Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Peveril in Snow

1 Dec '10: Well the snow has been down for some days, and today it was added to by a continuous light dusting of fresh snow. We live right next to West Bridgford's best winter sports location, and when the schools are closed and the snow is down, there are hundreds of children using the hill.
 (Grumpy note, and leaving broken plastic sleds all over the hill, but they will not be cleared till the snow melts...)
Left, our PV panels are completely covered. The neighbour down the hill has south facing panels and they had enough hours of morning sun to melt off, and give him a power harvest.
Right, it was about 0930 this morning with the Sun right in front, the children coming out to play, and the snow encrusted sunbox mirrors framing the top of the picture.

Ground Temperature holding up....
  I am glad to see that with sufficient heat down below, I have not yet seen the GSHP sending glycol out at below freezing. It is close but not that low yet. If returning temperature is low, it has to lower the temp of the glycol going out to the ground loop. We have a sunny day forecast for Friday, so lets hope for a bit of winter recharging then!
  May I say, for those who do not believe in this, that today I was at home and able to observe the GSHP's behaviour and this was the FIRST day I noticed the outgoing glycol having to be below zero.

PV Still working!
Despite being completely covered with snow, as in the photograph, my PV roof managed to earn something, 0.25 kWh of power...

I have now built the Corner mirrors, but I just have to find a good moment to get the ladder up and fix them. No hurry when it is snowing like it has been, they will only be functional in sunshine. I managed to get some 18mm long pop-rivets which mean that the mirrors can be fixed without having to open the sunbox fronts. I got one corner mirror fitted on Sat 4th Dec, but need daylight to fit the other one.

Timetable change
Now that I have fixed up a B&Q time-clock that can turn on the heating as and when I wish I now find myself subject to democratic decision making (i.e. I do what I am told) and we will start the heating up at about 7am in these extreme winter mornings, and leave it on till about 2330..... makes getting up a bit easier. Even with that, the GSHP consumption is not as bad as it was in the bad old days of last Jan and Feb when the ground had run out of heat and GSHP having to supplement it with the immersion heater function. From the sunboxes, we had nine kWr on Friday 3rd Dec, very welcome for restoring some heat to the ground, and immediately recycled as heat in the house. This system works!

Navi tron afterthought
I can live with the hostility of some, this is the effect of the mob, and  thankfully it's quietened down now. But why the Disbelief and the constant demands for Proof? Why to tenths of a degree when my major variable is 48 m deep soil of partially unknown quality, and weather conditions that are unprecedented and unpredictable?
  It is only 2 months since October 1, and January 2011 not arrived yet, and May 2011 and Sept 2011 still some way to go.
  There is disbelief that this can work for an obvious reason - this is the only single domestic system known. The only domestic ones remotely like it that have been discovered by the experts are Anneberg, Sweden and Drake's Landing, Alberta. These are for settlements of 92 and 50 houses respectively. Drakes has a massive district heating centre to handle the load, and Anneberg is topping up the heat below with supplementary heat. No one is doing it for one house, in the simple but effective way that I am. If there was another, I would by now have been told in the spirit of "haha, someone else did it before you!".

   There is an air of "If the idea worked, someone else would have done it by now - so it must be a hoax." (a 'scam', 'chocolate teapot', 'crackpot invention', 'perpetual motion machine' and many other rude or ruder words.) The silliest one is that it is 'stealth marketing of a commercial product'! Imagine the market research into the number of potential GSHP customers that could justify making more of these! Like watching a goalless draw!
  The scorn from the engineers - with detailed plumbing or electrical knowledge - is the most striking of all, like a grid-locked motorist being annoyed at being overtaken by a cyclist on the bicycle lane.
  The real test will come this winter and through the summer and to 1 Oct 2011, when we compare the progress of ground temperatures, weekly and compare with them now. If I am wrong, you will be the First to hear it, here, and them there!

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