Further Work

I have invested in some solar pv again this time a smaller array and managed to get this up and running in November 2011 with consequential nice economics. The panels are again remotely installed but I own them and the FIT.Nov 2011

I have invested in some solar pv 3.7kWp and these will nicely offset my own energy use as well as provide a nice return on capital employed through the crazy FIT scheme. The panels are remotely installed but I own them and the FIT.May 2011

My house suffered when my wife went away during the cold weather. The house missed her heat and energy use and so did I. I only drink cold water so never boil the kettle, I do my ironing badly in 10 minutes whereas she does our ironing nicely and takes over half an hour, she cooks more, makes cakes, washes more, watches TV more, is here more and is worth at least 75W continuously herself (I do the hoovering so that doesn’t count). All that adds up to enough missing energy to let the house notice and for it to be cooler than when she is here -- come back as soon as you can I said we need you! (and your heat input both direct and indirect).Winter 2010-11

The first winter (2009-10) was a little disappointing with energy use higher than I had hoped but none the less it is still very low. The house has been lovely to live in, everything clean, new and warm.

The basement which has no waterproofing remained warm and dry, there was a small problem with condensation pumping onto the window lintels in very cold weather see . I also am having problems with the computer control system, a thermostat probe started reading the wrong temperature on the solar hot water thermal store and I had to take it out of the system as it forced cold water to be pumped into my hot cylinder and there were some knock on effects of this which meant that some manual control was necessary. This is now resolved and some further minor fine tuning is needed. The roller shutters and curtains need some tweaking as the control is my own bespoke one and intermittently does not work, annoying but they all have manual over rides.

There were some things that I have realised that I would have done differently but nothing major. There is a list of these here.

We did get some condensation on the outside of our windows on very cold days. This was because the outer glass of the triple glazed units was so well insulated from the house that it got well below dew point as the outdoor air temperature rose in the mornings.

I built an all glass porch outside the front door. As this was outside the thermal envelope it was simply single glazed 10mm toughened glass and acts as a lobby between inside and outside helping to reduce one of our larger heat losses which is coming in and going out.

The temperature under the middle of the slab was still constant at 16C in mid November.By the end of March this had fallen to 13.5C and from there I was able to start storing excess solar in the ground and the temperature rose slowly at first then once we got the blue sky days perceptably quicker, but still slowly. By the middle of July the temperature had passed 17C and the fastest rise was 0.1C per day.

The house has been warmer than I would have liked during the hottest weather but I am having difficulties with the fan controls for night time cooling and ideally I want to remove or bypass the heat exchanger in the MHRV unit as this would solve the problem fast -- strangely the manufacturer does not make a non heat exchanging empty matrix or a bypass.

The house is so well sound insulated that the easiest way in for noise is through the ceiling and even with 450mm of glass fibre quilt it is noticable and I wish that I had double tacked the ceilings.

Another benefit of very airtight house is no insects! They cant get in :)