Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Encouraging thoughts...

As a counterbalance to the sobering thoughts, I have had a huge degree of encouragement from Professor Riffat, President of the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies (WSSET) who considers it to be a very worthwhile idea.
It is one that his associates have thought of, and tried to model theoretically... but not yet built a full size realtime prototype. In fact he may have a PhD student working on it now.
To test it fully, it takes land, it requires real boreholes and heatpump, it requires a full size house with a real family in it using the heat, the right kind of soil... that is difficult to find for researchers... so I am prepared to provide that.
Some of their tests have assumed 10m depth, but the upper 5m are ineffective as they are affected by seasonal differences. But with our boreholes we have more than 40m down below the 5m layer that are unaffected by winter or summer.
We discussed the risk that we might get zero percent efficiency. ie. the temperature of the lower soil would stay resolutely at 12ºC. Well even this would be a benefit! Without the Solar charging, we know that the temperature of the deep soil would fall and the Coefficient of Performance (C.o.P) of the Heatpump falls too. So if our charging did no more than maintain the temperature at 12º that would enable the Heat Pump to work at its expected efficiency (C.o.P) of 4 - which is a benefit. If the idea works and the deep soil rises significantly, then the GSHP would simply work with great efficiency - saving electricity in the process.
He proposes to help us with flowmeters, temperature displays, dataloggers etc and the help of a PhD student.
This is really the only point of doing this - the payback may go beyond my lifetime, but if this is a world first, and it works, then it's a wonderful piece of research that could be copied by thousands of householders.

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