Sunday, April 28, 2013

April '13 Reports

28 April 2013: It's been a mostly overcast week with some weak sunshine and dropping temperatures, but not cold enough to turn the heating on. My wife is in hospital still, and would have been asking for more heat in the evenings, perhaps. For the Peveril Solar house, annual figures are improving.
At last we are having a rise in the energy volume of the borehole
  • House annual 5,588, biennial 5,212 kWh.
  • GSHP annual 3,566, biennial 3,204 kWh
  • PV annual 2,997, biennial 3,173 kWh. 
  • Sunbox annual 2,765, biennial 2,742 kWh. Annual has just overtaken the biennial.
  • Ground Temperature 12.1ºC . 
In the world, it has been a quieter week, with the biggest news story coming from Bangladesh, of the 8 story manufacturing building collapsing with hundreds (or thousands) of people working inside only 2 days after cracks in the building had led people to think it was unsafe. The building was clearly over populated with both people and textile machines, and probably badly constructed too. The owners are under arrest. In Syria there are accusations that Sarin gas has been used, and the use of bio-weapons like this a grossly illegal, described by some as a 'red line' of wickedness. It's very difficult to prove, and could be a hoax - by which side? The US doesn't want to repeat the mistake of being drawn into war by dodgy intelligence. The British Royal Airforce started flying remote drones over Afganistan from a control centre in Lincolnshire - this seems to me another redline of wickedness.  GW Bush, a US president who thought books were things you lined walls with had a library opened in his name, attended by all the current living presidents.
  Architect Rick Mather died, apparently of Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos. He was American but made most of his career in the UK. 1.5m of metal undercarriage from a Boeing 767 was found in New York 12 years after 911. 97 prisoners maintain their hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay (which should have been closed in 2009, but wasn't). Luis Suarez of Liverpool became a negative celebrity for biting the arm of a Man City player.  Manchester United became Premiership champions, while Reading and QPR were relegated from the Premiership.

21 April 2013: For the Peveril Solar house, the annual figures are improving significantly with the change in weather, especially as each week advancing is trimming off a week of April 2012 which was miserably cold all through.
  • House annual 5,639, biennial 5,213 kWh.
  • GSHP annual 3,621, biennial 3,205 kWh
  • PV annual 2,963, biennial 3,178 kWh. 
  • Sunbox annual 2,679, biennial 2,743 kWh, we've had more Spring sunshine
  • Ground Temperature 12.1ºC . Another sunny weekend, some good solar input, and we break through the 12º barrier!
More about World news?: Oh, there has been so much, it's difficult to keep up! Monday started with the Boston Marathon, which concluded with two home-made bombs planted near the finishing line on Boylston St. The two Chechen brother perpetrators were caught on many photos and videos of the crowd as the end line, and were stupid enough to behave suspiciously. Instead of lying low, they then hijacked a Mercedes (and its driver) and robbed a 7-11 store and shot a policeman. After a shoot out with the police, the older brother was shot up, and got driven over by his fleeing younger brother - who later spent the night hiding in a boat in someone's back garden, until he was winkled out by the police infrared cameras, robot grabber and stun grenades. Of course, his mother said he was innocent - she would. After all this, evil Republican senators still filibustered a Senate bill, so that there cannot still be background checks when buyers at gunshows want to buy dangerous weapons.
  North Korea was making more noises with the birthday of Kim-Il-Sung on the same day, but that was blotted out by the media storm of Boston, which conveniently blotted out also, car bombs in Iraq and the largest earthquake in Iran for 60 years.
  Conductor Colin Davis died (ex of the London Symphony orchestra), as did Richie Havens, the guitarist. Baroness Thatcher had her funeral and George Osborne let go a tear in St Pauls - not sorry for those he is making homeless with bedroom tax, but weeping over an old lady who he hardly even met! Talking of departures, Sir Chris Hoy announced his retirement from competitive cycling having achieved the greatest ever number of British Olympic Gold medals.
   In a town called West, north of Waco, a fertiliser manufacturing plant blew up up disastrously, destroying much of the neighbourhood. This hasn't been inspected for safety for 25 years in the business-friendly state of Texas (governors GW Bush and now Rick Perry). Later, Gov Perry, having voted against federal aid for New York after the [act of god] storm-flood was begging the Federal government for aid for what is human negligence.
  This has been an explosive week with a major earthquake in Sichuan province in China.

14 April 2013: The Winter seems finally over! The static north east wind finally was replaced with a South West wind that was also bearing a small amount of rain. On the Peveril Solar house all the annual statistics have turned round for the better - the weather now is improving and the weather a year ago in April 2012 was moving into its 12-months-of-rain mode, so the biennial figures are worsening slightly as the annual ones improve.
  • House annual 5,702, biennial 5,216 kWh.
  • GSHP annual 3,694, biennial 3,207 kWh
  • PV annual 2,982, biennial 3,186 kWh. Still a few kWh below the GSHP, damn!
  • Sunbox annual 2,593, biennial 2,737 kWh, we've had more Spring sunshine
  • Ground Temperature 11.7ºC . After a sunny weekend, and one in which I spent time out and about (e.g. visiting wife in hospital), the ground had a chance to get some good solar input.
ArcoSanti, Arizona
Worldwide, what has been happening? Well the only news story of the week seems to have been Mrs Thatcher dying on Monday (I won't spoil this page with a picture of her) and the nation split between eulogising and excoriating. Vast numbers of people have downloaded the Wizard of Oz song "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!" and as this is now in the hit parade the right-wing press hammered the BBC to censor it, but the BBC decided to play 5 seconds of it only. After all this criticism of 'political correctness' the tabloids suddenly scream for the song to be suppressed and describe those who don't like Thatcher as 'Lefties' - and they call for public money to be spend on the Funeral, despite the quite bright suggestion that the funeral should be put out to tender and awarded to the lowest bidder just as Mrs Thatcher would approve. Parliament was recalled for a day of eulogies, and Glenda Jackson MP made a wonderful speech summarising the ways in which Thatcher had damaged British culture and life (it's on Youtube, search for 'Glenda Jackson Thatcher'). "Wreaked the most heinous social economic and spiritual damage on this country."
Inspirational drawings by Paolo Soleri 1969
        Getting away from Thatcher for a moment, the North Korean crisis continues with John Kerry doing all he can to avert escalation, with talks to the Chinese, Japanese and S Korean and offers of talks to the stupid little war monger in Pyong Yang, the only person with a more scary haircut than Donald Trump. Other deaths..... Dr Robert Edwards, one of the test tube baby pioneers, died, having made it possible for thousands of couples to have children safely. Architect Paolo Soleri died. He was a visionary architect who spent many years building ArcoSanti, an eco settlement in Arizona. I once drove there, but didn't have the courage to walk in and talk to the people there (We'd already visited Taliesin West and my wife wanted to drive on to Pheonix.)


7 April 2013: The weather has turned for the better, and there has been no wet rain for 3 weeks, although there was snow for a couple of days two weeks ago. Weather has been dominated by the cold dry north east wind that still dominates, but there has been some good sunshine in the last week, with some bumper days of energy capture. There have been two days in the week with the unusual result of the PV being so strong that the entire House consumption was smaller than the GSHP consumption.
   World News --..... Well, this week we saw the 40th Anniversary of VAT in the UK, and of the first Mobile Phone. Inventions like that need an infrastructure, so mobiles didn't become available to the UK until 1987, and I had my first one in 1989. Cameron's 'reforms' of tax, social spending, bedroom tax, millionaires tax cuts etc all come into action this week, let's hope each one is a ticket to opposition benches in 2015. One of them is a pay rise for the Queen's househole of £6 million, but considering that her children are grown up and the palace is very large, shouldn't she be paying this back in Bedroom Tax? The evil Philpott couple finally had their prison sentences confirmed, and they are being put away for a long long time, and their house will be demolished. The North Korea story goes on and on, and seems that all the raising of the threat level comes from NK, it is like a pressure vessel of militarism there. The only person with a haircut more weird than Donal Trump seems determined to cause big trouble. In Afghanistan, it was a horrible day, with a 25 female US diplomat killed by Taliban while delivering books to a school, and NATO aerial attacks killing a large number of children in a house.
   The American film critic Robert Ebert died of cancer; although I hadn't known much of him before, the final departure message as an excerpt from his last book was a noble and thought provoking piece of writing. Here it is in full on Salon.com :  "I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris."
   Back to Britain, some social research group decided that there are now 7 Classes in Britain, the lowest being named the 'Precariat', and the top being called the 'Elite'. Some of the subdivisions of the remaining 5 are time based, meaning that there can be movement between as people gain qualifications.  The Grand National was run at Aintree on Saturday and won by a jockey called Ryan Mania on Auroras Encore. The very next day, Ryan was hospitalised with back and neck injuries after coming off his horse at Hexham.
Picture of Auroras Encore winning, taken by Sky Sports
   Peveril metering figures will turn around for the better if we have a warmer summer (and peel off those weeks of rainy cold summer in 2012). This doesn't look like happening yet!
  • House annual 5,713, biennial 5,207 kWh - getting better, the first turnaround of the year.
  • GSHP annual 3,718, biennial 3,205 kWh - holding steady.
  • PV annual 2,965, biennial 3,192 kWh. Just a few kWh below the GSHP, damn!
  • Sunbox annual 2,539, biennial 2,737 kWh, we've had some Spring sunshine, and this is a change for the better!
  • Ground Temperature 10.9ºC . After a sunny weekend, I would have hoped for 11.0º and two of my thermal measurements were 11.0-11.3, but I take the one given by the GSHP which is 10.9º. But thats an improvement. 

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