An Eccentric Anomaly: Page 1: Houses

Ed Davies's Blog

Pages tagged: Houses

House construction, energy efficiency, etc

PV For Space Heating

Using photovoltaic panels to generate electricity to heat your house is nutty. Still, as the price of PV steadily drops (mainstream panels are now available at around £1/watt, including VAT) it's instructive to keep an eye on just how nutty it is.


Solar Warm Air Panel: End Of Term Report

Not surprisingly my solar warm air panel isn't doing a lot now it's December so perhaps an update would be good.


Off-Grid Batteries

The other day somebody asked on the Navitron forum about batteries for off-grid use specifically mentioning the use of lithium-ion batteries. My reply encapsulates the beginnings of my thoughts on the subject well enough and, unlike most forum posts, stands alone well enough that I thought it was worth re-posting here with some light editing.



On Sunday afternoon I went for a short walk up the hill behind (to the west of) a house plot I'm contemplating. Here are a few pictures - click to embiggen.


Solar Warm Air Panel: PV Driven Fan

There was a lot less breeze this morning but still very little heat being moved into the bathroom despite temperatures in the collector in the mid 30s °C and in the box outside the window in the mid 20s so I dug through my junk boxes for an old computer fan to hook on to one of my Maplin 15 W amorphous silicon PV panels. 


Solar Warm Air Panel: Window Box

The solar warm air collector is now at version 1.0. Previously: part 1, 1.5, 1.6 and initial results.

The weather has been pretty poor, though with a few nice days. Unfortunately, the nicest last week were Monday when I had a hospital appointment 40 miles away so all I managed on the solar warm air panel was to buy some more draft extruder strip and Thursday when I woke feeling very depressed and only got a little bit done - I slept most of the afternoon.

Consequently I got the box to feed the warm air into the bathroom window done midday Sunday, just as the sun was far enough round to the west not to be on the panel.


Solar Warm Air Panel: Initial Results

Today (Sunday) started quite bright but by the time I'd sorted myself out it had clouded over.


Solar Warm Air Panel: Part 1.6

After yet more gloomy, wet and windy weather we seem to be getting a proper Billy Connolly June.

I had a bit of difficulty cutting the polycarbonate PVC sheet to length without it cracking but, with some good advice from the Navitron forum (with some nice ancillary discussion), I got a rotary tool by mail order which did the job pretty well. A couple of days ago I made up the central support for the polycarbonate PVC sheets with a piece across the bottom to which to tack the absorber.


Solar Warm Air Panel: Part 1.5

A minor update on the solar warm air panel. The weather's not been great, windy with big showers, so I've just managed to slot in odd jobs like staining the wood, screwing it all together and fitting the backing insulation.


Solar Warm Air Panel: Part 1

About a fortnight ago I decided a little bit of practical making-things activity would be good for me.

The house I'm staying in has very thick stone walls so the temperature is pretty stable; particularly the downstairs stays around 12°C whatever. The LPG central heating warms the air quite nicely and the stone's all boarded over so the surface layers warm quickly giving reasonable thermal comfort but as soon as the heating is switched off the temperature drops back rapidly. Over the last few weeks it's been abnormally sunny and the upstairs, which is less well thermally connected to the stone, has been quite comfortable, around 20°C, most days with not more than a quick boost of electric heating first thing in the morning in the bedroom I use as an office.

The downstairs, with its high thermal mass and small windows, has not followed along. This is moderately unpleasant with the bathroom down there. Of course, the heating can deal with that but using it just feels wrong when there's bright sunlight falling on the outside of the building. What I've therefore decided to do is make a small solar warm-air collector to lean up against the bathroom window to bring in a trickle of heat in the hope of increasing the average temperature quicker than it naturally would.