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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2010
     
    Yes, the tariffs are much more complex than I would have thought acceptable: we need more of the same here in the UK.

    BTW, I think that that was report 7! B^>

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2010
     
    1 September 2010. Report 8.

    First apologies for two reports number 6, so this one becomes number 8.

    Day 8, bright and early (8.15 am) Dominique and Pierre are working again. Both primary and secondary circuits are connected and have held their pressure. Final electrical connections are being made. The Nibe 3 phase models have current sensors for the incoming mains, so that if the potential consumption of the heat pump would exceed the max of the supply, the heat pump changes its phase distribution or waits till the house load has fallen. The current transformers have to fitted to the three incoming power cables, in my case a very full consumer unit (old style with fuses) does not have enough space. I am considering having it replaced which would give me circuit breakers and space for the current transformers. I expect it will be very expensive. I may not do it.

    Now it is lunch time and the heat pump has been powered up. Everything seems to be working except the connection to the room thermostat. The control interface is really good, a full colour display and intuitive controls. Dominique says it is far better than another well known make. At first power up, the system takes the installer through a commissioning procedure. The compressor has run briefly and in the limited time available to listen, I expect no problem with noise. The two circulating pumps are proportionally controlled, so no adjustments are needed. As I type the primary (bore hole) pump is running to get rid of all the air. My current monitor is showing 155 watts.

    So far I am very impressed with the Nibe product, although the manual does not correspond with the screen images - usual software documentation problem.
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2010
     
    3 September 2010. Report 9.

    After nine and a half days work, it is done. Dominique and Pierre have left. You may think that 9.5 days is a long time, it is, but it was all solid work. Installing in the attic of an old (200 years) farmhouse was difficult. A new build would be much easier.

    The Nibe heat pump is really excellent. It has many features, all easily controlled from a user-friendly colour display. Each screen has its own help screens. One very minor negative point - I had asked for a room thermostat. Normally the user adjusts the heap pump controls to get the desired temperature. The room thermostat with colour screen, would not communicate with the heat pump. Reason - down level firmware in the heat pump. Very quickly the Atlantic (French distributor of Nibe), sent me the correct level programme on the internet. It was transferred to the heat pump with a USB key. Cool eh? Perhaps the next generation will be connected to the internet, it would give remote update, remote control, and error reporting.

    Last night I set the thermostat to 30 degrees to try and get the heat pump to start. It did. We had a hot night as underfloor heating has huge thermal inertia. It is very quiet. My concern about the floor of the attic space where it is installed, acting as a sounding board to the rooms below is totally dismissed. You have to stand in front of it to know it is working.

    Both circulation pumps are software controlled. At the moment both are running 24/7 for 10 days to get all the air out of the circulating water. After 10 days they will return to automatic operation.

    In late November, when it will be colder outside, Dominique will return to check that the system is working correctly under heating conditions. At present with outside temperatures of 17 to 26 degrees, it is doing nothing.

    My plan to pay 40% at the start of work, 50% at installation complete, and 10% at the beginning of winter when correct working can be proved, seems to be working well.

    It is really dead obvious, but when you experience something directly, it reinforces the well known rule - "The more preparation you do, the better will be the result." I wish I had learned more about the bore hole technology and discovered spacers. I also wish I had thought more about making the ground good after the trenches had been filled. If I had, I could have been more precise with agreements with the hole driller and the heat pump installer.

    I have a few pictures that may be of interest. I hope to put them up in the next few days.
    • CommentAuthorfridihem
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2010
     
    Pleased that you are satisfied with a bit of Swedish engineering. As well as Nibe we do have several companies making heat pumps, and most here appear to favour Swedish makes. As you may already know, that the hot water for taps will need to be "recycled" or mixed every day so as not to get the dreaded bacteria which is quite usual in hot water systems that have water standing for a long time unused. My neighbour has his working on auto for about 1 hr a day during the summer months. Here we have well over 500000 homes that use heat pumps, air to air, air to water, and deep well
    • CommentAuthorcrusoe
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2010
     
    Hej Fridihem! Do I detect a slight partiality to Swedish technology here? Go on, tell me you actually drive a BMW! :wink: I have used Nibe and IVT (Ice Energy - and now WB I believe) and found them very satisfactory. I don't like all the integrated controls, but that's a personal thing.

    Are you talking Legionnaires' disease here? Most of the heat pumps I install have capacity, sans immersion, to raise temps above 60 C, some above 65 C. Is this the recycling you are talking about?
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2010
     
    Topher: thank you.

    That was really very informative and I hope you will keep us posted with pros and cons during the winter.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
     
    Fridihem, Yes I am very impressed with Nibe engineering and design. It was probably the contrast with a French made product that was very basic and just assembled in a Factory. It was noisy too.

    Tell me how is Nibe considered in Sweden, is it the best make? You know we Brits watch Wallander on TV, well it was very pleasing to see in one episode an advertisement for Nibe in the background. I am very impressed with the number of geothermal installations you have. Here in France the air/water systems are popular with new builds having water/water configurations.

    I don't use the heat pump for hot water, I might add it later. Surely the heating for hot water is a closed system with heat exchanger, I don't understand how Legionnaires is a problem.

    The Nibe for the French market is specially prepared for Atlantic the sole French distributor. For the other European countries Germany, UK and so on it is a standard product with the appropriate language changes.

    Damon, Thanks for your kind comments. I will make regular posts as things change. I have to sort out the CurrentCost product. When the compressor is running, the CurrentCost shows over 5 KW. The rated load of the heat pump is 4.25 Kw. I think it is the inductive load giving an incorrect reading of true power. If any one can advise on this I would be pleased.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010 edited
     
    Posted By: topherI don't understand how Legionnaires is a problem.

    It isn't, but a ridiculous amount of speculation and fuss made about it. Your kitchen is a much greater health risk. I hesitate to use the term infinitely more dangerous (reading a maths book about infinity at the moment) but as there has never been any reported cases of legionaries caused by domestic hot water you only need one incident in the kitchen to make the risk infinitely improbable.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
     
    Yes Topher, the simple clip-on meters cannot handle variations in supply voltage, never mind power-factor and load waveform shape. They're going to get most low-energy lighting and switched-mode power supplies wrong (power factor sometimes well under 0.5). I nominally have a project with an electricity supplier to do better, but I never even seem to get 5 minutes to get cracking on it!

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
     
    "infinitely improbable." Neat.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
     
    Thank Douglas Adams for that I think :cool:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeareading a maths book about infinity at the moment

    about aleph 0 or the more general concept?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
     
    Only done the first two chapters and I fell asleep, general concepts, Laplace has nothing to fear from me yet.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2010
     
    Large cardinals may be lurking round the corner: and not some overweight emissary from the Holy See...

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorfridihem
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2010
     
    CRUSOE.
    Well, we do make a few good things over here, perhaps the reason why our trade surplus is so good, and NO, I don’t drive a BMW, it’s a Merc.

    Regarding the Legionaires disease, Im am going by what my neighbours tells me, I do believe he had a relative who died from it , so perhaps he is worried.

    TOPHER, Nibe is rated very highly here in Sweden, best or best, I don’t know, but many do install these makes in their homes. The number I quoted was not ALL geothermic but the total nr of heat pumps. Most city, town and village dwellers are connected to their local CHP plants, which supply more than 50% of the Swedish homes and businesses with heating and hot water
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2010
     
    Fridihem, Damon,

    I have a cunning plan to adjust my CurrentCost device to record the 'correct' power consumption. I have a digital electricity meter. I believe it will show the current per phase (I have a 3 phase supply) and the Kw per phase. So if I turn everything in the house off, except the compressor, and read the power and/or current at the EDF meter. Then if I adjust the voltage used by the CurrentCost device so that it is showing about the same value, it will be a reasonably accurate measure.

    The CurrentCost can only measure the consumption of the heat pump, so it will be reasonably accurate. I believe the heat pump will be either off or on. During the 'on' cycle it starts the bore hole circulation pump (say 120 watts) 20 seconds before the compressor. Then with the compressor and both circulation pumps on the underfloor water is heated. Then when the compressor goes off, everything goes off, and the power is zero.

    So what do you think, will this give me a reasonably accurate measure of power?

    Regards,............Topher.

    :bigsmile:
  1.  
    Posted By: topherSo what do you think, will this give me a reasonably accurate measure of power?


    No, a compressor is an inductive load so the readings will not be accurate (though maybe your meter accounts for this). Further, a compressor is not an on/off device - its power consumption depends on the load and that depends on the entering water temperature of the ground loop and the temperature differential across the output side. The power consumption can vary considerably, especially in the first few minutes of operation as everything comes into equilibrium.

    Paul in Montreal.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2010
     
    Worse, it's probably a variable inductive load with a strange clipped or harmonic-laden waveform (though 10s Googling doesn't give me a very clear idea I'm afraid).

    However, your EdF meter will give you a true power/energy reading as you suggest, so you ought to be able to get reasonably close using the CC meter to compute a 'delta' in between meter readings for example.

    You'll just have to suck it and see! Again let us know how it goes.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2010
     
    OK, Thanks both for the response. Perhaps I will buy a second hand 3 phase Kw hour meter and install that. Any ideas where to buy it? UK or France?

    I have 230 V 3 phase, not 440 v 3 phase as in UK. Are the meters different for 230volt and 440 volt?

    Regards,...........Topher.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2010
     
    I should imagine the meters are different but probably both common at a wild guess. Indeed 3 single-phase 240V meters and a little mental arithmetic may do!

    I'd start my search with RS (rswww.com) and Farnell and Google generally.

    I see no reason why you'd have to buy from the UK.

    In the UK however you'd be required to have a grown-up *fit* it for you I think (Part P). You may take your own views on local laws and costs, natch.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2010
     
    8 September 2010. Report 10.

    The weather is cooling here and I have found the heat pump has been coming on at night. I have reduced the thermostat setting to try and prevent this.

    Using power monitors is of no use in measuring real power consumption as people have told me. So I am planning to buy a PRO 1250D 3 phase Kw Hour meter to measure the true consumption. Cost including VAT and delivery is £90.65 (GB Pounds). If anyone can suggest a cheaper alternative, I would be grateful.

    In some places on the primary circuit there are unlagged parts, for example the filter and valve unit. When it is humid I get condensation which drips on the floor. I have to make up a little device to catch the drips.

    Both primary and secondary pumps are still doing their 10 days 24/7 continuous running to get rid of the air. The temperature of the primary water is 14 degrees, so in the depths of winter the heat pump will be starting to raise the temperature from 14 degrees up to 35 which is the max set for the underfloor heating. I am hopeful of low energy costs.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2010
     
    Can you not lag the exposed bits somehow to avoid the condensation problem and energy wastage, eg wrap with a hot-water-tank jacket?

    Rgds

    Damon
  2.  
    Posted By: DamonHDCan you not lag the exposed bits somehow to avoid the condensation problem and energy wastage, eg wrap with a hot-water-tank jacket?


    There is no energy wastage - it's the ground loop pipes and the water in them is cold, hence the condensation. I had the same issue but just wrapped pipe lagging around the valves and put little cups under the parts that couldn't be lagged to catch any drips. Problem solved.

    Paul in Montreal.
  3.  
    From the energy saving trust in the UK

    EST report on the performance of Heat pumps released at last http://tinyurl.com/32zlylc

    Getting warmer: a field trial of heat pumps PDF
    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy/Heat-pump-field-trial/Getting-warmer-a-field-trial-of-heat-pumps-PDF
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2010
     
    JamesIngram,

    Thanks for the post. Very disappointing report. Best COP for ground source like my system was 3.6. My Nibe claims 4.25 at 35 degrees. I am running at less than 35 degrees, so will I get COP = 4.25 ? If not what factors will reduce it?

    Most interesting is the influence of correct set up. I am going to look into that.
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2010
     
    11 September 2010. Report 11

    The 10 day continuous running of both pumps has now ended. They were both totally silent (to my old ears). I thought I might switch it off for the first time and see what my 'CurrentCost' consumption monitor showed.

    Power disconnected from Nibe unit by circuit breaker 0 All watts.
    Power to Nibe unit, but Nibe switched off 14
    Nibe unity switched on, but not operating 110

    So in the non heating season, switch it off at the circuit breaker.
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2010
     
    11 September 2010. Report 11 Revised. Errors corrected. Apologies.

    The 10 day continuous running of both circulating pumps has now ended. They were totally silent to my old ears. I thought I might switch it off for the first time and see what the 'CurrentCost' consumption monitor (not an accurate measurement) showed.

    Power disconnected from Nibe unit by external circuit breaker - 0 watts. At least it is accurate at zero.
    Power to Nibe, but Nibe switched off by front panel switch - 14 watts
    Nibe unit switched on, but not operating - 110 reducing to 66 watts

    So in the non heating season, switch it off at the circuit breaker.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2010
     
    That 14W and 66W seems a little high for something that's meant to be an energy saver! They should apply the same sub-1W standby rules that apply to other consumer goods...

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthortopher
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2010
     
    I agree, but to be fair when I look the readings the secondary pump was on manual, I have since changed it to auto. Now I have the heat pump on, but not in an active heating mode, and it shows 19 watts. I suppose it is the consumption of the electronics measuring stuff and waiting to turn the compressor on.

    I have to be careful with the following. . . . I very fortunately have access to a Nibe expert, and when the heating season starts we will go through all the many parameters and set them correctly. I will post the results.

    In France, there are two possibilities for commissioning.
    1. Pay 390 € and have an Atlantic (the sole French distributor) Nibe expert set the system up.
    2. The installer sets the system up, cheaper but I am sure Dominique my installer, won't mind me saying that it is the first time he has installed an Atlantic (Nibe) system. I will share my experience with the Nibe expert with Dominique.
    • CommentAuthorfridihem
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2010
     
    TOPHER,
    I would have thought that the setting up and commissioning the system would be in the price, it is here in Sweden, and even a couple of return visits are also free, just to check that all in OK. My neighbour is absolutely thrilled with the performance both summer and winter, and he has worked out that it will have paid for itself in 7 yrs. He had oil/wood fired set up before, fairly old, since 64, so it was time to change, and as i said before all done and running on the evening of the 2nd day
   
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