Jan 8 '11: I was invited by Prof Riffat to submit a quick 300 word article to fill a space in the next edition of the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies, to meet an urgent publishing deadline. So, along with three key illustrations (which he can use, crop, resize or omit as he wishes), I sent this, approx 302 words:
The Peveril Solar house in Nottingham has a photovoltaic roof and a ground source heat pump. It is a small detached house built in 2007 with a very small plot, so the GSHP is working to twin 48m deep boreholes.
The house is Carbon Zero for its heating requirements, by combining:
• Good insulation,
• Energy efficient lifestyle,
• Renewable energy from ground and sun,
• Photovoltaic generation, with a 4 kW array.
It meets Passivhaus requirements for retrofit houses, with 25 kWh/m2/year, even without a heat reclaim system. The heating consumes 3,000 kWh of electricity and the PV panels capture 3,300 kWh annually. Solar thermal ‘sunboxes’ capture 3,000
kWh/year and the ground provides about 6,000 kWh/year.
Since March 2010, the house is a test-rig for an innovative heat pump add-on technology. South facing ‘Sunboxes’ charge the boreholes with solar and summer-air heat. The sunboxes use 4 sqm of black swimming-pool panels in clear polycarbonate
solariums boosted with 2 sqm of aluminium mirrors. They will prevent cumulative deep ground chilling over consecutive cold winters.
Annually, the sunboxes are likely to put 3,000 kWh/year deep into the ground. They heat the ground in summer and equinox times, but the heat is planted so deeply that it does not have time to escape before winter comes. The heat pulled up is 9,000
kWh in total, so the earth is acting as a thermal battery, with about 8,000 tons of clay for storage.
The idea of interseasonal storage is not new, but the known examples all seem to be office buildings, or district solar heated housing estates in Canada or Sweden. The implementation on a single domestic house remains a unique combination of glazing, plumbing and electrics created by the researcher, a lecturer at the University of Nottingham, UK.
David Nicholson-Cole January 2011
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