Our motorhomes in the past have all been heated by a Truma system. Whether it be a separate fire and a hot water heater, the C 6002 EH combi, or the more recent Combi 6 series, the common factor was Truma. The 2013 Swift Kontiki however is the first motorhome that we have owned to be fitted with an Alde system. This Alde Compact 3010 boiler is similar to the Truma Combi in so far as one piece if equipment provides central heating and also hot water.
The Alde Compact 3010 boiler, as fitted to the Kontiki can be powered on gas, electric or both. Running on electric, the boiler will operate at 1, 2 or 3 kilowatt settings. We have fitted the Alde load monitor to alter the input to the boiler automatically in the event that other electrical appliances are switched on. You can read about the Alde load monitor here. Running on gas, the boiler has two output levels, these being approximately 3.5kw and 5.5kw, using approximately 250 or 400 grams of lpg product per hour. The exact outputs and gas consumption figures vary according to the type of “gas” product being used – see the user manual for details.
The Alde system is “filled” with a liquid mixture of water and glycol fluid. In layman’s terms, the Alde Compact 3010 boiler heats this fluid and this warmed fluid is then pumped around the motorhome or caravan, providing heat to the radiators. Some motorhomes have a “heat exchanger” fitted meaning the Alde system can use the residual heat from the engine to heat the living area and also to provide hot water. See the section entitled Alde heat exchanger
What’s inside the Alde Compact 3010 boiler
Inside the boiler there are various sections, and the above photo’ allows us see inside the Alde 3010 Compact boiler.
Starting inner most, we see a silver coloured cylinder – so what is this? The gas burner and flame is contained in this area and thus when operating on gas mode, the heat from the flame will warm the glycol mixture that sits outside of the silver cylinder. I call the silver tube the “flame combustion chamber”. The silver coloured cylinder also has a section cut away in the photograph.
Red bars – what are these? These are the electrical heating elements.
The area surrounding the silver coloured cylinder and the red bars is sealed within the blue coloured barrel-shaped object. The glycol mixture is sealed within this area and it is this warmed/hot mixture that is pumped around the system.
The outer blue area is where the domestic hot water comes from. This sealed blue barrel has water within, and this is heated from the glycol liquid within the next chamber. Note that the electrical heating bars do not directly heat the water. Instead the “red bars” heat the glycol mixture within the Alde Compact 3010. This heat then transfers to the hot water. We have found the Alde compact 3010 boiler can heat a tank of hot water in about fifteen minutes. Noteworthy of a mention, if you switch the boiler off when the water is at full temperature, use the hot water for a shower or what ever reason, then the residual heat in the glycol fluid will transfer heat to the fresh water too – so almost two tanks of hot water for the price of one!
Alde Compact 3010 boiler – a Russian doll!
You will also note the insulation surrounding the hot water casing. This ensures the hot water will stay hot for quite some time after the boiler is switched off. A good way to think of the Alde is to think of the boiler like a set of Russian dolls! The smallest doll would be the gas burner, sitting inside a larger “doll” which contains the glycol mix. These two dollies are sat within a larger one, and this time, surrounded by fresh water. Finally these three dollies are in a larger one still, this time encased in insulation material.
The above photograph, taking from the settings screen within the control panel shows two different temperatures. The item marked “heater temp” is the temperature of the glycol mixture within the Alde Compact 3010. The “sanitary temp” is the temperature of the water within the “blue barrel” – and this is the water delivered to your hot tap!
There is a lot more information about the Alde system on the Alde UK website