armb: Dog jumping in water (Default)
Buying a new heating pump yesterday at PTS (Plumbing Trade Supplies), I picked up a copy of their new October price list. It has sections for Solar Thermal panels, and Geothermal Heat Pumps, which the previous (April) one doesn't. I'm not planning on buying anything yet, but it shows the spread of alternative sources into the mainstream.
(I did consider how I might add solar heating in future while I was working on the existing stuff this weekend, but the tanks already have twin coils and the system confuses plumbers as it is.)

[Edit: Crossposted to [ profile] chlorofilk, where I meant to post it in the first place. Right, now for a shower. With hot water, now the new pump is fitted (even if only one cylinder is in place).]


Nov. 15th, 2005 05:42 pm
armb: Dog jumping in water (Default)
Interesting. According to, home is actually windier on average than the cottage. At least for the 1km square - comparing near the top of the hill at the cottage with home might be different (and the numbers are for 10m above ground level, and home is surrounded by trees). Then again the top of the hill would have more losses in the cable, and the cottage itself is sheltered by trees as much or more than home (but there is already conduit for a cable up the hill, because the header tank with switch for the water pump over the hill is there, so we could almost certainly put a small tower within the fence for that).
Link from this review of domestic roof mounted wind turbines. Payback times of less than 10 years (with various assumptions), so it might no longer be true that "small wind turbines are expensive in relation to what they produce, and cannot realistically compete with mains electricity" (somewhere I have an old copy of Hugh Piggott's CAT leaflet that I think my father-in-law must have had years ago).

A couple of other windpower links:
armb: Dog jumping in water (Default)
I still haven't got around to sorting out anything about the pool heater. I did pick up a smallish spare hot water cylinder from cam.misc, which, with the dead ones we had to replace in the house, might end up something like this.
Or might not, depending on whether (i) I can persuade other members of the family that it won't be an eyesore (the south side of the sheddery does face away from the house) (ii) I get around to it. Regular readers will already know not to hold their breaths.
armb: Dog jumping in water (Default)
We had a "consultant" (pronounced "salesman", it turns out) from Smart Energy round this evening (rebooked from Monday when they didn't turn up). He was annoyed that, as we'd said repeatedly in the phone calls booking the meeting, we're only doing preliminary feasibility investigations and not interested in signing up for anything immediately (and that I was unimpressed by them being ISO 9002 certified). I was annoyed that he was rude to my wife, somewhat clueless, and didn't listen when I attempted to correct some of his cluelessness.
(He tried claiming that increasing the panel size by 50% would be enough to run the underfloor heating in winter as well as give hot water in summer. He said that solar panels won't run central heating. He continued to maintain both those positions after being repeatedly told that the underfloor heating is a central heating system.)
So, that's one supplier almost certainly ruled out, which is a shame because the actual kit (which is actually from a Swiss manufacturer) looked quite plausible, though I wasn't entirely convinced by some of the claims.
armb: Dog jumping in water (Default)
Took the winter cover off our pool on Saturday, and it's looking fairly clear now. It took weeks to get out of the green soup stage our first summer in the house, and several days last year.
Thinking a bit about solar heating - got a couple of paper junk mails advertising it recently (pushing the DTI Clear Skies grant scheme, and revisited some bookmarks, and reread a CAT guide to DIY systems. I have the old hot water tanks from when ours were changed. They might be usable as tanks as is, blocking off the coils that are leaking (they have two coil, one for hot water, one for underfloor heating circuit, of of which wouldn't be needed for at least some applications), or as copper sheeting to make a collector like this one. For pool heating an inefficient but cheap system might be better than a more expensive more efficient one, and a drainback system using the shed roof would probably be simplest. (On the other hand I noticed that the bathroom dormer windows have quite an expanse of house roof below them, and would probably allow a thermosiphon system to work if there was a tank in the attic above - no need for a pump or controller.)

January 2014



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