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Big J

Old houses versus new building

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just cut out the efficiency losses of the pump and use the windmill to generate electricity directly. You will get more.

Only when the wind blows...
Then I'd need a large collection of lead batteries which would need changing every 5-10 years.
That's why I'm thinking of using ponds.
The idea I've been looking in to is as low maintenance and as simple as possible.
The wind and solar pump are always on.
Would still need to use a few batteries as a voltage/current regulator.
Also the ponds would be so much more biodiversity friendly than a row of deep cycle lead/acid batteries.
(You can't swim in a lead battery either)

The best option is to get an old water mill and put a 3phase dynamo on.
Make a tasty sawmill and workshop.
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On 14/09/2019 at 09:37, Big J said:

If we were able to navigate planning in a fairly expedient manner, we'd just go with timber frame and straw bale construction. It wouldn't attain passive standard, but it would be very environmentally friendly, require fairly minimal heating and the vast bulk of the house would have been grown in a small radius of the construction site. I'm lucky to have access to huge amounts of very good quality timber, that I can cut to my own specification.

 

A kit house is however a pretty good compromise, as whilst there are some slightly dubious materials in the walls, they overall environmental impact is minute compared to an older house, and the construction time is only 14 weeks, start to finish. 

 

I do wish that UK planning law would make special exceptions for very green buildings. There has to be something to incentivise green building. 

What’s the difference in the planning regs/time of a kit house compared to timber frame?

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8 hours ago, Stere said:

Not sure there is enough minerals in the ground for everyone to drive an electric car.

 

WWW.PRNEWSWIRE.CO.UK

FN Media Group Presents USA News Group News Commentary LOS ANGELES, July 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --...

 

Also huge enviro impact from mining

 

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As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium...

 

And this is why , in previous , similar threads I have suggested Hydrogen from water as a fuel .

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8 hours ago, Rough Hewn said:


Only when the wind blows...
Then I'd need a large collection of lead batteries which would need changing every 5-10 years.
That's why I'm thinking of using ponds.
The idea I've been looking in to is as low maintenance and as simple as possible.
The wind and solar pump are always on.
Would still need to use a few batteries as a voltage/current regulator.
Also the ponds would be so much more biodiversity friendly than a row of deep cycle lead/acid batteries.
(You can't swim in a lead battery either)

The best option is to get an old water mill and put a 3phase dynamo on.
Make a tasty sawmill and workshop.
emoji106.png

What you are describing Saul is if I understand you correctly a small version of a pump storage  power station.  There are a number of them in Scotland and at least one in Wales.  I think they should build more.  For that matter I think there could be much better use of hilly areas with hydro power.  There is a fairly small (42 acres) reservoir near me which has been empty for years as maintenance is carried out by Welsh Water.  They should so use the opportunity to install hydro power whilst they are at it.  Even if they only get a small amount of electricity - it all helps.

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cruachan power station in loch awe argyll scotland is ahuge pump storage facilty with a really intresting visitor centre. the tour involves going 1 km inside the mountain to see the machine hall thts been carved out the rock.

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5 hours ago, LeeGray said:

What’s the difference in the planning regs/time of a kit house compared to timber frame?

With a kit house, the drawings are ready to be submitted so there is no delay. The chap at the Danwood stand at the housing expo said that a typical build time from the point of order is 6 months. That's 12 weeks for it to be built in the factory and 14 weeks on site until it's ready to move into. Most normal self builds are 3 times as long on average.

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20 minutes ago, Big J said:

With a kit house, the drawings are ready to be submitted so there is no delay. The chap at the Danwood stand at the housing expo said that a typical build time from the point of order is 6 months. That's 12 weeks for it to be built in the factory and 14 weeks on site until it's ready to move into. Most normal self builds are 3 times as long on average.

Sorry thought you meant the planning was different for kit and bespoke timber frame. Understand difference in build time.

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1 hour ago, Squaredy said:

What you are describing Saul is if I understand you correctly a small version of a pump storage  power station.  There are a number of them in Scotland and at least one in Wales.

Two in Wales that I have visited, Dinorwig opposite snowdon and  a smaller one above Blaunau Ffestiniog. Both are closed systems to avoid liquidising fish and from the looks the water is dosed with something.

 

Of course these were built to soak up off peak electricity from (primarily) nuclear power stations and dish it out at a much higher price at peak times, now they will make use of peaks in non scheduled generation like wind and solar, especially as we lose our last nuclear generators (and the French and Chinese f*k us over with the three they are stop start building.

1 hour ago, Squaredy said:

 I think they should build more.

Both the above use enhanced natural reservoirs, the Dinorwig one is 600 metres head so not many places available, if you go for a reduced head you need a higher mass of water per unit energy, this involves a more massive infra structure and cost tends to scale with mass.

 

In germany I believe they store energy as high pressure air in underground caverns.

1 hour ago, Squaredy said:

 

 For that matter I think there could be much better use of hilly areas with hydro power.  There is a fairly small (42 acres) reservoir near me which has been empty for years as maintenance is carried out by Welsh Water.  They should so use the opportunity to install hydro power whilst they are at it.  Even if they only get a small amount of electricity - it all helps.

Well I agree to a degree, many of the weirs on the Thames and it's feeders could have Archimedes screw generators like the one at Eton but I don't know their rate of Return on Investment. The EA recently rebuilt a weir near me on the river Wey, the original plan was to install a screw generator (because they are fish friendly rather than particularly efficient) and an eel and fish pass but the generator plan was scrapped and EA will not tell me why.

 

With generation plant you have to consider capital cost, operation and management and fuel costs. Even with zero fuel costs the other two can add up to expensive power.

 

You can do a similar sum with battery storage and as far as I can see the capital costs for the total amount of energy stored in the battery lifetime are still currently higher than I can buy electricity for.

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