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Biomass is essentially wood or organic matter, typically used for heating or to generate electricity. When used for heat, the most commonly used biomass fuel is wood in either pellet, chip or log form. Smaller domestic boilers are mainly wood pellet (6mm EN plus), costing around £200 per tonne, pellet is a very flexible fuel that can be hand fed, delivered in bags, or drawn from fully automated stores with a variety of feed systems. Larger systems mostly use wood chip in a variety of sizes, some are also able to burn waste wood, these systems use a variety of fuel stores but are rarely hand fed. Log gasification boilers operate a different strategy by “batch burning” the heat generated by logs into a buffer (or accumulator) for use later. All these systems require frequent cleaning and maintenance.
There is energy in our atmosphere, no matter where you are on the planet. All the way down to -273.15°C, absolute zero. A heat pump will extract the energy in the atmosphere, even in minus temperatures. The heat pump upgrades the heat using refrigeration and distributes heat around the house, it is essentially air conditioning in reverse, using the expansion and compression of a refrigerant gas. You’ll notice that when you spray an aerosol it gets cold, and when you pump up you bike tire, the pump gets hot. This is reflective of how refrigeration works: a compressor squashes the gas in to a hot liquid, the heat energy is extracted out through a condenser heating the air passing across it. The liquid passes through the pipe work to a device called an expansion valve where the liquid passes through a small orifice, essentially sprayed into a cold gas. This then travels through the evaporator, absorbing heat energy and cooling the air passing across it. Then the whole cycle repeats again.
Do you like free energy? Solar thermal takes heat from the sun and places it in your hot water cylinder or swimming pool. The sun emits energy constantly, we see this as visible light and feel the infrared heat when the sun shines. Panels located on your roof or on the ground face the sun, the panels have a glass cover and a special selective coating that attracts the infrared radiation from the sun. A controller recognises a rise in the temperature and starts to pump fluid round the panels, sending the heat to where it’s needed, this process can continue, even when it is cloudy.
Over time, settings will drift and components will start to wear out and collect dirt, in the short term this will cost in lost performance, in the long term breakdowns will cost more. Some manufacturers and insurance companies will insist on annual servicing to satisfy warranty conditions.
Water straight from the tap around the country varies wildly. The water hardness scale detected by our commercial testing lab ranges from 0mg/l to 600mg/l. The hardest we have so far come across is 420mg/l in Swindon and the softest we have tested is just 10mg/l in Glasgow. Soft water is comfortable for your skin and means that you use less detergent in cleaning, hard water will contain minerals beneficial to your body, but will drastically shorten the life of your kettle, boiler, washing machine and so on, you will also find that you are cleaning your bathroom so much more to keep it clean and sparkling.
A water softener works by passing water through a bed of resin contained within a water softener, calcium molecules are exchanged for sodium molecules and held in the resin. After some time, the resin loses its ability to process water, this is when the softener needs regenerating. Salt is added to the resin to reverse the process and the excess calcium is washed out down the drain. In most modern softeners, this processes is automatic and requires little intervention other than topping up the salt.
Hot, humid and unable to sleep? Difficult to concentrate in that stifling office? Air conditioning is the answer!
It works by transferring the heat energy from inside to outside using the expansion and compression of a refrigerant gas. You’ll notice that when you spray an aerosol it gets cold, and when you pump up you bike tire, the pump gets hot. This is reflective of how refrigeration works: a compressor squashes the gas in to a hot liquid, the heat energy is extracted out through a condenser heating the air passing across it. The liquid passes through the pipe work to a device called an expansion valve where the liquid passes through a small orifice, essentially sprayed into a cold gas. This then travels through the evaporator, absorbing heat energy and cooling the air passing across it. Then the whole cycle repeats again.
Renewable energy is essentially relying on a resource that will or has been created within a lifetime and can be replaced within the same time.
As we now realise the fact that our global climate is rapidly changing beyond what we learned during our school Geography classes, and governments struggle to keep up with rapidly changing popular trends. In our current political climate, politicians are still debating the merits of the various benefits of the technology available, they are often slow to respond to the facts presented by scientists, the response is prone to soiling the industry with poorly thought out incentive measures that have a financial reward for doing the right thing.
It is clear to all that government is lobbied by powerful companies that have a narrow aspect on the future of the planet over short term prosperity gains, and that they often follow the narrative of jobs before the environment, forgetting that without the environment, there are no jobs.
Furthermore, the popular media is “balanced“ with the insertion of climate sceptics or deniers. These people have a narrow view of the world around them and evidently have their own self interests at heart. For this reason we, as responsible guardians of the future, will refuse business from those not sharing this view.