A day of low pollution.

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
brynpoeth
Posts: 12016
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Apr 2019, 1:34pm

Eat seasonal food, lots of cherries soon, apples and plums later, stockpile potatoes..

Cugel, are you a net contributor to the grid? (electric, or all energy?). If so, how much does it cost to achieve that?
..
'I am determined to cut my expenses, whatever it costs!' said a wise (?) person :wink:
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 1:42pm

Salad for lunch, with a bit of ham. No energy expended in preparing and serving it, but lord only knows where the ingredients originated.

Plates in the dishwasher, I'll wait for a full load before putting it on, and it'll go on while the sun is shining. Meanwhile, it's a very bright day and the solar is racking up the energy of which I'm usi f little and most is going to the National Grid.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 3:05pm

Telly on, cos it's a bank holiday, which makes viewing The Great Escape obligatory. Sun is shining and the solar meter is off the scale, so I'm also charging y bike lights and batteries, doing the whole lot for free. Energy cost, £00.00.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3368
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby PDQ Mobile » 22 Apr 2019, 3:15pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote: Sun is shining and the solar meter is off the scale, so I'm also charging y bike lights and batteries, doing the whole lot for free.

I am not sure if it is quite free?
Still I washed a few dishes by hand so that worked too.
You know Gridwatch? It can be very interesting.
http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk


Solar making 23% of UK demand just now.
More than wind (but that's not quite "free" either). Though good for carbon stuff.

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 3:45pm

Well, financially at least it's free, as the FIT payments actually turn a modest profit.

Debating what to have for tea and how it might affect today's observations.

Thanks for the Gridwatch link, very interesting indeed
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 5:50pm

I'm going to knock up a spag bol for tea. On with the has hobs.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 2963
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Cugel » 22 Apr 2019, 7:31pm

brynpoeth wrote:Eat seasonal food, lots of cherries soon, apples and plums later, stockpile potatoes..

Cugel, are you a net contributor to the grid? (electric, or all energy?). If so, how much does it cost to achieve that?
..
'I am determined to cut my expenses, whatever it costs!' said a wise (?) person :wink:


We bought a house that was specced and build-purchased by a wise fellow who had to leave to live elsewhere. He had a super-insulated hoose built inclusive of the ground source heating (vertical bore holes) solar panels, deep-drill water supply (from an underground river over 100M down) and a sceptical tank (it looks askance at what we put in it and raises one half of it's lid a bit).

It's not easy to find and buy such a place but .... why are all new builds not made like this or otherwise subject to harsh government penalties?

The ground source has a 4:1 efficiency (4 units of energy out for one unit in, which is the lecky to drive the pump). The solar panels give £1200-£1600 per year return (depending on the weather) and we use £600 worth of lecky from the grid each year - for pumps, cooking, electric car charging, washing machine. The lights are all super-efficient LEDs. This computer says it and the large screen are using 195 watts via a UPS.

All houses could be like this if there was sufficient incentive to make them so and sufficient disincentive to make them otherwise.

This hoose cost us £215,000 to buy. It saves us about £2000 per year compared to the previous hoose. (The solar can be sold for the next 19 years). The maintainance cost for the ground source et all is less than it was for the central heating system alone in the old house.

**********
It's hard to make a purely economic case for putting in ground source heating and all the rest, especially now that government subsidies are gone or going. But there are other values got besides monetary savings in running costs. These technologies are clean and don't put out CO2. (Well, the sceptical tank probably oozes some methane).

Of course, you could put all your money in a bank so a robber-baron can annexe it for another new yacht, during the next financial crisis (a crisis for you & me, not the robber baron). You could spend it on flying about the world to be packaged into a holiday. You could smoke fags as you drive about for no reason in a large oil-guzzling motor car. You could ...... (summary: waste you money on consumer cack). Many do.

Cugel

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 8:12pm

Well, the day is almost done. It's been a quiet day and I've not gone out or done much, yet my consumption, and therefore associated pollution has been surprising. Sure, some of it is offset by my solar set up, and by largely cycling instead of driving, but there is still food for thought there.

Still and all, compared to the average consumer I'm the sainted offspring of Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa, yet...yet somehow I'm still a little dissatisfied with my efforts.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3368
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby PDQ Mobile » 23 Apr 2019, 10:01am

Cugel wrote:
The ground source has a 4:1 efficiency (4 units of energy out for one unit in, which is the lecky to drive the pump). The solar panels give £1200-£1600 per year return (depending on the weather) and we use £600 worth of lecky from the grid each year - for pumps, cooking, electric car charging, washing machine. The lights are all super-efficient LEDs. This computer says it and the large screen are using 195 watts via a UPS.

All houses could be like this if there was sufficient incentive to make them so and sufficient disincentive to make them otherwise.

This hoose cost us £215,000 to buy. It saves us about £2000 per year compared to the previous hoose. (The solar can be sold for the next 19 years). The maintainance cost for the ground source et all is less than it was for the central heating system alone in the old house.

**********
It's hard to make a purely economic case for putting in ground source heating and all the rest, especially now that government subsidies are gone or going.
Cugel


I have posted before about some of the shortcomings (as I see it)
of subsidized solar.
I know some do not agree and think it worth it as a long term strategy.

However, for example, on a dark winters night the power draw of a heat pump is quite high.
To sustain that level of demand nationally requires either conventional capacity or storage at either house or grid level. House storage may work in time, as batteries improve, but will involve substantial extra cost.
There is some possibility of more pumped storage nationally but damming valleys is (rightly) a sensitive issue.
Chemical conversion at peak solar to hydrogen maybe? Costly though.

So while it is easy to sit inside a house on a dark winter night thinking I made all this electric, in my view it is rather a rose tinted view.

The fact remains that over-subsidized solar (is it 4 times more than a kwh at the meter?) now costs the utilities a deal of money, reflected in my bill as a recent 10% rise in cost.

Not a big deal for me running a house that now (proudly) consumes a snit under a 1000kwh per annum.

But it is a deal of money for folk who are totally dependent on leccy.
And they could be getting it more cheaply.

kwackers
Posts: 14053
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby kwackers » 23 Apr 2019, 10:10am

PDQ Mobile wrote:The fact remains that over-subsidized solar (is it 4 times more than a kwh at the meter?) now costs the utilities a deal of money, reflected in my bill as a recent 10% rise in cost.

4x? I wish.

A new install is fractional, imo you'd be better installing it yourself and forgoing the tariff since you'd save more than you'd gain.
Older installs pay more - if you were "lucky" and paid 20 grand for your install you might be getting 4x but you've probably only got 10 years left of that.

That 10% isn't just the money paid for solar, it's money used to improve heating efficiency, insulate houses and a whole host of other stuff.

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3368
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby PDQ Mobile » 23 Apr 2019, 10:21am

I know you take a different view.
And your view has merit and I understand it.
But rising costs affect us all.
It the subsidy went into the areas you state that's fine. But a deal of it doesn't.
Ten more years and the balance will be better.

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 23 Apr 2019, 10:52am

Rising costs dont't affect us all at the same rate. When solar powers me all day, and the FIT payments more than cover my vastly reduced electricity bill, price rises don't affect me at all.

Indeed, the FIT money left over from paying my electricity bill also covers my water, so I'm doing very well out of it, and I'm pretty well insulated from rises in the price of energy and other utilities.

Gas is the only one I'm not covered with in that regard, but I use so little anyway (gas hob and gas heating, but the house is mainly heated with free wood in the winter) that it'w not a consideration.
The price rises only really affect people who missed the boat, but there are numerous reasons why people may have done so. Now the government has slashed subsidies its little surprise the uptake has stalled badly. So much for our low carbon future, ey?
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

brynpoeth
Posts: 12016
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Apr 2019, 5:59pm

One needs a mix, a waterwheel powering a generator is the next step for Cugel, makes lots of power in winter
Ever wondered why there are so many Felins in Wales?
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 2963
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby Cugel » 24 Apr 2019, 5:53pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:
Cugel wrote:
The ground source has a 4:1 efficiency (4 units of energy out for one unit in, which is the lecky to drive the pump). The solar panels give £1200-£1600 per year return (depending on the weather) and we use £600 worth of lecky from the grid each year - for pumps, cooking, electric car charging, washing machine. The lights are all super-efficient LEDs. This computer says it and the large screen are using 195 watts via a UPS.

All houses could be like this if there was sufficient incentive to make them so and sufficient disincentive to make them otherwise.

This hoose cost us £215,000 to buy. It saves us about £2000 per year compared to the previous hoose. (The solar can be sold for the next 19 years). The maintainance cost for the ground source et all is less than it was for the central heating system alone in the old house.

**********
It's hard to make a purely economic case for putting in ground source heating and all the rest, especially now that government subsidies are gone or going.
Cugel


I have posted before about some of the shortcomings (as I see it)
of subsidized solar.
I know some do not agree and think it worth it as a long term strategy.

However, for example, on a dark winters night the power draw of a heat pump is quite high.
To sustain that level of demand nationally requires either conventional capacity or storage at either house or grid level. House storage may work in time, as batteries improve, but will involve substantial extra cost.
There is some possibility of more pumped storage nationally but damming valleys is (rightly) a sensitive issue.
Chemical conversion at peak solar to hydrogen maybe? Costly though.

So while it is easy to sit inside a house on a dark winter night thinking I made all this electric, in my view it is rather a rose tinted view.

The fact remains that over-subsidized solar (is it 4 times more than a kwh at the meter?) now costs the utilities a deal of money, reflected in my bill as a recent 10% rise in cost.

Not a big deal for me running a house that now (proudly) consumes a snit under a 1000kwh per annum.

But it is a deal of money for folk who are totally dependent on leccy.
And they could be getting it more cheaply.


The current renewables technologies are immature, as are the methods for encouraging and installing them. And using them. But there's a lot to be said for accelerating their uptake so that the momentum of their development is also accelerated; so a move to lesser costs & greater efficiency can occur.

I'd like to be entirely self-supporting in my energy production and use but presently I'm hostage to The National Grid like the vasy majority of other electricity users. I can't directly use my solar but instead sell it to the grid then buy back what I use. I'd be happier if I could have more solar panels and a large storage capacity, all of which I could manage myself. But batteries are expensive and, more to the point, not that environmentally friendly as yet.

The consultant we had in to suggest ways forward to being more green, to having less cost and greater resilence to events, had suggestions. He suggested that a better energy storage facility than a high tech battery made of exotics that are hard to recyle would be a very large and heavily insulated hot water tank. Any heat source you have (solar, wind, ground/air-source or even a wood burner could heat the water. If the tank is big enough and well-insulated, it can hold an enormous amount of energy.

How to turn it back into different forms of energy though? Heating is easy, as is hot water (obviously) but what about things typically operated with electricity? This consulatant suggested that there are means to convery heat back to electric current .... but that they're not very mature and not very efficient.

But perhaps an electricity grid is still the answer - but operated on a more localised and perhaps community-owned basis. There are such things springing up - but they still use batteries. There's a hotel somewhere that supplies all it's own juice (as well as heat/hot-water) with renewable tech but it does use some very large batteries. There are a few communes in the remoter places that generate current with solar and wind ... but using large expensive arrays and batteries. Such things may not be so easy in an urban space.

I notice also that the next generation of hybrid cars are likely to have better batteries (greater energy density, longer lifetime of use) as well as in-built solar panels. As most cars spend a very long time parked, their solar panel can put charge into the battery direct. In addition, the car can be used as an UPS for a house, even running it's fossil fuel engine to charge the battery for house use should the grid go down. That is, it can be used as a very big UPS as well as a car.

None of these things are mature but the only way to get them mature is to use them as they are now and thus be able to develop and improve them. And reduce costs via economy of scale. There will be some "unfair" advantages in subsidising such increase of experimentation but .... what's the alternative? Fracking? Brown coal burning? Madly expensive and potentially lethal nuclear?

Cugel

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3368
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: A day of low pollution.

Postby PDQ Mobile » 24 Apr 2019, 6:13pm

I agree with all that.
The grid in my view is a wonderful thing.
Though I live in a house not connected when I was born!
The grid provides energy (mostly!) day in and out at quite a reasonable but rising cost. A far better deal for me than telephone/internet for example.
That cost still represents pretty good value for low consumption. Clean and hassle free energy.
Any small scale or single house generation would cost more- even solar because of the inherent unreliability of supply, maintenance and finite life span.

If one forgoes using leccy for generating heat consumption falls dramatically.
NWales is fortunate in having a fair bit of hydro and wind generation.

It makes me feel better, much like one's solar panels I guess!
Trying to achieve annual low consumption is just another route to doing one's bit.IMHO.

Electric motors are very efficient, they do a lot of work for me. LEDs are are big help.
One tries not to waste anything.
And one lives pretty comfortably.