Friday, September 24, 2010

Dissertations ahoy!

24 Sept: I am getting enquiries from students about topics for dissertation. Last year, I had two, but both of them were handicapped by the fact that the Sunboxes only started in Mid-March, so some of their writing was hypothetical. Now we have a fully working and monitored system, so there is much more to discuss. What is even more interesting for them is that the Peveril Solar is no longer an isolated project, we are building the other in Leicestershire, which is similar but with slightly different parameters, so we all have a basis for comparison. Noting these variations (below) we will compare figures at various points during the winter. The weather is now cold enough for the heating to be needed, so we will be having performance figures even in the month of October. We are are planning to have the East Leake scheme running during October.

Differences between Peveril Solar and East Leake:

1. Metal collectors not Plastic – using radiators not swimming pool panels - better admittance, but narrower pipe diameters.
2. Stack the collectors vertically, not widthways – taller box, more stack effect at top of sunbox.
3. More airtight construction of sunboxes, although still constructed with hinging faces to make panels fully accessible. (production models can be more sealed.)
4. Not using mirror concentrator – unnecessary with a tall sunbox, necessary with a wide sunbox.
5. Position lower down on wall, almost reaching the ground (no scaffolding)
6. Plumbing to be on the ‘Trickle-while-we-work’ basis not on the ‘Trickle-and-Whoosh’ basis – but using same thermostatic control system.
7. Larger host heat pump and house twice the size, and borehole twice the length as on my house.
8. Hot water heating supplemented by 48 solar vacuum tubes.
9. House heating supplemented by Heat Recovery.
10. Brick behind the collectors in Peveril, but timber boarding in East Leake, No thermal capacity in wall - so how do we compensate? thin metal sheet behind to enhance air temperature in the box?

A really important similarity is that the weather pattern is near enough the same: 12 miles away, we will have matching sun, cloud and rain patterns, so the spreadsheet can be directly compared.

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