Monday, February 24, 2014

With a little bit of help from the Gasman

24 February 2014: One change I have had to make in the thermal equation of the house, is that with my wife being ill recently, we have to keep the house warmer. Part of her problem is having a low body temperature, so we have to make sure the house is comfortable. 
    So I had to raise the thermostat another degree to 22.5º for the house. We also have a gas fire in the living room that we never use, and was put in only if the GSHP had downtime during winter. That has a pilot light that we have left off for several years. 
    With the pilot light on, it puts out 230 watts of heat all the time, that adds up to 39 kWh over a whole week (about 5.5 kWh/day). So the pilot is left on permanently for the month of February - it will probably be turned off in March. 
   The warmth it gives out, and the consequent additional energy consumption has probably been balanced by a reduction in activity of the GSHP because the air temperature is helped by the pilot light. i.e. the 5.5 kWh/day used by the gas pilot is probably balanced by an equivalent reduction in GSHP consumption. We never actually need to turn the gas fire on! The weather has been mild with almost no frosts, but plenty of wind. 

February Reports

24 February 2014: I have not being doing such frequent reports so often now, as I am in the fifth year of this experiment, so daily readings of the meter are no longer necessary or a surprise. It's more like twice a week now. As of 23 Feb 2014:
  • House annual 5,142, biennial 5,309 kWh. Reducing. It's been a mild winter.
  • GSHP annual 3,098, biennial 3,274 kWh, triennial 3,078 kWh. 
  • PV annual 3,139, biennial 3,075 kWh, triennial 3,190 kWh. Steady....
  • Sunbox annual 3,585, biennial 3,034 kWh. Good
  • Ground Temperature 11.1ºC - dipped in early Feb, but rising at last.
Phot of Somerset levels flooding from
Western morning news

News-wise, the main events have been the severe gales and rain, and the consequent flooding of southern England (Thames and Somerset levels), and the government's uneven response to it (Somerset = apathetic, Thames valley = suddenly 'Money is no Object'). And the odious Paterson and Pickles, both Climate Change deniers cut the funding to the Environment Agency in previous years, and currently 25% of the EA workers have redundancy notices on their desks. 
Logo for the Winter Olympics

In other parts of the world, we had the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia, with some wonderful events taking place, including many new sports for snowboard and skis. 

Politically, the main news has been of Ukraine. It's difficult to know who the 'good and bad guys' are in this, but I am glad that Yulia Timoshenko has been released from prison. 

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