4 posts categorized "Heating"

Friday, 16 March 2012

Biomass – Energetic Goo or Environmental Mess?

Biomass – What Is It?

The answer to that is complex. If we are talking about solar or hydro in an energy context the meaning will be clear. Sun or water are the resource and the result is power. While biomass can easily be described as raw material of plant, animal or human origin, this covers a wide range of individual substances and sources. The leafs you gather in your garden and throw on the compost heap fall under it, but so do energy crops and sewage sludge, basically anything organic that can be burnt directly or converted into something that is a fuel.

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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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Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Zero Carbon House – Dream or Reality?

Philosophically speaking, for anyone not completely without sympathy for this planet it should be both. However, life intervenes with planning departments, empty bank accounts and the question whether ‘zero carbon’ is more than a slogan.

Zero What?

In theory it is quite simple. The term describes residential and commercial buildings that generate and preserve as much energy as is needed by its inhabitants to live and work comfortably. The emphasis is very much on conserving heat with no or very little extra input required. In Germany it is called, therefore, ‘Passivhaus’ (passive house) because it provides warmth mainly by preventing it from escaping in the first place. Utilising additional sources, such as sunlight through large areas of glass or the heat emitted by inhabitants, supplementary, active generation is brought as close to zero as possible. Anything extra should come from renewable sources, for example, solar panels, ground source heat pumps, etc. This helps to keep the carbon dioxide (CO2) balance neutral.

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