Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Carbon Capture - Good or Bad Idea?

No denying the skill & ingenuity of CO2 "capture. BUT....

Tell and engineer to create a method or facility to "capture carbon" {carbon dioxide to be accurate}, and he or she will do just that. At great expense, to the cost of electrical production and other industrial processes. Which has happened globally.

But is "Carbon Capture" even desirable? Have we proven without a question of doubt that CO2 is leading to "Climate Change"? Well NO! We have not. It's just that the 'politics of science' {lobby} are claiming that the "Science is Settled"! Even the IPCC have done a deal with Google to ensure their "version" of the [Settled] science appears at the top of the search engine!! This is simply propaganda!

But questions and opposing opinion AND SCIENCE are challenging this dogmatic claim. And if correct - we, the consumers are paying an inflated price for this political dogma in our electricity bills and other industrial product subjected to this "notion" of "Carbon Capture", "Climate Emergency" and "Climate Change".

Have we been misled? Is this an example of disinformation or misinformation that governments {and media/social media} have tried to force us to accept?

We know that "carbon Capture" has increased the costs of electricity, in particular - the December 2009 Blog post warned us of this [ https://blog.sun-earth-energy.com/2009/12/report-carbon-capture-adds-50-to-power.html ]. But was any of this necessary?

Or has "Climate Science" become a bastardisation of some kind of "belief-system" a religion no less? Debate on this is very difficult as the 'acolytes' [and those indoctrinated] will simply shout at you - so yes a quasi-religion. But also labelled a "Political Orthodoxy". see below regarding August 2022 petition from 1,100 scientists and other professional who do not agree with the CO2 models. [ https://legalinsurrection.com/2022/08/over-1000-scientists-and-professionals-sign-formal-declaration-there-is-no-climate-emergency/ ]

The scale of the opposition to modern day ‘settled’ climate science is remarkable, given how difficult it is in academia to raise grants for any climate research that departs from the political orthodoxy. (A full list of the signatories is available here.) Another lead author of the declaration, Professor Richard Lindzen, has called the current climate narrative “absurd”, but acknowledged that trillions of dollars and the relentless propaganda from grant-dependent academics and agenda-driven journalists currently says it is not absurd.

"Particular ire in the WCD is reserved for 'climate models'. To believe in the outcome of a climate model is to believe what the model makers have put in. Climate models are now central to today’s climate discussion and the scientists see this as a problem. “We should free ourselves from the na├»ve belief in immature climate models,” says the WCD. “In future, climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science.”

The declaration is being promoted by the CLINTEL Group, which plans to give “solicited and unsolicited” advice on climate change and energy transition to governments and companies worldwide.

I am thinking that most of the advice they will give will be unsolicited. Here is hoping that policy makers, teachers, and everyone else listen to the group’s many points:

  • Natural causes contribute to climate changes.
  • Warming has been slower than predicted.
  • Climate policy is being based on inadequate models.
  • Carbon dioxide is plant food, and the basis for life on Earth.
  • Global warming has not increased natural disasters.

Perhaps the last point the CLINTEL Group makes is the most critical:  Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.

There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, and they certainly will, we have ample time to reflect and re-adapt. The aim of global policy should be ‘prosperity for all’ by providing reliable and affordable energy at all times. In a prosperous society men and women are well educated, birthrates are low and people care about their environment.

For those of you with a background in the climate sciences, and who would like to sign, information to do so is HERE.

If “Green New Deal” polices are allowed to continue, they will be even more destructive on this nation and the world than the {discredited} Covid policies have been.



Wednesday, 6 July 2022

"Passive House" Standards

“Passive House” is today’s most energy efficient building standard. Buildings that meet the Passive House standard use 90% less energy for heating and cooling than traditional homes while being far more comfortable and healthier. A Passive House conserves energy by creating a nearly air-tight, super insulated building envelope that uses the sun and ambient heat to achieve a comfortable indoor environment. A ventilation system including what is called a heat recovery ventilator or HRV is used to provide a continuous supply of clean fresh air. Heat collected by the HRV is pumped back into the home in winter, keeping you warm, or pumped out in Summer, keeping you cool. Passive House Standards offer three huge benefits.

  1. Increased Personal Health & Comfort
  2. Energy Efficiency
  3. Long Term Value

What if you never had to turn on the heat or AC in your home again? How much would you save on heating and cooling costs throughout the year? Probably quite a bit. The Department of Energy estimates that heat and air conditioning makes up almost half of the average household’s energy bills. That’s why homes built to Passive House Standards are such a great value. Imagine cutting your energy bills by as much as 90% each money. All with increased air quality and comfort.

Passive Homes use a combination of ultra-high levels of fabric insulation, airtight building envelopes, and passive heating and cooling techniques to keep spaces ventilated and comfortable all year long. In many cases, passive homeowners require absolutely no backup heating or cooling systems. Thanks to the International Passive House Association’s rigid standards for housing design.

Passive House Design Overview

SOLAR ORIENTATION

Passive House designers use detailed annual weather data to model a building’s energy performance. The building’s shape is a balance of both form and function. Minimizing heat loss through the exterior is a top design goal which results in an efficient design. Window sizes and orientation are optimized for energy balance throughout the year. A well balanced passive solar design adds excellent day lighting throughout the interior. Sunlight is an excellent source of heat in a Passive House. Heat from the sun is kept in the house by the HRV instead of released to the outdoors like in a traditional home.

HIGH INSULATION

Passive House buildings are super insulated. With walls two to three times as thick as today’s standard construction. This creates a stable and predictable indoor temperature without the need for constant heating or cooling adjustments. Because a steady temperature is far more comfortable than a fluctuating one. And with a Passive House you don’t have drafts and cold / hot spots like in a standard home.

Walls are designed to allow for proper moisture management that results in a long lasting and exceptionally healthy building. Homes built to Passive House Standards also repel mold and mildew growth much better than traditional homes.

HIGH PERFORMANCE WINDOWS AND DOORS

Windows and doors are weak links in a building’s thermal defense system. We can all relate to cold drafts in an average home. What most people don’t realize is air travels both ways through a crack in the exterior. In winter your not only letting cold air in but warm air is also seeping out.Just the opposite is happening in summer. Your AC is cooling the outdoors while hot air seeps in. Both of these situations are very costly and inefficient.

Passive House design places significant emphasis on installing high performance windows and exterior doors. To meet the needs of various climate zones, windows must meet strict standards regarding insulation, air tightness, and solar heat gain values. Exterior glazing is generally triple pane glass on a Passive House. This is a huge upgrade from the double or single pane glass used on a standard home.

AIR TIGHT ENCLOSURE

Passive House takes great care in designing, constructing and testing the building for a near air tight envelope. Blower door testing is a mandatory technique in assuring high building performance through a virtually leak free enclosure. Walls are carefully designed to be virtually air tight. This helps greatly in keeping a constant temperature inside the home with minimal effort.

AIR VENTILATION WITH HEAT RECOVERY HRV

The heat recovery ventilator, provides a constant supply of filtered, fresh, outdoor air while pumping out old, stale, indoor air. Inside the HRV, heat from outgoing stale air is transferred to the incoming fresh air, while it’s being filtered. This process provides continuous comfort and a huge upgrade in indoor air quality.

Thermal Bridge Free Construction

Thermal bridging occurs when a poorly insulated material allows an easy pathway for heat flow across a thermal barrier. The most common form in a traditional home are the exterior wall studs and ceiling rafters. Any component in a building assembly that “bridges” inside and outside thermally, allowing heat and cool to short circuit the thermal resistance built into that building assembly, is considered a thermal bridge. They hide in plain sight: in the form of wood framing, or a junction between wall and concrete foundation, a balcony slab, or even a single metal tie penetrating a wall.  In each case they interrupt the insulation layer with a material that conducts heat, providing a direct line for the transfer of thermal energy across the building envelope. Buildings without many thermal bridges is considered thermal bridge free construction.

 

What Classifies a Building as a Passive House?

Passive House is the world‘s leading standard in energy efficient construction.

The Passive House Standard stands for quality, comfort and energy efficiency. Passive Houses require very little energy to achieve a comfortable temperature year round, making conventional heating and air conditioning systems obsolete. While delivering superior levels of comfort and air quality. While homes built to Passive House Standards can use different techniques to achieve their goals, they all have to meet the same standards. Generally these standards fall into five primary requirements:

  1. The Space Heating Energy Demand is not to exceed 15 kWh per square meter of net living space (treated floor area) per year or 10 W per square meter peak demand.
  2. In climates where active cooling is needed, the Space Cooling Energy Demand requirement roughly matches the heat demand requirements above, with an additional allowance for de-humidification.
  3. The Renewable Renewable Primary Energy Demand (PER, according to PHI method), the total energy to be used for all domestic applications (heating, hot water and domestic electricity) must not exceed 60 kWh per square meter of treated floor area per year for Passive House Classic.
  4. In terms of Airtightness, a maximum of 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure (ACH50), as verified with an onsite pressure test (in both pressurized and depressurized states).
  5. Thermal comfort must be met for all living areas during winter as well as in summer. All parts of the home must stay below 25 degrees Celsius at least 90 percent of the time.

Passive House buildings are designed and verified with the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)

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These are what iPHA considers the “hard requirements” for Passive House certification. There are also a number of additional “soft” requirements that offer more specific objectives for how to achieve the broader energy goals. Such as how to design the building envelope and the types of windows and doors that allow the house to meet the association’s guidelines. To review these standards in detail, you can go to the Passive House Resource Center and read each specific requirement.

5 Passive House Principles

All of the above criteria are achieved through design and implementation of the 5 Passive House principles. Thermal bridge free design, superior windows, ventilation with heat recovery, quality insulation and airtight construction.


The following five basic principles apply for the construction of Passive Houses:

  1. Thermal insulation
    All opaque building components of the exterior envelope of the house must be very well-insulated. For most cool-termperate climates, this means a heat transfer coefficient (U-value) of 0.15 W/(m²K) at the most, i.e. a maximum of 0.15 watts per degree of temperature difference and per square metre of exterior surface are lost.
  2. Passive House windows
    The window frames must be well insulated and fitted with low-e glazings filled with argon or krypton to prevent heat transfer. For most cool-termperate climates, this means a U-value of 0.80 W/(m²K) or less, with g-values around 50% (g-value= total solar transmittance, proportion of the solar energy available for the room).
  3. Ventilation heat recovery
    Efficient heat recovery ventilation is key, allowing for a good indoor air quality and saving energy. In Passive House, at least 75% of the heat from the exhaust air is transferred to the fresh air again by means of a heat exchanger.
  4. Airtightness of the building
    Uncontrolled leakage through gaps must be smaller than 0.6 of the total house volume per hour during a pressure test at 50 Pascal (both pressurised and depressurised).
  5. Absence of thermal bridges
    All edges, corners, connections and penetrations must be planned and executed with great care, so that thermal bridges can be avoided. Thermal bridges which cannot be avoided must be minimised as far as possible.

 

Multi Use

Passive building principles can be applied to almost all building types. From single family homes to multifamily apartment buildings, offices, and skyscrapers. 

Passive design strategy carefully models and balances a comprehensive set of factors including heat emissions from appliances and occupants to keep the building at comfortable and consistent indoor temperatures.  As a result, passive buildings offer tremendous long term benefits in addition to energy efficiency.

  • Higher insulation levels and airtight construction provide unmatched comfort even in extreme weather conditions.
  • Continuous mechanical ventilation of fresh filtered air provides superior indoor air quality
  • A comprehensive systems approach to design and construction produces extremely resilient buildings. 
  • Passive buildings offer the best path to Net Zero and Net Positive by minimizing the load renewables are asked to provide. 

Can An Existing Building Meet Passive House Standards?

The Passive House Standard cannot always be achieved in building renovations at a reasonable cost.This is due, for example, to unavoidable thermal bridges through existing basement walls. The Passive House Institute has developed the EnerPHit standard for such buildings.

The EnerPHit seal provides the certainty that an optimum thermal protection standard has been implemented for the respective existing building. Through the use of Passive House components, EnerPHit certified buildings offer nearly all the advantages of a Passive House building to the residents, while at the same time offering optimum cost-effectiveness.

An EnerPHit retrofit includes the insulation of the floor, exterior walls and roof with Passive House insulation thicknesses, installing Passive House windows and reducing air leaks. A ventilation system with heat recovery ensures reliable fresh air. Thermal bridges are reduced to a reasonable extent.

What Is the Difference Between Passive House Certification and LEED?

LEED certification, one of the more common green home labeling standards used in the US, rates sites across multiple measurements. These include not only the air quality and energy efficiency, but also the sustainability of the materials and how properties encourage greener behaviors. Such as recycling or biking to work. Passive homes, on the other hand, focus almost entirely on how efficiently the home maintains comfortable temperatures. Because the Passive House Institute is based in Germany, it’s much more common to find homes rated with this certification in Europe than in the US.

How Can I Convert My Home into a Passive House or Build a New Passive House?

If you’re really sold on the idea of passive homes, your first step should be to contact a New Home Builder like Gambrick, if your in NJ that is. If not then find a top local builder who has experience building custom homes, dealing with LEED certification or is familiar with Passive House building techniques and principles.

Some building sites have suggested that a passive house retrofit may only be worth it for a wealthy homeowner with a serious investment in green building. That’s because, in some cases, the airtight requirement may mean renovating the existing walls and foundation. Essentially rebuilding your home from the ground up. You may see some more effective (and budget-friendly) results by simply implementing some features from the Passive House tool belt, such as airtight window assemblies with Low-E glazing; roofing overhangs, awnings and shades for passive cooling; or a thermal mass wall to help with both your heating and cooling needs.

To answer all these questions you should schedule a consultation with a qualified home builder or Passive House designer.

Heat Pumps

For Commercial, Industrial and substantial private properties installations

With the ever rising costs of gas, oil and electricity, with attendant heating, hot water and cooling needs - now is the right time to consider Heat Pumps [at long last - when we consider that Sweden has been installing heat pumps for over 60 years - heck I remember learning about them on my Construction Degree in 1972! However there are several vital prerequisites that need to be in place - otherwise the electricity costs can spiral out of control - see later]

  • · Heat pumps for industrial and commercial use
  • · Heating power from 50 kW to 1000 kW (and more)
  • · Working fluid: R134a (alternative R407C)**
  • · Multistage options
  • · Bespoke according to your demand

*Can be powered by an ORC [Organic Rankine Cycle] THE RANKINE CYCLE The Rankine Cycle is a thermodynamic cycle that converts heat into work. The heat is supplied to a closed loop, which typically uses water as working fluid. The Rankine Cycle based on water provides approximately 85% of worldwide electricity production. The Organic Rankine Cycle's principle is based on a turbogenerator working as a conventional steam turbine to transform thermal energy into mechanical energy and finally into electric energy through an electrical generator. Instead of generating steam from water, the ORC system vaporizes an organic fluid, characterized by a molecular mass higher than that of water, which leads to a slower rotation of the turbine, lower pressures and no erosion of the metal parts and blades.

** A growing focus on the environmental impact of refrigerants is fuelling demand for refrigeration solutions that can provide satisfactory cooling performance with a lower impact on global warming. This is propelling environmentally friendly refrigeration solutions to the top of the corporate sustainability agenda. In addition, local legislation is increasingly targeting refrigerant gases with high Global Warming Potential (GWP). R134a and R407c

Our SUSTAINABLE Designs for bespoke Heating & Cooling systems, with possible Electricity Micro Generation

More than 45 years of experience with one of the leaders in the utilization of geothermal energy. Bespoke and efficient heat pumps solutions are our strength, energy savings and energy efficiency are our goals - along with saving money on bills! Renewable energy directly supplied from the ground beneath a building is one of the most sustainable ways of long-term energy usage. As a seasonal "buffer" - to smooth out the peaks and troughs of supply and demand.

The earth is a huge energy storage system, which permanently regenerates through solar radiation. Every square metre of our earth receives a quantity of 750–1,100 kWh of solar energy yearly. Due to this amount of heat, constant temperature levels averaging 10 to 12° Celsius prevail all over the year in Central Europe in the earth from a depth of approximately 10 metres, and this temperature rises by 1° Celsius per each 33 metre of depth. It is quite simple and very cost-efficient to use the heat stored within the ground for heating purposes. About 80% of the required heating energy can be extracted from the ground by means of HEAT PUMPS, the remaining 20% we use, in form of electric power, for operation of the heat pump. However, with the rising popularity on micro generation [of electricity] even that aspect can be reduced to zero running costs.

As a result of heat extraction during winter, the temperatures of the ground decrease. Due to this much-appreciated side effect, the ground may virtually be used for free for cooling purposes during summer. It's simply a gigantic "battery", a buffer, as it were to reduce peak demand

WHAT WE DO?

Irrespective of the size of the project, our focus is always set on the design and implementation of an efficient and energy-saving heat pump solution. A perfect heat pump solution is the result of early stage expert consultation provided to the client combined with the compilation of all essential data regarding climate, soil conditions [on larger projects a soil survey may well be beneficial, water table, building [assuming extremely well insulated building 'fabric' - or upgrading to such - is a VITAL prerequisite] and occupancy dynamics and requirements. This data is essential in order to produce a viable heat pump solution as well as the results of the simulation calculations we use to determine the economically usable energy supply of the earth.

By careful calculation and selection of heat pump components - from heat-exchangers, compressors, buffer storage, expansion valves and circulation pumps – we can provide significant savings on initial capital costs and annual operating costs. In addition supplementing the electrical needs by generation via PV Solar and/or Vertical Axis Wind Turbines or Even Micro Hydro if appropriate.

Factors to consider with existing or new properties, 

  • we cannot stress enough the importance of significant INSULATION of the fabric of the building to maintain comfort levels
  • This may also need to be combines with a mechanical-ventilation system with heat recovery.
  • Heat Pumps are best suited to underfloor heating systems, it is impractical to consider them for a radiator based systems
  • See Passive House Standards

Due to our considerable experience and confidence in our systems we can offer extended warranty periods.

The same rules apply: experience is everything. The concept – is actually simple – does however quite often lead to unsatisfactory results if the overall design and the simulation are not made by experienced specialists. Heat pumps that are designed without adequate experience, are frequently oversized and consequently inefficient. Our clients will however profit by our decades of experience in the implementation of efficient and economic projects.

Contact Us for a Survey of your Premises or Project

Heat pumps - heat from nature

Heat pumps are the first choice for those who want to lower their heating bills and generate heat in a more environmentally responsible way. After all, the environment provides the heat pump with an unlimited and free supply of the energy it needs. This fully-fledged heating system needs very little power for its drives and pumps in order to make this energy available within the premises. A heat pump makes you independent of fossil fuels, or can replace them, and in addition, actively contributes towards reducing CO2 emissions.

Simple principle, great result

A heat pump works in an analogous way to a refrigerator – simply the other way around.

In a 'fridge, heat is transferred from the inside to the outside. With a heat pump, this happens the other way around. Heat from the air or the ground is transferred into the living space via the heat pump system. Vapour from a refrigerant is compressed to increase the temperature, to make it high enough for central heating and direct hot water [DHW] heating. in summer in reverse the heat pump can cool - which is of much greater importance in Southern UK and much more so in Southern Europe - [see the irradiation maps]


Renewable energy from ambient heat

Heat pumps use ambient heat from the water, ground or air. This ambient heat is in practice, "stored" solar energy or geothermal heat from below ground. Ambient heat is therefore a renewable energy, of which we have an inexhaustible supply.
Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energies have the big advantage of being able to be regenerated. In addition, ambient heat is a decentralised energy supply, which is always available and which can be used without the need for complex supply systems or centralised energy infrastructures.

Use with various energy sources

The best heat source for each individual case depends on local conditions and the actual heat demand. Heat pumps can use various energy sources:

  • Air – practically unlimited availability; lowest investment costs, but least efficient
  • Ground – via geothermal collector, geothermal probe or ice store; very efficient
  • Water – extremely efficient; observe water quality and quantity
  • Waste heat – subject to availability, volume and temperature level of the waste heat

Advantages of heat pumps

60 to 75% lower heating costs

Heat pumps obtain 3/4 of required energy free of any charge, from the environment in which you live. Soil, groundwater, and outside air store huge amounts of thermal energy which can be transformed into heating energy using heat pumps. The savings are considerable compared to other conventional heating systems. The amount of power consumed by heat pumps is notably lower than the amount of heat they generate. 

Smart future investment


If you decide to install a heat pump today, you should be aware you are making an investment for the future. Its true value lies in many measurable and non-measurable aspects. In addition to the safety of investment, flexibility, low heating costs, comfort, and many economic and ecological benefits, a heat pump is an investment in your future and the future of your children.

New building, refurbishment, or heating system replacement

A heat pump is an ideal solution for heating and cooling of newly constructed or refurbished buildings, or when replacing an existing heating system or even simply an older boiler - it may even be feasible to retain the internal distribution. Since it operates on the principles of low-temperature heating, it is suitable for both underfloor heating and heating with wall-mounted radiators, as well as a combination of both. Heat pumps are also appropriate for rebuilt or refurbished buildings with radiator heating since new high temperature heat pumps can reach water temperatures of 80°C.

Warm in the winter, cool in the summer

Unique heat pump technology allows your heating system to heat your home during the winter and cool it during the summer without additional work or investment. The heat pump system can be used for cooling regardless of whether you use fan coils or underfloor heating.

Contact Us for a Survey of your Premises or Project