Monday, December 31, 2012

December '12 Reports

31 Dec 2012: It's the end of the month and the end of the year, and there's no shortage of programmes on TV to remind us about the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics and the US Election. Those three have turned out quite well. One thing has hasn't been good is the weather, with repeated floods in the UK, days and weeks of grey days and drizzle from March to December. In the US, there were unprecedented high summer temperatures. Annual figures by 30 December were:

  • House annual 5,438, biennial 5,067 kWh.
  • GSHP annual 3,450, biennial 3,069 kWh. Yet again, this uncanny figure of 2,000 so nearly separating the house and GSHP - indicates a great consistency of our 'lifestyle' consumption through lighting and cooking. Considering we have built an extension and used a lot of power tools, I would have expected the margin to be higher.
  • PV annual 3,037, biennial 3,207 kWh. Boo! I wish we had more sunshine!
  • So, on the Net Zero calculation, we are still 138kWh to the good, biennially.
  • Sunbox annual 2,439, biennial 2,739 kWh. Hoping for better in 2013, especially now that the new sunbox is added.
  • Ground Temperature - 10.7ºC . The graph shape looks like it has levelled out, but I am sure there will be some lower figures before the trend is strongly upwards.

25 Dec 2012: The house electricity meter has just gone past 40,000 kWh (since the meter was installed in 2007) so it made me reflect on the figures for the last 5-6 years, based on the figure I expect it to show on 31 December.
    Averaged over 71 months since the heat pump was installed in 2007, the consumption has averaged 18.6 kWh/day. The important thing for this project is that in the 38 months until April 2010, the average daily consumption was 22.8 kWh/day, but in 33 months from April 2010 to end-of-2012, the average daily consumption has been 13.15 kWh/day.

23 Dec 2012: The UK has been soaked with rain much of the week, and many places are having floods. The hill behind our house is very muddy, but fortunately, there is an earth bank to deflect water down the road instead of into our garden! There's been no world news of note! Well, not much. There was continuing discussion about the shooting at Sandy Hook and the evil NRA saying that there should be armed guards at every school in the USA... and I try not to mention football, unless it is extremely noteworthy: Chelsea beat Aston Villa by an unprecedented score of 8-0 (AV had beaten Liverpool the week before) but what made it most remarkable was that every goal was scored by a different person, and none of these was Mata, one of the regular scorers for Chelsea. How does that rate statistically? House-wise, things are looking up because the biennial figures are shedding some cold weather of 2010. December 2012 has been very mild thermally despite the rainfall.
  • House annual 5,409, biennial 5,079 kWh.
  • GSHP annual 3,426, biennial 3,091 kWh.
  • PV annual 3,039, biennial 3,208 kWh.
  • So, on the Net Zero calculation, we are still 117kWh to the good, biennially.
  • Sunbox annual 2,443, biennial 2,734 kWh 
  • Ground Temperature - 10.7ºC . It's gone below 11.0ºC, but that is expected at this stage of December.
17 Dec 2012: The Sunbox 4 is working now (the one with the metal radiators), but it's too late to report a difference. I cant insulate the pipes until I am sure they are not leaking, and some of the joints need to be undone and have additional PTFE tape or some sealing paste on the joints. The annual figures are so close to the ones last week (with a tiny improvement) that its not worth printing them, except to say that the deep Ground temperature is holding good at just 11.0ºC, now better than the same time last year.
     In the rest of the world, the news has been dominated by the school suicide shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and predictably, the first thought for some American crazies was to suggest that it was organised by Obama so he could bring in tougher gun laws. Actually, he has relaxed some gun laws during his time, and many gun laws are applied by the states. Other fundamentalist crazies are suggesting that the children are lucky because 'they are with Jesus' and publish unctuous pictures of that exact idea (including them, Jesus and the teacher who died). The shooter's mother was an end-of-the-worlder who stockpiled guns and food, and was deservedly the first to be shot. All other news have been reduced in impact by this: In Afganistan and Pakistan, more people than that die every week in suicide bombings, drone attacks or exploding landmines. Who cares what the quarrelsome Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are doing in such a week? Kenneth Kendall (the BBC's first TV newsreader) died at a grand old age. Bradley Wiggins (Tour de France winner) won the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

10 Dec 2012: I have not been maintaining my weekly reports for a while, it was becoming too onerous and I was also pre-occupied with getting the extension built. But perhaps another reason was that the news wasn't good with the lousy summer that we have had. So much Rain!! (i.e. so little Sun!)
    However, we are having a very mild December so far, and the decline has levelled off. A notable variation in seasonal weather can make almost a thousand kilowatt hours difference between one year and another - put the very warm 2011 and the very rainy 2012 together and you have quite a notable difference. I've also started recording the biennial average as this is more useful for avoiding panic!
  • House annual 5,411, biennial 5,130 kWh.
  • GSHP annual 3,427, biennial 3,141 kWh.
  • PV annual 3,039, biennial 3,203 kWh.
  • Sunbox annual 2,425, biennial 2,717 kWh 
  • Ground Temperature - 11.0ºC - I am surprised and happy it is still as good as this. 
Based on this, the PV biennial is still better than the GSHP biennial - so still Net-Zero! I also notice that the difference between the House and GSHP is still faithfully about 2,000 kWh.
   What else has happened in the world? Well, a dog learnt to drive in New Zealand, Princess Kate is expecting a baby or two (and the poor hospital nurse died after she was pranked by two Australian jokers on radio), Barack Obama won the US Election a month ago. Patrick Moore (astronomer), Clive Dunn (Corporal Jones) and Dave Brubeck (Jazz musician Take Five), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian architect) died, all at a grand old age. A couple of months back, the Beatles and the Stones had their fiftieth anniversaries, and the BBC celebrated its 90th anniversary. Baumgartner jumped out of a balloon to skydive at more than the speed of sound (but in a vacuum there is no sound), Hurricane Sandy caused great damage to New York, but still americans don't believe in Climate Change.

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