Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Visit of David Atkins, Darius, and Chris Wood

5 May :  This was quite a 'key day' for the project, having David Atkins and Darius (Ice Energy), and Chris Wood (Uni of Nottm) visit the house and discuss the system at length. We also discussed how further to take it, and how to monitor the performance, and how the Sunbox 2 would work, if we decide to use it.

The team had a thorough look at every aspect of the project, and were far too absorbed in the technical discussion even to think about tea and coffee (which I had to force on them eventually! :-)
   At various times during the sunny morning, the heat pump and the sunboxes performed perfectly, coming on and off correctly. We discussed how best to fit the 3 port diverter valve above the GSHP. This is now a vital next step to making it more effective.

We also discussed the application of the Sunbox mark 2 (Savita). Although this is an interesting evolution from the first version, it would be better installed on another house (for comparison purposes) or even at the University, running as a lab project. If it is to run on the Peveril Solar house, it cannot run simulaneously with the Mark 1s (Surya). Of course, for heating purposes it could - but for data monitoring, it would completely confuse the data collection. What we can do is to install Sunbox 2, but have a diverter valve so that only one or the other can run, but never both.  David delivered a box of goodies - an energy flowmeter, another AKO thermostat and another water pump. If we decide to make the Sunboxes 'Either-Or' with a diverter valve, then we will not any of these, as the existing controls and pump will be able to activate either of the sunboxes.
  Darius (from Poland) is a specialist in thermal modelling with computer, and said that this project gave him many ideas for modelling projects.
  Chris and David have worked together before on research projects, so the discussion was very interesting, highly technical, and sometimes beyond me - but I feel that the project has great momentum now, and we had a discussion on how one might make low cost mass production sunboxes, should there ever be a demand. The whole idea of there being an obligation to augment ground source heat pumps would have a great impact, but at the moment, nobody knows how to do this except the team and readers of this blog!

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