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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    As I'm now unemployed, I'm looking into different avenues.

    Is there a market yet for battery storage yet and does anyone have an idea on how long training would take etc? I have no electrical qualifications at present.

    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2018
    I know of experienced solar and renewables companies who are already doing it, so my guess is; for the present small client base it's hardly worth it. Maybe you would have to be solar qualified too.
    Yeah thought there would be a lot more to it, another idea out the window.
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2018
    You don't need qualifications to sell them. In fact you don't need to be qualified to design systems.
    But to install them you do.

    My view is that they are not worth the bother until the price matches E7 night rate. This is not that simple to calculate as the FiT rate/import rate varies, as does the interest rate.
    Try working it out for a hypothetical house with a 2, 3 and 4 kWp PV system and annual usage of 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 MWh.
    Any other suggestions on something else to try and get into?

    I was thinking maybe ASHP installs? Not sure if the demand is that great locally as retrofits?
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2018
    Avoid retrofitting, it is usually oversold and under-delivers.
    As the old saying goes "I would not start from here".
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2018
    I think there might be an opportunity when the rush of PV installs start hitting inverter replacement time. Seems that this might be an opportunity to fix two things at once...

    I'm sure there's a market, depends what market you're talking about though, it might not be the one you expect.

    Have to say my biggest problem with PV is the f***ing birds nesting under the panels! In retrospect, should've had guards fitted, but it wasn't offered.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2018
    In the Summer I'm hoping to fit ducted Air to Air HP. In my research for systems etc I've come across a couple of areas worth consideration.
    We, on this forum, often refer to Air to Air heat pumps and I guess they are, but in the trade they are more commonly known as air-conditioning units, possibly because blown warm air is relatively uncommon in the UK and such units are more often used for cooling. The work in that sector seems plentiful for fitters at least. Preparing and fitting ducting etc. doesn't present me with problems, but where I had difficulties was finding a freelance "F" gas fitter to commission my system, and when I did find one thy were often very busy doing commercial work.
    I don't know what becoming an "F" gas fitter involves although I'm guessing it also involves other refrigeration qualifications.
    Air to water seems more common in the UK AFAIK and I'm guessing that's what ST is referring to?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2018 edited
    "Have to say my biggest problem with PV is the f***ing birds nesting under the panels! "

    Wait until the little ba...rds start tapping into the juice,- stereo, aircon, the lot,-- don't you just love nature?:bigsmile::wink:
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2018
    I wouldn't put it past the crows!

    The pigeons on the other hands aren't quite so smart...
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2018
    There is a lot of money available in grants for battery stuff.

    My opinion is that although it can in some circumstances be economic batteries are inherently inefficient so not good for us a country as a whole nor green or eco.
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2018
    I think we touched on this before, but has anyone looked at the economics of retrofitting an ASHP these days? My understanding was that they RHI tariff was bumped up to make them more attractive. I'd be very interested in how the finances now look to home owners, and if good, I'd think that's a very promising line to get into.

    The government is aware that domestic heat and hot water needs to make a bigger contribution to reducing emissions, and that we need to go beyond natural gas boilers. I think they see ASHPs as a part of that, so are trying to grow the market.

    I take your caution ST, but conversely I'd say retrofit is the big market (new builds can be more easily insulated). A well installed heat pump should manage decent COPs, and even without subsidy be cheaper to run than most alternative systems except very high efficiency gas boilers or systems relying on E7.

    If the homeowner cares, they should be much greener than either of those systems, as marginal electricity demand will soon be met almost exclusively by gas (so even if the COPs only 2, it's still greener than a boiler).
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2018
    The problem with ASHPs is that the CoP is only good if the output temp is kept below 40°C (generally). This may change when the newer generation of CO2 pumps become the norm.

    So when it comes to retrofitting you either have to go much larger than you imagine, fit over size emitters, buffer tanks and thermal stores, something for your DHW too, and work on airtightness. All very expensive compared to fitting a new gas or oil boiler. Then you have to top up the DHW with electricity anyway.
    So to do a decent, honest job, the price is prohibitive on older properties.
    Much cheaper to just get a second hand EV or Hybrid car.

    I wish it was not like that, but you can't fool physics.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2018
    With retrofit, you could install the HP at the higher space heating levels to get more RHI, then retrofit to a much better standard. Not sure if the economics work out to help finance the "proper" bit of the retrofit. Remember a MCS install is more expensive.
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2018 edited
    Well, I don't disagree that you probably need to get the thermal efficiency of the home up to a vaguely reasonable level first, because otherwise the required emitter size becomes impractical. In my head, the simplest practical rule of thumb might be to triple the size of existing radiators (should be possible if you get ceiling height ones?) and/or get fan assisted ones. Going by this:


    Then if you include draught-proofing as part of the service (because isn't that quite quick/cheap for a practised installer?) you can probably run at 40 degrees and a good COP, and the combined effect of draught proofing plus heat pump should be considerable. Studies suggest well installed ASHPs will manage 3+ COPs for heating.

    DHW is a bigger problem I think, unless the home owner is happy with 45 degrees max (I would be, but not sure if I'm typical) and you have an amazingly well insulated oversize tank.

    All theoretical from my point of view. Hoping someone else might have practical experience. I still want to work the subsidy figures.

    Other thing I think might be worth looking at is better heating controls. The Drayton Wiser range (screw fix sell them) I think to me shows this is now coming of age. Much cheaper than honeywell, and if you can get a trade discount on top of that, then you might be able to charge larger households the best part of £1k to install for them and it still be worthwhile for them.

    I'm trying to install them now, so I'll let you know how I get on, but I'd be surprised if they didn't help us save 20% minimum on our heating bills. We just can't be bothered traipsing around turning off TRVs around the house even when there's only one of us in the house and we only need to heat a few rooms, and I bet we're at the diligent end of the scale. Anyone seen any dependable studies on this?
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