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About djbobbins

  • Rank
    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Warwick / Dusseldorf
  • Interests
    Forestry, football (Man City), home brewed beer / wine
  • Occupation
    Energy sector

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  1. I have been in the current place with open fire, later replaced by a stove, for 12 years. I have only once properly paid for wood, which was three full loads of the wife’s MPV with the seats down, loaded to the gunwhales, softwood for £23 after someone had had some trees felled and sold the chunky arisings on eBay. Other than that my wood has been either completely free or a trailer and car load in exchange for a donation to Timon. Most recently I got as much free ash as I could take away from a felling, only a mile or so away from home. Of course, all of these involve fetching, loading, sawing and splitting, but since my day job is at a desk, I sort of consider that like an alternative to going to the gym!
  2. Can’t be the same variety as the euc I split then; that was 10 years ago and I’m still not sure my back has recovered. Burnt well though!! [emoji3][emoji3][emoji91]
  3. djbobbins


    Anyone ever bought anything off Wish? I keep getting their adverts popping up in my Facebook feed and in general I reckon most of the stuff must be too cheap to be of decent quality. I am, however, tempted by their cheap but professional left-handed chainsaw!!! [emoji23][emoji23][emoji38]
  4. I specced a 110 D240 new Defender, fairly basic scuff protection and mud flaps, no extra gadgets that I recall and it still came to a gnat’s under £58k. That’s a lot of wedge a vehicle has got to earn back if it is going to be put to work!
  5. Used the Aldi saw to ring up some 18” ash yesterday, pleased to say it did the business. Incidentally, I ran it until empty of fuel (deliberately) as this was probably the only work it will do before next spring and I didn’t want to leave fuel in the tank / carb. Any suggestions on anything else to do to help avoid the carb gumming up with crud?
  6. It’s a very good point. I didn’t take the conversation down the Vehicle to Grid route but you are right that from a technical and economic perspective that should be what happens - using domestic or EV batteries as a swarm is the best way to avoid the capital cost of building a load of grid scale storage. It’s not going to be straightforward though, for once I don’t envy Ofgem their problem on how to resolve this. It will need some significant change to the regulations in relation to licensed supply and how this is considered, so that final consumption levies (Climate Change Levy, Renewable Obligation, Feed in Tariff etc) are only charged on the net consumption behind a meter, not the total amount that flows through the customer’s boundary meter in either direction. Otherwise, levies will be being overcharged (if they get applied to all the electricity which goes through a meter towards the consumption point, but are not credited back when the electricity is exported) or undercharged (if the battery exports electricity which originally came from a solar panel on the roof of the building, thus never incurred consumption levies at the customer meter point). It’s doable but needs changes in regulations and some neat metering. For what it’s worth, I heard a sound bite at a conference a couple of years ago that said it’s ten times cheaper to store heat than to store gas, and ten times cheaper to store gas than to store electricity. This was from network operators, who were clearly looking at total spend, not just the incremental spend of using already existing assets for a slightly different purpose. I’ve got no hard figures to back this up but it doesn’t sound wildly wrong.
  7. Sorry to be blunt, but having spent the last 15 years working in the electricity generation industry, this is wrong in so many ways! Owing to poor insulation, heating demand in the UK is really peaky - much more so than current electricity demand - I think something like 50GW (50 million kW) peak demand for electricity but about 300 - 400 GW for heat. Since it is not possible to store electricity in large quantities, without spending huge amounts of money (2kWh of batteries (enough to heat my house for about 20 minutes in winter) is a couple of grand) building enough generation capacity to meet current demand levels, if all heating was done using electric, would need about six or seven times as much generation as we have now. With the peaky demand for heat, most of that generation capacity would be sitting idle most of the year. So much as I’d love to be kept in a job for many years to come, it’d be wildly expensive to just keep building generation. Note that even using air source pumps instead of resistive heating, the CoP can drop to about 1 when external temperature is minus 5 - i.e. when people really want their homes to be warm. Also note that all that generation equipment has to be built (mining of ore, smelting, transport, engineering) maintained etc - so just building low carbon generation may just move the problem elsewhere. Economically and from a whole energy system perspective, the focus has got to be on efficiency improvement to reduce consumption. This has added benefits - for example, if a property is really efficient the heating can be turned off for a couple of hours whilst power is used for cooking, without the room temperature dropping. In turn that has additional benefits - such as not needing to upgrade entire electricity distribution systems to cope with max heating and other electrical use.
  8. Efficiency of housing stock is one of the biggest problems facing the UK for reducing our carbon footprint. Realistically when a house is going to need 15-20 kW of heat in cold weather to keep it warm, it is going to be impossible for us to build enough low carbon electricity generation to move over to air source heat pumps or similar. That is without considering the bill shock / fuel poverty issue for someone trying to heat a home using electricity (the cost of which includes support for green power and in most cases some tax on the carbon emitted to generate) vs gas, which is currently largely untaxed. We moved from a 1930s solid wall 3 bed end terrace, with double glazing but not much other insulation, to a 4 bed mid 70’s detached, with double glazing, about 100mm loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. I think that even when we moved in, we used less energy overall, but since then have changed the open fire for a stove (much less heat loss up the chimney when not lit), improves the loft insulation, sealed gaps etc and it’s made a noticeable difference. So there are things that can be done relatively cheaply. Three things that really strike me though: - a few years back I moved to Germany with work. Our house there was a 180 square metre four storey townhouse and in the depths of winter, when it was minus five outside and the wife was still heating it inside to 23 centigrade, it was using about 2.5 kW (I know, because we had a district heating supply and it was possible to read the consumption in real time). I put this down to the place being built with good quality windows and 300mm of interlocked polystyrene blocks between the masonry / concrete walls. Can you imagine keeping a whole house of that size warmed to a delta temperature of 25 centigrade or more using only a 2 bar electric fire or a small stove slumbering? I can’t, but that’s what it was. Meanwhile, as has been stated above, we are knocking up boxes with air gaps, scant insulation and condemning the residents to wasting energy for the next hundred years. - a recent report says it will cost £20k per terraced house in the UK to bring them up to anything like a decent standard of efficiency - external wall insulation etc. That’s a lot of wedge to find for any homeowner, landlord etc and I reckon it still wouldn’t be up to the standard of the place I lived in in Germany. - Another David Cameron f*&£-up was cutting back on support for insulation measures, funded from energy bills, to save a few quid for customers. Leave the whole country using more energy, emitting more carbon and ultimately spending more money in the long term for a quick political win?! Sounds like a great plan, Dave. Pass me another pig’s head whilst you’re at it, would you? Grrrr.... I’ll get off my soap box now!
  9. I only really do a bit of local logging for my own purposes and the recent purchase brings my fleet of saws up to a total of three (plus an old Titan electric one for salvage / spares). That’s not excessive in my opinion so any of you professionals must be allowed a lot more saws for your quota!!
  10. I’m curious - other than the obvious saving on 2-stroke oil (and presumably less blue smoke) are there other benefits of the lower oil percentage? Implied better quality of engine??
  11. Got my Aldi saw delivered today. Oregon bar and chain, file, mixing bottle and tools included. More metal on it than I was expecting (oil tank and dogs metal for example, dogs also removable (so could be replaced I guess). Fuel and oil in, bar on, primed the carb with the fuel pump - it fired on the second pull and started on the half choke next pull after that. Brake works, it ran up to full revs smoothly - unfortunately I’ve got no big stuff to cut at home but will test it on some ash crowns over the next few weeks - they are the tops of stems at about 14” diameter so will give it a reasonable run out. Up to now, looks alright though.
  12. In fact, I just did! Will post a review when it gets here...
  13. In fact, I’m quite tempted to get one of those myself!
  14. At risk of going to the other end of the scale, if it is just for domestic stuff, what about one of these - less than a hundred sheets and if it sh*ts itself in the first three years, back to Aldi for the money back. If it survives the three years, that sounds like cheap logging to me. I had a similar previous 16” Aldi special and did plenty of logging with it... Petrol Chainsaw | Scheppach Chainsaw | ALDI UK WWW.ALDI.CO.UK Keep your garden in top shape this summer. Buy yourself a new Scheppach petrol chainsaw and make quick work of cutting, pruning and felling. Shop online


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