 kW, which in a caravan should really get things warming up.

However, with an external temperature of 19 C taking two hours with 2 KW to get to 21 C internally, suggests something is seriously wrong with the system or van's insulation.

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Extra power doesn't always give more heat - when I was analysing the issues with my Aldi, I found that increasing from 2kw to 3kw or adding gas gave no extra heat output as the the heating elements cuts out when the coolant temperature reaches it's limit, about 83 C degrees as the radiators can only emit a finite amount of heat.

 

But wouldn't running it on gas and electric or 3Kw reach that cut off point more quickly ?

 

Ian

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The heating system is only as good as the installation. If there's insufficient radiator area or the lockers are wodged full of stuff so the air can't circulate then it doesn't matter how much heat the boiler puts out.

 

We've never had ours above 2kw and it will easily get the van up to 25 degrees but it takes a bit more time than a blown air system conversely it takes a lot longer for the fabric of the van to cool down, unlike blown air where it gets cold quite rapidly.

 

Have you done the obvious and checked that all the pipework gets hot and that the header tank is properly topped up or even checked that the power is on - the pump will run quite happily under thermostat control even if the water in the system is stone cold.

Edited by matelodave

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If the builder has not put in enough radiators, or put them where air can't circulate well enough to carry away the heat, or you have the lockers stuffed so the air flow is inhibited then no way are you going to get the Alde's considerable heat output into the van. Designed properly, then on gas plus electricity the Alde boiler is able to pump out 7 or 8 kW, which in a caravan should really get things warming up.

However, with an external temperature of 19 C taking two hours with 2 KW to get to 21 C internally, suggests something is seriously wrong with the system or van's insulation.

Few, if any caravans have sufficient length of radiator/convector to emit 7-8kw - they only emit 450w/metre - no touring caravan is nearly big enough for that length.

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Check the extra warm water is not on. This stops the pump circulating water to radiators.

 

 

http://www. alde. co. uk/downloads/alde_3010-613_user. pdf

 

 

 

 

post-52274-0-14113500-1445723642_thumb.jpg

Edited by thesecretcaravanner
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WE have had Alde Heating for 3. 5 years we get away for about 15 weeks a year between March and November and 2 weeks over Christmas. I was not bothered about having it but we chose a layout of 'van that we liked and the one in which we felt most comfortable had Alde. Now I love it. The heat is so evenly distributed. When we have arrived at site and the temperatures are very low, as often at Christmas, we simply put on a small 2kw fan heater to warm up the interior whilst the Alde heats the fabric of the van. Quickest way to get started IMO. However it should not take two hours to raise up to those temperatures. Because I have arthritis in my spine these days I 0ften run it at 22c. If I get cold on my spine I will suffer all the next day. Even without the fan heater I expect the Alde to get there within 30 to 40 mins. With the fan heater I will feel the benefit almost straight away.


When I was at Alde having the antifreeze mix changed (paid for by Lunar) he asked if I minded him using my gas as it is much quicker to heat up as he wanted to check the settings when up to temperature. .

Edited by Easy T

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All the heat exchangers are is a pipe with push on fins, so its easy enough to add extra CSA to give out more heat.

Alde also sell fan assisted heat exchangers which will give a quicker warm up.

 

We always take a portable fan heater and do a quick warm up with that on the cooler days, once the caravan is up to temperature the Alde is used.

 

Check the pump speed it should be on speed 2 for Valencia sized caravans, maybe increase yours to speed 3 to see if it improves, you could have a flow problem.

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Spoke to the alde rep at the show about the slow warm up. His advice was to run it on gas for at least the first half hour as it enables the boiler to have a greater output. He pointed out that the boiler has a 8. 5 kw maximum and running on 230v hookup on site gives only 3kw max. So the answer is gas first then leave it on all the time on a low setting to maintain the temperature.

I have also took to pre warming the van whilst on the drive for a couple of hours before we set off. This retains quite a lot of heat of you are not going far.

I think once you have the hang of it you'll think it's the bees knees

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Domestic wet systems also give a slow warm compared to blown air.

I've had blown air for 25 years and rely liked it, but its not as good at controlling temperature as a wet system.

 

Which is why I use both in our caravan.

 

I don't understand the post above, you only get around 8kw using both gas and electric together.

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Hi

 

We have the Alde but with the 3kw electric setting. The site we were on last weekend was a 10 amper, so with the fridge, Tv etc, the Alde was on 2kw. It was not as snug in the van.

 

My guess is there is nothing wrong with your system, but you need to use gas and electric combo for 15 mins to get the glycol fluid to temperature, then revert to electric only to maintain the temperature.

 

In other news, we have a fan heater built into the Alde. So, behond one of the radiators is an Alde fan that pushes warm air out at lower level. It operates when the Alde is on, but it also has a simple on and off switch, so we can turn off the fan as needed.

 

I will also say that having had eight years of Truma and two van with Alde, I would rather use a candle for heat than Truma

 

Here is a link to the Alde fan.

 

I'm telling porkies, we do not have an Alde fan, we have two. This works when using the boiler on gas/electric or both. We do however have a small fan heater on board just to cover in the event of a problem with the Alde.

 

Russ

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As others say. Kick off on gas and electric. Then revert to electric once reds are really hot.

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30C seems a very high setting, that’s 86F. We have ours set at 21C day and 14C night. The heat comes on at 0630 to get the van up to 21C by 0800. That’s if the overnight heat has been down to 14C. It’s a bit quicker if it hasn’t bee so cold.

If you have set the temp to 30C then the pump will still be running at 21C - it will run until the temp gets to 30C!
Is your domestic hot water up to temp? If it is then the heater unit is working OK. You need to check that you have found all the bleed points (it took me four years to do that) and that the system is bled at all bleed points. You also need to check that all the pipes and radiators are getting hot. It could be that the pump is running but not actually pumping.
Given that, you need to check that all the radiators can radiate. Sounds daft but it’s easy to cover them with bedding and the like.
Changing the fluid isn’t critical. I talked to an Alde engineer at a show and he told me that few systems were refilled and he had never known one to fail because of it. The Alde party line will be quite different of course.
If I remember correctly, the 3010 in my Bailey uses EHU rather than gas once the fluid is up to temp. Thats if you have both heat sources on of course. We’ve never needed to use gas when EHU is available. That’s as low as -9C.
The extra warm water function will not be on. It switches itself off after 20 - 30 minutes.
The Alde heating gives an absolutely constant temperature in the whole of the van body even floor to ceiling. No warm air cold spots at all. Some vans (ours is one) do not have enough heating in the bathroom. No problem, first one up after the heating comes on leaves the bathroom door open.
All my thoughts an opinions relate to a Bailey Unicorn installation. Yours may be different.
Edited by Orange
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But wouldn't running it on gas and electric or 3Kw reach that cut off point more quickly ?

 

Ian

Yes - but that cut-off point only takes 30 mins on 2kw electric in sub-zero conditions - but that's just the pipes/radiators/convectors up to temperature, the problem is getting the heat out from there

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We have had caravans with Alde heating for five years and I would not consider a caravan without it.

 

One thing that has not been mentioned above that you could also try is to plug into the EHU and switch on the heating, on gas and electric, the moment that you have positioned the caravan on the pitch.

 

Do this before putting the steadies down, fitting the wheel and hitch lock, fetching the water, connecting the wastemaster, unpacking the car etc.

 

We caravan all year and find that by doing this once we have completed all of the set up tasks and put the kettle on the caravan is warming nicely and by the time we have drunk our tea we feel warm.

 

As said above the system warms the fabric of the caravan unlike blown air so everything is aired and warm to the touch.

 

Bob

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You say the van is at a temperature of 21 degrees and the controller is set at 30 degrees.

How hot do you want it?

I would think that that 30 degrees will only ever be achieved in the middle of summer with the sun beating down. j

We usually have our Alde system set at 20 degrees and often have to turn that down a bit.

We are away in the van now, and the controller is set at 18. 5 degrees, and the panel is showing 19. 5 degrees and plenty warm enough.

Its set at 2Kw, and although ours has a 3Kw setting we never use it at that setting, because it takes over 12 amps and leaves little scope for anything else when the charger and fridge are also on.

Edited by hp100425ev
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When on an adequate EHU ours is left on 2 kW electricity and with the gas on as well. We use a panel value of 21 C in the evenings when lounging and back it off to 18 on retiring as that is adequate for breakfast. The night step down is left at 13 C between 22:00 & 05:45 as I rise at 06:30.

Now with the cooler nights when it switches onto the warmer morning setting it quickly realises it needs a boosting support from the gas before settling down to just using electrical power.

All I have to do is set the clock on arriving on site, then each day lift the temperature as the cool of the evening becomes apparent whist sitting doing nothing, and finally knock it down as I retire.

Generally doing this does not use much gas but the system responds as the designer intended using the power level and source it needs, and the van warms up well. This current van does seem to be generously furnished with double bank radiators and the lockers are double bottomed to facilitate good air circulation to them and avoid the contents blinding the air flow. Alde is not the standard fit it was a costed option that added quite heavily to the price, I suspect for the extra labour in the double bottomed furniture.

Edited by JTQ

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Gee wiz! Some folks like hot vans. 18/19c day time and never have anything on during the night.

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Gee wiz! Some folks like hot vans. 18/19c day time and never have anything on during the night.

 

Mine set at 13 does not often come on in the night either until we get in colder conditions than now. But I have not recalibrated my panels thermostat to the level we sit at and it is mounted way up on the wall so panel and "effective" could be out by quite a bit.

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