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Anyone gone green in here ?


Jonathan

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Just looking into it and wondering - has anyone actually done it here in the UK and what experiences might you share ?

I'm big into this effeciency thing but not overly sure about the cost effectivness - on paper they seem OK but what are they 'really' like to use ?

Hopefully when I get my land, I want to build a very greeny building on it with all sorts of wonderful contraptions on it.

For the UK I would have thought you needed solar and wind power because of the climate - what about selling it back to the grid ? is that more cost effective in that you dont need a huge stack of batteries at

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One of many varying opinions, mine is to build a really energy efficient home there are 2 initial major considerations.

1 Aspect to the sun, cool in summer, warm in winter. Roof line eves, overhang all that stuff.

2 Insulation, Insulation, Insulation, ratings of building material. I have no issues with batteries but they must be in a ventilated area. I like solar, but then we have sufficient sun all year round to run it.

Storing and using grey water for irrigation. Being a bachelor I'm considering installing an odourless urinal, so I'm not flushing the toilet every time I use it.

My daily driver is a bicycle, I use recyclable shopping bags and my power bill is no more that it was 3-4 years ago, the cost has risen by about 30% but my consumption has reduced by the same amount.

I'm not a "Green" fanatic, just becoming more aware of limited resources, and pollution.

We actually do a lot more with recycling over here than you guys, which when you look at the difference in area and population is crazy, but I think it brings home to the average Australian that resources are finite.

Roger :)

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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My house in France has a zero carbon footprint...It's all electric...and that comes from my friendly local nuclear power station!!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I have a small "summer home" here in Canada, that is completely off-grid and powered with solar arrays... amazing technology and in 12 years of use, it has only cost me one replacement set of storage batteries (replaced batteries at year 8)... no electric bills and loving it!

Paul

Edited by mityrare
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A school in Shropshire had a wind turbine installed some years ago, at a cosiderable cost

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

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Do this stuff all day long, the debate is long and painful and would take more space than this forum.

Alot of so called renewable energy is merely lips service and will not offer the kind of returns which are advertised.

There are ways to cut energy bills and they are far simpler and easier to maintain than technology.

Top of the list are:-

Solar water heating provided you have an alternative for cloudy days.

Max out on insulation and sealing your building, robust detailing around apertures etc.

Maximise glazing for natural light thereby reducing your energy usage if used in conjunction with dylight linked dimming.

Heat reclaim from circulated air ie in winter use fans to circulate air through heat exchangers to heat the in coming fresh air.

PV photovoltaics are untenable and a waste of time (have done a

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I have been looking at ground source heat pumps for central heating and water heating at home. Our gas boiler is a cheapy, not so efficient and at 15 years old, could probably do with replacing soon. I was wondering if ground source could be the way to go instead of another boiler. Problem is, with gas heating, its actually not particularly expensive, compared with electricity or oil, so repayment term worked out at 20years, which is the service life of the kit, so it doesn't make financial sense, especially if you calculate on a net present value basis.

If you could use mains natural gas to run the heat pump compressor and recover the combustion heat as well, then you could be onto a winner. Not sure that any standard kit works like this at the moment though!

Malc

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Nice to know Toby. I was playing with a panel today and was astonished about the lack of efficiency when it wasn't directly following the sun, you could write off 75% output by moving it just a few degrees out ! I think you definatly need to get them normal to the sun in all seasons at all times to have any return from them.

You're totally right in that it needs to be cost efficient but I do like to work smart over putting coins into someone elses pocket for the sake of it.

I also read that insulaion was king which is nice to hear.

Quite interesting planning all this stuff.

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It's all a load of bolox. We've got open fires in the new house; I'm going to burn coal, even in the summer and be a carbon unfriendly monster!

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Bibs, I've also looked at using a wood burner which is in practice carbon friendly if you replace the trees (but tbh I like trees the thought of burning them is a bit conflicting for me....wtf am I becoming a poof ?) you can use that to heat the room by radiation or better still heat water and pump it around the gaf use it for washing etc. I'm sure you could use the flue to drive a turbine too (dunno how effective that would be)

In a burner the combustion is much more efficient when you balance the fuel to the air, so you might not be as bad as you think, but tbh if you have easy access to burning wood etc it's actually extremely viable !

What about thermal spikes - anyone done that or looked into it ?

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All I can say is focus on efficiency not on spending more money on renewable technologies. Replace all your bulbs with CFL's maybe when the price comes down in the future LED's. That 15 year old water heater, replace with a tankless heater that takes up less space uses less gas and does not waste water as it is an on demand system and will not run out of water halfway through a shower. As mentioned earlier, insulate, insulate, insulate. Turn down the thermostat during the winter and keep all the curtains open on the sunny side of the house during the day. Summer, keep curtains closed to retain cool air and use fans to supplement AC you will be surprised how much you save over a short period of time!

Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians.

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(but tbh I like trees the thought of burning them is a bit conflicting for me

:)

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Malc, yes ground source heat pump does work and is efficient but is dependent upon the water table/geology in your area. Is this the house in Milton Keynes your thing of course there is a lot of made up ground around there where the housing was built. You would need to check with a manufacturer what your options are, I can put you in touch with people for advise although they largely do industrial stuff (airport terminals and supermarkets) not so much houses.

Jonathan,

As you said spending your money wisely is the key to efficiency, I recently completed an asda store with northlights and their light has been able to dramatically reduced in the day.

Bibs,

Funnily enough your not far off, Biomass boilers burning wood chips or pellets are the way forward supposedly al though to my mind that is going back and not forwards. Trees grow slowly which makes them not renewable on a reasonable time scale.

Bob,

Some good tips there in the short term but keeping curtains closed in the longterm is not a good idea in the uk (no sunlight most of the time so when its there we like to see it.) check your double glazing, anything over 8 years old will be no where near as efficient as more modern stuff and any which are damaged are effectively a cold bridge to outside. LED's are good and are actually a cheap alternative if they are bought on flea bay but currently the light output is comparatively poor unless you spend serious wedge.

Bibs,

is that a knot in your tree or are you just pleased to see me!!!

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I'm using a ground source heat pump and underfloor heating for my new working premises. Should start build before early summer, still finalising detailed plans, building regs, and such like. The plan is to heat the entire 80' x 40' honey house to 18-20 degrees via underfloor pipes, and to provide hot water for the sinks and such like.

Insulate, insulate, insulate, first, of course. My geology is not too helpful for the costs, despite a plentiful water table. Green sand deep down means that boreholes would have to be lined, doubling cost to around

Dan

"He who dies with the most toys wins..."

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Dan that all sounds good, have come across Nu heat my self in the past their helpful and have done some good, successful projects as far as I'm aware.

Mare sure with your surface heating that the top soil type is of the correct consistency to retain a constant heat through the year and does not drop to low in the winter. Is there any way of doing a combination scheme of Bore hole and near surface as this would give you a potential backup.

Underfloor is a great idea for an application like yours. The key to it is once again ensuring that you get the insuloation right especially below the pipework. also make sure you slab and screed depths are correct or they will crack. Finally when they pour the screed and continuously afterward make sure the underfloor pipework is filled with compressed air and check it does not depressurise.

Oh for got to say, don't fill up the pipe work with water and try and dry the slab out faster than it will naturally cure or it'll break up (had someone do this on one of my sites)

Good luck

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underfloor heating also need a form of venting the room for cooling as the slab will say hot for a while, automated window or rooflights or passivents with actuator will do the job

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

find me on Tripadvisor

http://www.tripadvis...mbers/espritguy

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The Nu Heat UFCH is good. 5 years ago I fitted their system throughout our 4 story victorian house. 13" solid walls with no cavity insulation,and 11 foot celings. We did pull the roof of 3 years ago and that now has 110mm of kingspan insulation on it but the whole house costs me

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I run a Hybrid Civic and thats about it. If I did want to move I would definately prefer green heating, more for the monthly cost saving than anything.

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I was able to do a test today on solar panels I have at work.

1300 hrs full on blazing sun quite nice day actually, even took the Esprit in hehe.

25W panel loaded up to a battery at approx 70% capacity - when it was pointed directly at the sun we were loading at about 14v / 1.5A = 21watts which is not bad, in the summer that would be better to approx 25W so the pannel does what it says on the tin.

However.

Cover one of the 8 cells in shade and you get naff all out. Move it by 10 degrees from it being directly normal the the sun and you lose upto 65% of the current !!!!

We worked out if the panel was roof mounted we'd need 4 x 25 watt panels to do the same work as 1x panel that was pointing at the sun DIRECTLY.

So they are a bit of a rip off imo, covering your roof with them is pointless, you can spend 1/10 of the cost and buy a sun tracker and stick 1 panel to it and generate the same power.

End up, you have to track the sun with them to get even close to the rated power. A fixed roof mounted panel I would say on a cloudless day in summer is about 50% efficient at producing it's rated output - and thats best case scenario.

Interesting stuff, onto wind next :welcome:

EDIT :

A foot note to that is the solar panels you buy to put into the car to stop them draining are possibly one of the biggest wastes of money I can think of.

Being the fact they are ~ 1.5watts they can only ever chuff out ~100mA peak, keep in mind that's IF the panel in the car is pointing directly at the sun which it's never likely to be (oh and taking into account most glass is tinted). On average in the sun it would generate about 20-30mA throughout 12hrs in the summer it would slow the battery drain down somewhat but never actually put back what the alarm / imobiliser is taking out.

This is best case scenario which is unlikely to really happen.

Edited by Jonathan

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Not doing much personally, we sort waste and turn off lights in the house when room is not in use. Our house is served by hydro-electric power, I drive 8500 km annually - next to nothing. My personal carbon footprint is zero compared to my annual air mileage at work.

I am on a team at work, currently developing and designing Green Ship concepts (energy saving / environmental friendly ships) for the future. Sadly, my company policy does not allow us to consider nuclear power as an option....

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"...developing and designing Greeen Ship concepts..."

Hi, Atle. Don't want to sidetrack the discussion too much, but I have always been mystified as to the exact reason the "bulbous nose" protuberance (I'm sure there's some technical term for it, but it's over my paygrade) at the prow of, and just below the waterline of, large vessels reduces drag. "It just does" is not a satisfying enough answer for me, and visually it all seems counterintuitive, as opposed to a knife edge shape.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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Try this, John...

Displacement hulls push water aside as they move. The water that is pushed aside forms a wave that begins near the bow. The length of this wave is proportional to the speed of the hull through the water

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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