I nearly left early, but got into conversation with people interested in my Solar Earth Charging system. Just then, we were called to order and the President of CIBSE, Andy Ford, called the group to order and gave a little speech of thanks to those who had attended, organised, refereed or delivered papers.
Then one of his colleagues declared the result of a popular (audience) vote for the best presentation of the event... and I could not believe my ears on hearing "David Nicholson-Cole with his paper on Domestic Solar Earth Charging"..... !!! I was so surprised, I didn't know what to do with my half eaten biscuit and half drunk beer (you can see them to the right of the photo!) Fortunately, I handed someone my iPhone to take a quick picture.
So I am the proud possessor of a £50 book token at the CIBSE bookshop, but more importantly, I feel that this idea and the simple technology behind it has finally got some recognition.
Speaking afterwards to someone who had voted for it, he said it was the directness and compelling simplicity of the idea that had captured people's interest. The principle of solar earth charging may even be obvious to everybody in someways, but someone still has to have the courage to be the first to try it for real, on a real building. To present the topic as a computer modelling exercise would still leave too many unproven questions in the air. The fact that I have 2 years of data collection and a working system that has produced results is compelling evidence that the idea is worth taking further - and they liked the fact that the circuit was so very simple, no tanks, no heat exchangers.
(Photo by Kishore Bhattacharya, who had travelled from Calcutta and presented a paper on "Fast Tracking Energy Efficient buildings by separating the Building from the Occupants - a New 21st century approach")