Monday, December 30, 2013

December 2013 Reports

Year Ending: The weather has been better during 2013 (after the rainy start) compared with the previous year, and the metering figures have become more steady, with the triennial figures (see below) finishing with where I wanted it to be, the PV being higher than the GSHP.
Peveril Solar Figures for the 29th Dec
  • House annual 5,266, biennial 5,352 kWh. 
  • GSHP annual 3,199, biennial 3,325 kWh, triennial 3,112 kWh
  • PV annual 3,104, biennial 3,070 kWh, triennial 3,173 kWh. Steady....
  • Sunbox annual 3,508, biennial 2,974 kWh. Still going up, and topped 3,500!!
  • Ground Temperature 10.7ºC - rising a bit.
Elsewhere... Russia released the Pussy Riot girls and the Greenpeace activists - a pre-Winter Olympics peace gesture, one assumes (and there were a number of bomb blasts in Volgograd Russia, giving Putin much more things to worry about.) Michael Schumacher is in hospital after an incredibly unlucky skiing accident, hitting a rock in what seemed like a smooth slowy slope. Britain was lashed by rain and windstorms, with many people flooded and more than 100,000 houses without power over Xmas. England were again beaten in Cricket with the Australians (now the Test series score is 0-4). Britain opens its doors to unlimited numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians (making many Macedonians and Serbians eligible). A Russian ship and other icebreakers are caught in ice in the southern oceans. Southern Sudan is still in a civil war that flared up in a week, and seems like the Ruandan one, with a number of massacres based on the tribes. A new island has formed volcanically off the coast of Japan, in the shape of the dog, Snoopy. Edward Snowden, the revealer of the information gathering of the US and UK governments, gave the Channel 4 Xmas address. Oh, and Mikhail Kalashnikov (inventor of the AK47) died, as did British comedian John Fortune. Closer to Nottingham, my own wife finished the year in hospital, being taken in on New Year's eve. 

22 Dec 2013: It's the run up to Christmas and the university term has ended, but things still seem to be busy.
  • House annual 5,281, biennial 5,345 kWh. 
  • GSHP annual 3,189, biennial 3,307 kWh, triennial 3,123 kWh. 
  • PV annual 3,101, biennial 3,070 kWh, triennial 3,173 kWh. Steady....
  • Sunbox annual 3,479, biennial 2,961 kWh. Still going up!
  • Ground Temperature 10.4ºC - the lowest this winter, after an overcast cold week.

8 December 2013: Elsewhere in the world, the biggest story of the week has been the death of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95. http://www.nelsonmandela.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela
Sport, England are 2-0 down in the Ashes, in Australia. Pollution levels in Shanghai have reached levels 25-40 times worse than UN safe health recommendations, so what hope for bioclimatic design using natural ventilation?
     
Scotland and England were lashed with strong winds of up to 100mph, but the worrying thing is that it coincided with a Spring Tide, so that some places on the east coast were flooded. The Thames Barrier recorded the highest ever tide level since its construction. Without the foresight to build this, the entirety of the Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf and much else of east London would have been under the sea! See the potential flood diagram that has been widely circulated.
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2191865/london_flood_surge_worst_in_60_years.html

I won't print Peveril Solar update figures until next week. Ground Temperature was 11.0ºC, which is good.

1 December 2013: Elsewhere in the world, there was the helicopter crash in Glasgow and a derailment in New York. Energy prices were still a big topic in the news, but why don't people just switch to the smaller companies like Good Energy, who have frozen their prices already? Cameron and about 200 UK business people travelled to China, the largest visiting trade delegation in Chinese history!
How about the Peveril Solar House?
  • House annual 5,318, biennial 5,357 kWh. Very steady.
  • GSHP annual 3,233, biennial 3,321 kWh, triennial 3,191 kWh. 
  • PV annual 3,101, biennial 3,070 kWh, triennial 3,170 kWh. Steady....
  • Sunbox annual 3,473, biennial 2,946 kWh. Still going up, this is a maximum ever!
  • Ground Temperature 11.6ºC. After a sunny weekend, it's above 11 again!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Time to dump the Tubes

9 Dec 2013: It has been an expensive experiment, these evacuated tubes. My two Sunboxes continue to turn in good performance figures, but the tubes have never been good, even in the height of summer - 7kWh is the best ever (after two summers of testing), but the problems are greater than the benefit.
    On a summer's day, the tube ends can reach 130ºC and I dread to think of the effect this can have on the rest of the system if, for some reason, the pump isn't pushing liquid round to cool them. I don't want to build up pressure cooker pressures. All my problems with leaks started after these tubes were fitted. The simpler system of 40mm hose-joints etc cannot cope with sudden rises in pressure. Even after I fitted a heat exchanger, it worked better as two distinctive circuits, but the daily harvest was not improved.
   The performance boost from fitting ETFE to the main Sunbox was so big that it eclipses any benefits from fitting the tubes. The annual solar capture with the Sunbox 3 and 4 combined is now up to 3,470 kWh/annum, which is a better deal than the range  of 2400-3000 I used to get before.
   It is clear that tubes can get to higher temperatures if facing south, and should be used to heat hot water in a tank in a system that can cope with high temperatures and pressure. In a low pressure, high volume, low temperature circuit like the Sunboxes, the tubes are a hazard, and would be a greater one if facing south.

Postscript: as an end of the year action, I disconnected the electricity to the tubes on New Year's day, and will drain the pipes soon. 

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