Monday, March 26, 2012

March 2012 Reports

For those just arrived, I do a computation of the ANNUAL performance every Sunday, by subtracting this evening's meter reading from the same one, exactly a year ago. I add the weekly report to this blog diary entry, every week.

The Isover student competition stand at Ecobuild, with
the work of the best 8 students teams on show, five of which
are Nottingham groups.
25 March 2012: The week has been full of world news. There was an outbreak of shootings in Toulouse, France by a man on a motor scooter. By a remarkable piece of police detective work (tracing the IP numbers of people who had replied to an advert for a scooter), he was identified and surrounded, and after a few days he was terminated in a shootout. At the weekend, the Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba had a heart attack during an FA Cup match with Spurs, and although he was unconscious for along time, a cardiac specialist in the crowd was able to push forward and provide help, and Fabrice is now having a slow recovery in hospital. Early in the week, the NHS restructuring bill was passed by the Tories, despite that the vaunted idea of transferring power to the GPs is almost universally unwanted by the GPs - and the public find it too complicated to understand, but just wish they would let the NHS get on with their great job without interference.
One place I had to visit was the Kingspan
Renewables stand, and see their
Varisol tubes.
Osborne produced his budget, with the tax reduction for the rich, increased taxes for the over 65s and for people wanting hot pies from Greggs, and claimed that getting tougher on stamp duty would somehow balance all this - what a massive guess on his part, and it's wrong mathematically, and it is unethical. Tuesday evening, Nottingham Forest performed a miracle and beat Leeds 7-3 at Elland Rd. How lucky for the fans who had gone up for the evening game! The Archibishop of Canterbury announced his forthcoming retirement. Ecobuild has been on all week, and my department laid on buses every day of the exhibition, and I had my chance to visit on Wednesday - and attended 90mins worth of seminars about ground source heat pumps.
    Later we heard that a human who had had his brain taken over by aliens sometime in the 80s succeeding in accepting the living heart of a cockroach, because it was the only species that his antibodies would not reject - yes folks, Dick Cheney had a heart transplant.
  Oh dear, there was another bus crash, this time in England, with a bus driver bring his bus to a halt in fog on the M1, and a poor lorry driver behind ploughing into the back of it.
  The Queen made a speech in Westminster Hall that was for once written by herself, thanking Parliament for creating a new stained glass window to celebrate her Jubilee. Later, she went to Manchester Town Hall as the start of her Jubilee tour, and became a surprise wedding guest for a couple who had chosen the same day!
How's about the Peveril Solar house?

  • 4,650 kWh for the House and 2,635 kWh GSHP, both similar to a week ago.
  • PV is down a bit at 3,422 kWh. But it is far better than 3,300, so no complaint.
  • Sunbox was  3,030 kWh, and a record sunbox clock of 2,578 hours. The disparity is a result of a sunny week stimulating the clock but a pump failure reducing the volume of liquid pumped through the Sunbox.
  • Ground temperature is 11.6ºC. It has been a sunny week, and the system has malfunctioned, but I'm happy that enough heat has been put down to lift the temperature.

18 March 2012: Every week, I wonder what will be the stories that sum up the week, and fear that there will be none -  but history doesn't disappoint. Events occur... Indeed, events that happened earlier in the week are so often eclipsed by events later, that one wonders at this pattern. Weekends can be newsworthy because of sports events, such as grand slams, Formula one, Cup finals etc.- and we have the Olympics on the way!
   Syria continues to be a very distressing story, and the pressure racks up on Iran with the war-hungry Netanyahu visiting Washington and threatening unilateral action. In Britain, ex-tabloid editor Rebecca Brooks and her husband were both detained for questioning by the Police, denying them the chance to to to the Cheltenham Gold Cup (doesn't one feel sorry for them, heheh! ). The new Kings Cross station opened, and this is a spectacular public space that has taken a very long time to build. Overweight policeman may no longer be the 'laughing policeman' if the government decides that they must slim or do more physical training to keep their jobs.
   A terrible bus crash of Belgian children occurred in Switzerland. This is the second this year that I have reported one of these winter sport crashes - how crushingly sad for the parents and school fellows, and their communities. But brighter news is that a bus on the M1 was saved when the driver collapsed and a passenger fought with the wheel and the brakes to bring the bus safely to a halt.
  Cameron has been on a visit to United States, like an eager puppy excited to be with the president, and lapping up his hot-dogs, basketball, rides in Air Force one, and other photo-opportunities. Unfortunately, he is so eager to please the US that he is likely to drag the UK into a global conflict if Israel attacks Iran. The wonderfully hairy Archbishop of Canterbury decided to retire to academia at the turn of the year, he has plainly become very jaded by the endless rows at the Synods about gay clergy and women bishops. George Clooney and his dad got arrested while demonstrating outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington. Goldman Sachs may, with luck, suffer a 'Ratner' moment as it is revealed that they work for themselves and not for the 'muppets' whose money they are using - it's uncomfortably close to a Ponzi scheme.
  Sportwise, Wales won the Rugby Grand Slam, Man United have done badly in the Champions cup but well in the League, Chelsea have been doing very well in all competitions under their new manager (even Fernando Torres is scoring!), and Liverpool are finally improving. What about the Peveril Solar House? It has been a poor week with almost no sunshine between cloudy times, but it hasn't been particularly cold.

  • 4,635 kWh for the House and 2,624 kWh GSHP, both the same as a week ago.
  • PV is down a bit at 3,439 kWh. But it is better than 3,300, so I can't complain.
  • Sunbox was  3,062 kWh, and sunbox clock of 2,565 hours. Very high figures. I have raised the Delta-T and the Real-T required to trigger the system, to reduce the hours.
  • Ground temperature is 11.1ºC. If this is above 11º with a week of almost no sunshine, then it is very encouraging.

Putin.... emotional at his victory
11 March 2012: Another week of news, and it ended on a very sunny weather note. During each week, I think its a slow news week, but gradually it builds up, and there is plenty to report. Also, I find it interesting to go through old reports from previous months, and am amazed at how quickly events get forgotten, or become less or more meaningful - depending on how they affect later events.
   The week started with a fireball crossing the UK from north to south, but experts said that it was very small - the size of a fist? It ended with a major solar flare and some Northern Lights visible over parts of the UK but I haven't seen them - there is no city to our south and we have a splendid view of the stars, but to the north is the urban light pollution of Nottingham. Further away in Russia, Vladimir Putin managed to win the presidential election (against who?) and claimed it was 'Glory for Russia' thus assuming he is some sort of god personifying the country.
bye bye David
In the other direction, it was 'Super Tuesday' for all the crap-faces of the Re-thug-lican party, and who gives a damn who won any states? They all did except for Ron Paul, and they are all crazy shits. Earlier in the week, Brazil's economy overtook the UK's although they still have 3 times the population.... so, some way to go there to catch up on the per capita basis. Six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan which prompted the usual politician's protestations about the important of completing the mission - the same old arguments which have been used in all de-colonialisation processes - "we can't leave or there will be a sectarian bloodbath", and "we can't leave or it will dishonour those who have already died in the war so far". And at the end of the week, an American soldier threw a wobbly, and went out of his base and murdered 10 Afghans in their houses - the sort of random killing that happens routinely in schools in the US every few weeks, and goes almost unreported, but will have very lasting consequences for the US's Afghan occupation.

Poor not-so-old Davy Jones of the Monkees died peacefully in Florida, bringing back memories of the sixties... Monkees are (for me) the only group other than Beatles, Stones and Floyd where one knows most of their names. It was the anniversary of the Japanese Tsunami, and the BBC carried a good website of images, Then and Now, revealing how amazingly well organised and hard working the Japanese are to tidy up their cities. And talking about good things coming from bad, there was the event in Brazil of dolphins being beached, and being saved by the good nature of the people on the beach who pulled the dolphins back to safety. Oh, by the way, it was my birthday on the 9th March, and my two large children turned up for the weekend.

  • 4,630 kWh for the House and 2,625 kWh GSHP, both reducing nicely, recovering from the cold spell of early February.
  • All time record for PV at 3,449 kWh. This has to return sometime, when the rain returns. But it has been a good March for sunshine so far.
  • Sunbox was  3,088 kWh, and sunbox clock of 2,564 hours. Very high figures. I have raised the Delta-T and the Real-T required to trigger the system, to reduce the hours.
  • Ground temperature is 11.6ºC, unusually high for this time of year, but entirely expected after the wonderfully sunny Sunday.

4 March 2012: For the world it has been a busy week, and for the house here, it's been a week of reverses. For the world.... Syria just continues to be a brutal story, and US/Israeli paranoia about Iran keeps threatening to turn into military action. What a mess. If you initiate war action when it is not self defence, are you not guilty in international law? I have had a number of Iranian students in recent years, and it distresses me that ordinary Iranian families will suffer. We know from 1914, 1956, Lebanon, Gaza, Bosnia, Kosovo etc. that these things all have 'mission creep', i.e. they escalate into more serious actions that exceed the aims.
    Elsewhere... the cruise ship Costa Allegra was stranded in the Indian Ocean after an engine fire, and was towed to safety by a French fishing trawler. England declared itself to be in a state of drought after three dry winters running, while Scotland has had a surplus of rain - suggests the idea of a water super grid. The Oscars happened at the start of the week, and gave it for the best film of the year to The Artist, a silent movie. Occupy St Pauls were forced to leave, in the same week that Barclays were found to be tax avoiding by hundreds of millions of pounds. The country was obsessed with the fact that Cameron may or may not have ridden a horse of Rebecca Brooks, and after obfuscation, he admitted that he had... and James Murdoch stepped down as head of News Corp.
    Finally.... Englebert Humperdinck is likely to be the UK's singer for Eurovision Song Contest 2012 - a mere 45 years after relaunching his career, and 89 years after the real Englebert Humperdinck died. 
The two Engleberts....
  In the Peveril Solar house, I had the Surya system fail on Thursday, and this turned out (investigating during Saturday) to be the actuator on the Danfoss 2-way solenoid valve. We lost the energy capture from a very sunny day on Thursday, and with Sunday being cold and grey, the ground temperature is back to 10.8ºC.
  • 4,636 kWh for the House and 2,641 kWh GSHP, both improving nicely, recovering from the cold spell of early February.
  • All time record for PV at 3,448 kWh. This has to return sometime, when the rain returns. Either that or I should check the figures for the previous year!
  • Sunbox was  3,090 kWh, and sunbox clock of 2,538 hours. Very high figures. But I must sort out this solenoid valve problem quickly!
  • Ground temperature is 10.8ºC. I was hoping for 11.0 but after such a cold rainy Sunday, and missing three days of Surya benefit, I guessed it would be about 10.8º.

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