Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Reports

Ground Temps up till end of october 2011.  Temp is falling
as the heating season, but it staying consistently a fraction of a
degree higher than last year and about 2 digs higher than the year before..
30 Oct 2011: So Europe has saved the Euro, Sir Jimmy Saville died and the Occupy tents are still occupying the space in front of St Paul's Cathedral. Meanwhile, I have to report the weekly meter readings. Yet again, the key parameters are all-time records, mainly because of the continuing mild weather.
  • All time Records Falling: House 5,132 kWh, GSHP 3,167 kWh, GSHP hours 1,484.
  • PV 3,379 SB clock 2,435 hrs. (close to highest ever)
  • Sunbox 3,056 kWh (best ever was 3,094). Low because GSHP activity is so low.
  • Deep ground temperature 12.5º. A year ago it was 11.8ºC.
I shall have to start keeping more serious Gas records in the light of our decision to run the pilot light, and I am surprised how much power this has used. It seems to be about 0.5 cubic metres/day, and that's going to be about 5.5 kWh/day in winter. It does help hugely to lift the temperature in a room that is normally heated by underfloor heating through a carpet (i.e. not heated much).
   There is the question of whether the new Surya-3 Sunbox performs better than the old ones is still there. I need longer to test that. When it was just sunny Summer weather, I think the new ones did better by about 7.5%. At the moment, while we are in transition to Winter working, the GSHP hasn't been half as busy as a year ago. Winter performance will be the next big test!
This is one tiny snapshot from my metering spreadsheet, showing the Weekly
summaries fromMay 2011 to the end of October. Colour highlights are used
to indicate records or days of importance.

23 Oct 2011: Well I would like to be telling you about the death of Gadaffi, the earthquake in Turkey or the subjugation of Manchester United 6-1 by their City rivals, but instead, I have to tell you about the all-time records of my Sunbox system. Again, Every parameter save one is an all-time record.
  • All time Records Falling: House 5,153 kWh, GSHP 3,187 kWh, GSHP hours 1,493.
  • All time Records Rising: PV 3,384, SB clock 2,436 hrs.
  • Close to it: Sunbox 3,074 kWh (best ever was 3,094)
  • Deep ground temperature is 12.2ºC. A year ago it was 11.9ºC.
It's important for the research that these figure are achieved without the help of any alternative heating systems. We are not using Gas for heating, or a Wood burning stove. The heat pump is the ONLY method of heating. We thinking of getting the gas fire renovated (it hasn't been used properly since 2009, and was used for only one hour in 2010, and now it doesn't come on.)
  Part of the explanation for these excellent figures lie in the PV figure - the PV capture is at an all time high, and that is abnormal, since we have no control - logically if the PV is at its highest, the amount of sunshine is partially responsible for reducing the amount of heating required. But I am expecting an elastic bounce back in the figures if we have a stiff Winter. We must have had a horrible October last year for the figures to be so good this year. If we have a mild autumn until Christmas, will the House go below 5,000 kWh and the GSHP below 3,000 kWh? That's the new target!

16 Oct 2011: I would prefer to be telling you of records elsewhere, like Wales getting to the Final of the Rugby World Cup (they didn't), or Sebastian Vettel with a record number of Grand Prix wins (fun, but an awful waste of fossil fuel)..... but life at home has to continue on.
   Yet again, every parameter except one is a best-ever record, and the one that is not (Sunbox thermal capture) is nearly so. It must be that October 2010 was a lot colder (yes, it was), helping all these figures. If the present winter continues to be mild, I can only speculate where it will end - could the house consumption go below 5,000, and the GSHP below 3,000? I doubt it very much. They have to bottom out sometime and level off. The PV is the more surprising one, because that is not affected by changes  in our lifestyle or technology adaptations. Shows that we have been having a good summer.
  • All time Records, Falling: House 5,177 kWh, GSHP 3,210 kWh, GSHP hours 1,501.
  • All time Records, Rising: PV 3,380, SB clock 2,432 hrs.
  • Close to it: Sunbox 3,077 kWh (best ever was 3,094)
  • Deep ground temperature is 12.6ºC. A year ago it was 12.0º.
One year ago, the Annual figure for the House was 6,092 kWh, and for the GSHP was 4,011 kWh. Somehow, in a year, we have managed to reduce these figures substantially. At the worst part of last winter, the GSHP annual figure rose to 4,245 kWh... terribly disappointing considering all the work I had done on the first Sunboxes.
At the moment, we have a carbon credit balance in that the Power generation of the PV exceeds the Power consumption of the GSHP by 170 kWh! This will not last, but it's nice while it does.
The Weather forecast for next week is COLD! So I am expecting the line of best-ever records to stop.

9 Oct 2011: Oh dear, you will think I am making this up, but this is more real than Theresa May's cat! Again, almost all parameters are all time records! This Thermal YoYo has to bounce back sometime, if we get a very cold spell coming up, especially if we have a very cold Spring 2012. For the moment, I am enjoying seeing the figures improve week by week. The prospects for the coming week are cloudy, but not cold, with a sunny end to the week - so the figures are likely to be better in a week's time.
  • All time Records, Falling: House 5,202 kWh, GSHP 3,238 kWh, GSHP hours 1,514.
  • All time Records, Rising: PV 3,368, SB clock 2,432 hrs,.
  • Close to it: Sunbox 3,088 kWh (best ever was 3,094)
  • Deep ground temperature is 13.1ºC. A year ago it was 12.5º.

2 October 2011: The first October weekend coincides with an autumn heatwave which is unprecedented, the hottest October day in Weather history, and September starting with our holiday and ending with 3 perfect photovoltaic bell-curves in a row! Not surprisingly, EVERYTHING is a best ever record for annual figures - highest or lowest ever!
Last three days of September
  • House meter 5,216 kWh (I never thought it could go below 5,300 but it has!)
  • GSHP meter 3,254 kWh (I never thought it could go below 3,300 but it has!)
  • (A year ago, annual was: House 6,088 kWh, GSHP 4,020 kWh)
  • GSHP annual working hours of 1,519 hrs, the lowest ever
  • PV power generating 3,354 kWh (I expected only 2,800 when it was installed, and it's 100 kWh more than the GSHP consumption)
  • Sunbox working hours 2,425 hrs, highest ever
  • Sunbox thermal storage is 3,094 kWh, the highest ever, and 123 kWh in this week alone, the highest ever, and twice the normal amount at this time of year.
  • Deep ground temperature is 13.4ºC (but I wish it had got higher after the hot week) A year ago it was 12.2º.
My question is now to imagine how it will work out in the late Autumn, because it's a fact that Autumn 2010 was much colder than usual. If Autumn 2011 is 'normal', these figures are likely to go on getting better! But having had quite a good Summer, there might be a weather backlash and another very cold Autumn. The solar capture figures so far still reassure me that the new design of Sunbox is working better.
  There is a clear 100 kWh difference between the highest ever PV (3,354) and the lowest ever GSHP figure (3,254). This is more than a typical equinox week of GSHP working (75-90 kWh), but still a fraction of a typical winter week of GSHP (120-160 kWh).

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