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3 posts from February 2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012

‘Renewable Heat Incentive is Rubbish’

, is what someone would say who lived on GJ 1214b. It is one of many planets orbiting stars in other solar systems that have been found over the past twenty years. At 200oC (392oF) and with a confirmed high presence of water this is a truly exotic place where your cocktail might be poured over ‘hot ice’ after an afternoon’s surfing on ‘super-fluid’ waves.

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Ground Source Heat Pumps – Tapping the Energy of the Universe

Geothermal energy – the life blood for ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) – is often described as solar power stored in the ground but that is not even half the story. From a depth of about 15 metres (49 feet) into the earth temperatures become quite stable. In other words they don’t fluctuate much throughout the year and are independent of the variations we experience on the surface with the seasons. In Britain the range is between 7oC – 15oC (45oF – 59oF). From hereon down this increases by 2.6oC (4.6oF) every 100m.

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Friday, 10 February 2012

Eco Renovation – Are Old Buildings Plight or Remedy?

A Wasting Disease

Part of being more careful with the environment and our impact on it is not to be so wasteful. Energy is an ever present element in this. That can be directly by leaving the door open in the middle of winter or indirectly when food that was never going to be eaten is thrown away and the gadget that has lost its novelty appeal ends up in the bin while still working perfectly.

All these will be replaced – the heat that has escaped, the leftovers that have been forgotten in the fridge for so long they jump out and strangle you, the i-Whatsit whose one major fault is that it is last year’s model. And every time wasting energy is inescapable, because we use it when we try to stay warm, go to shops to buy something new that wasn’t necessary, that certain something is being produced.

The same goes for throwing away buildings. When there is talk about eco-friendly houses normally we are thinking of property not even built yet. The growing trend of reducing our impact on the environment concentrates on the latest technologies and discoveries. ‘New’ and ‘better’ are words uttered in the same breath by politicians, developers and environmentalists with unfailing regularity – groups not usually known for the harmony between them.

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