Bristol Caravans

How much electric does the ALDE System use?

Alde, how much mains power?

The following article is based on Alde’s June 2022 newsletter. Image © Alde.

With the UK electric costs rising, Caravan, Motorhome and Campervan owners are counting their kWh £’s.

In short, the price question can only be answered accurately after the you have seen your metered bill. This is because the you determine when you put the heating and hot water on, whether you shower, wash dishes, what temperature you set the thermostat, etc..

But here is some guidance.

Mains Electric / 230v

The Alde system is very efficient when running on 230v (mains electric), equivalent to a SEDBUK A-rating ( note from Oakleigh: It is an energy efficiency rating scheme which was developed by boiler manufacturers and the UK government to enable a fairer comparison of the energy efficiency of boilers. Boiler efficiency was calculated as a percentage and awarded a rating from A to G based which energy efficiency level they met. However, in September 2015 the SEDBUK rating system was replaced by the Energy related Products (ErP) Directive ).

Even set to 3 kW electric heating, the Alde system will intelligently use the 1 and 2 kW elements to maintain heat in the glycol fluid as needed. Indeed once the fluid is at operating temperature, the system won’t need any electric heating until the heat is used, and the glycol fluid needs to be re-heated.

When staying on a site, Alde owners need to know what max current is drawn on each setting to avoid tripping the circuit breaker on the post.

In the UK the median voltage of our mains electric is 240 VAC, higher than mainland Europe’s 220 VAC. So in the UK, it works out as follows:

1 kW = 1143 W heat = 4.8 Amps draw
2 kW = 2287 W heat = 9.5 Amps draw
3 kW = 3431 W heat = 14.3 Amps draw

Load Monitor

So what happens if it’s cold, you switch to 3kW on mains electric and the site you are staying on only offers a 10 Amp EHU?
The answer is the post (EHU) will over load and trip!
How do you reduce the number of times the post trips?
The Alde Load Monitor is an aftermarket accessory that allows the user to set an amp limit on their Alde control panel. So if you are on a 16 A site, they can set a 15 A limit and use 3 kW electric heating. If someone then puts a 1 kW travel kettle on, the Alde system will automatically step down to 2 kW to accommodate the extra load.

No more calling the site manager to reset the post at 8 o’clock in the evening!

Please give us a call or visit our Alde fluid page if you would like more information or a price on the Alde Monitor.

Leisure Battery

The system is very dynamic. The circulation pump starts and stops, when gas ignites, the combustion fan changes speed constantly. Then at times, nothing but the control panel will be active and it might be in standby mode. So for working out off-grid use, an average of 1 A average from the 12 VDC power supply is a safe figure for the UK’s mild climate.

When storing a caravan, motorhome or campervan with an Alde heating system, there is a parasitic drain of 80 mA so remember to isolate the leisure battery as normal ( note from Oakleigh: What is Parasitic Drain? Parasitic drain on your battery is essentially when your 12v electrical system continues to pull energy from the battery, even when the vehicle is entirely turned off ).

Electric Future

EVs and all-electric caravans, motorhomes and campervans will play some part in the future of our industry but gas heating isn’t likely to go extinct.

If more than 3 kW electric heating is needed for winter camping, an all-electric outfit may need to plug into two EV charge points, one for the engine, one for the heating.

Futuria gas and Bio-CNG are sustainable, portable fuels and are here now. Portable hydrogen already has key backing from JCB and Linde.

So come 2030, future caravan and motorhome heating might not look so different to today. If you’re an engineer, expect your ELV, LV and gas skills to still be needed.

Taken from Alde’s newsletter June 2022.

Image © Alde

Visit Alde UK for more about Alde systems.