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Cheap building
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7790
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Work is going well.
Solar thermal installed, home made hot water solar collectors. Pumped primary circuit to heat HWS in a large cyclinder.
A second coil in the same cylinder is heated by the wood stove.
An immersion heater is also installed in this cylinder, this was the main source of hot water initialy but wont normally be needed now that the solar and wood stove heating is available.

Electric wiring substantialy completed, all lighting and small appliances, and refrigeration are 12/24 volt, from the battery bank which is charged from the generator or PV array.

240 volts available from the generator, the waste heat from which heats the underfloor heating.
This was only intended to be a temporary measure, but has worked so well that it is to be permanent.
The engine cooling water is pumped by the engine driven cooling pump, through the coil of a hot water cylinder (dedicated to the purpose, not the same one used for HWS) A second pump and a three port regulating valve pump the water from the cylinder through the underfloor heating system at a regulated 35 degrees.

The engine exhaust will be used for greenhouse heating, in some way yet to be devised.

Longer term plans include at least 5 Rutland wind turbines for winter battery charging. A single larger turbine would in theory be better, but the small ones were going cheap and are much more mangeable for DIY installation.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5871
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Work is going well.
......snip
....The engine cooling water is pumped by the engine driven cooling pump, through the coil of a hot water cylinder (dedicated to the purpose, not the same one used for HWS) A second pump and a three port regulating valve pump the water from the cylinder through the underfloor heating system at a regulated 35 degrees.

The engine exhaust will be used for greenhouse heating, in some way yet to be devised.

.

I have long thought that this was the wisest use of a ICE. I remember being taught that one third of the energy of a gas engine is lost through the tail pipe as heat and another third is lost through the radiator and fan as lost heat leaving only one third to propel the car. A small block Chevy V8 at idle was claimed to produce enough waste heat to heat five houses (1972 houses). The only catch is what do you do when there is zero gas or diesel to buy to run your very efficient system?
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7790
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE TIME
Work is now substantialy complete, and generally it has gone well.

Solar thermal hot water has surpassed expectations and met the entire hot water demand for the last few months.

PV is just over 1.5KWp and has worked fine, powering lighting, small appliances and even some electric cooking.
An induction cooker has proved very useful and makes efficient use of power.

LPG little used in the summer, but will be used more in the winter. Cooker, standby water heater, and some lights are LPG.

Diesel generator only run for 2 hours a week mainly for testing, but will be used more in the winter.
The waste heat from the engine is used for underfloor heating.
3 washing machines have been purchased in order that 3 loads of laundry may be done at the same time, when the generator is running.
Also provides enough load to give the generator some excerise.

The vast thermal mass of the building has been very helpfull in the recent weather. The inside temperature has stayed close to 22 degrees despite reaching 30 outside.

A couple of Rutland wind turbines are next on the list for winter battery charging to minimise generator hours.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7790
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update time.
All now going well after some work to the heating and plumbing arrangements.
The underfloor heating is heated from the wood stove, via a thermal store and regulating valve.
The circulating water is kept at about 30 degrees, and the surface temperature of the concrete is about 23 degrees, to be increased in severe weather but fine at present.
Internal air temperatures average 20 degrees.

The diesel generator is now little used, but when it does run the waste heat also goes into the thermal store and then the underfloor heating.

A rutland 913 wind turbine is installed and is far exceeding expectations re energy produced.
The PV capacity is now just over 1,000 watts.

Water heating is from a very large hot water tank heated by solar thermal in summer. In winter the solar thermal heats the bottom of the tank to lukewarm, with the stove heating middle and top.

Cooking is mainly LPG with the woodstove as a standby, also electric cooking appliances, but that means running the generator for significant use.

Lighting is mainly electric, with LPG as backup.

Fuel consumption per week
Diesel for generator, about 5L
LPG about 1 KG
Fire wood about 30 KG.
Candles and parrafin kept in reserve but not normally used.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5871
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool It sounds like your project is coming together nicely. I'm looking forward to your end of heating season accounting of the total energy cost for the year. Do you have any projections based on what you know now?
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7790
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would expect that weekly LPG and diesel use will decline, and that more wood will be used.
A few tons of coal are stored for emergencies but the intention is to burn only wood under normal circumstances. Coal keeps well and is less bulky than wood, but it costs more and is carbon intensive, therefore best avoided normally.
In colder weather the wood stove will be used more, and some cooking done thus which will reduce the LPG for cooking.
Prolonged calm weather might increase diesel use as the wind turbine will produce less. So far the W/T has exceeded expectations, but not certain if this is due to to a good site, or unusually windy weather.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recent cold weather has caused an outbreak of unbearable smugness !

A large thermal store is heated by the wood stove or the cooling water from the generator, and water from this is pumped through the underfloor heating circuit.
The water into the underfloor pipes is at a regulated temperature of 40 degrees, and the floor surface reaches about 24 degrees.

The generator is normally run for about 2 hours on alternate days, largely for doing the laundry.
The stove is normally lit each evening.
Space temperatures average 23 degrees in the main living room, and 20 degrees elswhere. Higher temperatures would be readily achieved by lighting the stove earlier.
The LPG lights have been used less than expected.
The two Rutland wind turbines have worked perfectly, the PV works reliably, but is of rather limited use at this time of year.
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ujoni08



Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stroud Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: smugness Reply with quote

Sounds good, adam2! Diversity brings resilience.
23 degrees! Ye're a woosie, man Cool
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7790
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: smugness Reply with quote

ujoni08 wrote:
Sounds good, adam2! Diversity brings resilience.
23 degrees! Ye're a woosie, man Cool


Thanks, but this is not my project, nor my home, I was only called upon for electrical advice, and thought that others might be interested in this house.
23 degrees is a little higher than I would choose.
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ujoni08



Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stroud Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: heat Reply with quote

Sounds like the system is working very well anyway Cool
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7790
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the recent prolonged cold weather, unbearable smuggness has again broken out Very Happy
3 Rutland wind turbines are now in use and meet most of the electrical demand.
The diesel generator is run for only about 4 hours a week mainly for laundry and power tools.

The underfloor heating works very effectively, and with the water temperature adjusted manually according to the weather, maintains a near constant 22/23 degrees in the main living areas and 19/20 degrees elswhere.
LPG use has been greater than expected, mainly for the cooker, a lot of baking and slow roasting has been undertaken which uses more gas than a quick fry up or boiling veggies.
Ample stocks of parafin and candles are kept, but almost none has been consumed.
No coal has been burnt, though a few tons is stored for emergencies.

About 5 tons of wood has been burnt this winter, mainly construction waste and pallets with some purchased logs.
The owner has several acres of trees, but almost all are a bit small for harvesting for firewood as yet, best to let them grow for a few more years.

The only real problem has been another inverter failure, this time 6 days after warenty expiry.
It is most fortunate that lighting and refrigeration are at battery voltage and that most AC appliances are used from the generator.
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