Monday, March 4, 2013

Ecohomes Open Day 3 Mar 2013

3 Mar 2013: This was the day of the Ecohomes Open day, and we had two visits. Two visitors came at 2pm, who were probably more serious about investigating the use of a heat pump. A large crowd turned up at 3.30 from Tina's house, and they had learnt about the benefits of extreme insulation for Tina's 1950s house. Three of the houses in West Bridgford had been offered for visits, and this was the third visit for some.
Jeff and Duncan viewing the PV array on the roof
I am not sure if this will encourage people to try a ground source heat pump, but I hope they went away more informed about the pluses and minuses of using one. If they do, they will probably be more inclined to use solar augmentation. It's all part of the process of learning-up and will help people make decisions, even if it is to use the Green Deal to get their gas boiler replaced, and to have some insulation fitted.
Many more arrived at 3.30pm from Tina's house


  1. David,

    What are your thoughts on ASHPs as a more ubiquitous heating technology - cost of installation, flats, limited grounds or access?

    I know that they will never be as environmentally beneficial as GSHPs but they are better than oil/gas.

    I fear (is that the right word?)that the 'Green' Deal may well turn out to be a boiler replacement scheme. Maintaining or increasing the use of gas, which, while better than oil, is still a fossil fuel.

    Bizarrely, we will soon be Green Deal approved to install storage heaters - not a green measure in any way.


    1. Hi, Im not against ASHP, they could be an excellent boiler replacement. i dont have personal experience of one, and the one we have on one of the ecohouses on the campus is a late addition and I dont think anybody is recording performance. If allied to a large amount of PV (e.g. 4kW) to counter the electrical consumption it could be ideal for the customer who doesnt wants the bother of boreholes. As they are a sealed unit like a domestic fridge, there isnt much opportunity to do anything solar with them, although a solar panel to preheat the water tank would be one way to reduce consumption.

  2. Mm,

    I think it'd be sensible for someone to monitor the performance so that you don't get the situation some have suffered where the ASHP uses large amounts of grid electricity to compensate for under-sizing, poor insulation or a mismatch with the heating delivery (a la Energy Saving Trust's original trials). However, I'm sure if it's an 'eco-house' on campus, it would have been correctly specified.

    We are doing some investigations into the size of PV array you need to make a meaningful dent in the wintertime electricity demand but I suspect it will be a fair bit more than 4kWp. I'll let you know what we come up with.



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