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Climate Change And Technology


pottyprof

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Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    I've just been reading an artical where nano technology is producing some interesting results in providing a new energy source. The idea is to use CO2 from the air and mix it with water vapour and sunlight to produce methane, propane etc..

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1662...ref=online-news

    Ok its a fair way off yet but are we starting to see a bit of a push in the right direction?

    Is anyone else following new technology?

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
    Is anyone else following new technology?

    In short, probably not, we're all still far too busy arguing the need for it and who should pay.....

    Seriously though, thanks for the link, interesting stuff, definitely a push in the right direction.

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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Chevening Kent
  • Location: Chevening Kent

    Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but, what technology is actually available now for the guy in the street (me) to go out and buy which will reduce my carbon foot?

    I have 2 cars, 3 kids, lights blazing from morning till night and central heating thermostat which only knows full on or off etc. I don't mean to be flippant just honest and I am sure its repeated in millions of homes across the UK. I cannot afford 30k-40k on a big family car like a Lexus with its environmental friendliness and I don't want a super mini which runs on an elastic band. I want to live as I do now, so is a windmill or solar panels a viable option, what can I actually go out and buy now which will help me reduce costs and help save the planet?

    IS THERE ANYTHING OUT THERE FOR ME??

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

    Hi HP,

    I've looked into quite a lot of the stuff available from solar panels through to heat capture systems, can't say that I found any of it a viable option. Almost all of the systems have a minimum pay back time of at least 15 years before you break even on the capital outlay. Fine if you're planning to stay put, hopeless if you may move within the foreseeable.

    Our energy bills were astronomical, despite having energy saving light bulbs everywhere, radiator thermostats etc; we've installed cavity wall insulation, new super dooper double glazing plus about a foot of insulation in the attic but the bills still kept going up.

    However, over the last 12 months we've cut our energy use by a third - we bought an Aga. All our initial concerns about running costs for it have been completely swept away and we're actually paying much, much less now. Because it keeps the whole house warm, the central heating doesn't kick in any where near as often plus we have a drying rack hanging above which takes care of all the clothes drying, the tumble dryer is now obsolete and out in the garage. It also makes the best roast spuds ever!

    Another big difference in energy consumption can be made with new appliances, all of ours have gradually been replaced with triple A energy efficiency ones; it's surprising the difference it makes.

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    Posted
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
    Hi HP,

    I've looked into quite a lot of the stuff available from solar panels through to heat capture systems, can't say that I found any of it a viable option. Almost all of the systems have a minimum pay back time of at least 15 years before you break even on the capital outlay. Fine if you're planning to stay put, hopeless if you may move within the foreseeable.

    Our energy bills were astronomical, despite having energy saving light bulbs everywhere, radiator thermostats etc; we've installed cavity wall insulation, new super dooper double glazing plus about a foot of insulation in the attic but the bills still kept going up.

    However, over the last 12 months we've cut our energy use by a third - we bought an Aga. All our initial concerns about running costs for it have been completely swept away and we're actually paying much, much less now. Because it keeps the whole house warm, the central heating doesn't kick in any where near as often plus we have a drying rack hanging above which takes care of all the clothes drying, the tumble dryer is now obsolete and out in the garage. It also makes the best roast spuds ever!

    Another big difference in energy consumption can be made with new appliances, all of ours have gradually been replaced with triple A energy efficiency ones; it's surprising the difference it makes.

    I never heard of anyone using their obsolete tumble dryer to make roast spuds before. You lives and learns!

    I have a tip too - if you have a dog, use the plastic bags that bread comes in - there are no little holes to contaminate your fingers when you use them as poo bags, and they are long enough to pick up multiple poos if your dog is on a "session", like they sometimes want to go on.

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    Posted
  • Location: Chevening Kent
  • Location: Chevening Kent

    Well we won't talk about the tumble dryer but at least we have minimal use of the Iron :-) I have actually given it a bit of thought and discounted solar panels as too expensive but I understand new nano technology is on its way which may eventually make it viable, but not now. I have space for a wind turbine but not exactly a reliable resource plus the one I would need would be a hazard to low flying aircraft, other than novelty value not really a option. The plausibility of my own nuclear power station was discounted early on due to a number of technical issues but mainly because my wife said no! If we had a river near by that would work well I have seen it done and it can produce a decent amount of power, but short of using the water boards water (which I have considered) to power a water wheel that option is out too.

    I quite like the heat exchanger idea as these are quite efficient, but its interesting that we all have one in our freezers and the heat just goes to waste, maybe that could power a storage radiator likewise a tumble dryer?

    Although a bit tongue in cheek its a serious point, whatever your stance on AGW we all agree that resources need to be saved but there is actually very little on the market to help us do it and what there is, is far more expensive than the fossil fuel guzzling alternatives?

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
    I never heard of anyone using their obsolete tumble dryer to make roast spuds before. You lives and learns!

    I have a tip too - if you have a dog, use the plastic bags that bread comes in - there are no little holes to contaminate your fingers when you use them as poo bags, and they are long enough to pick up multiple poos if your dog is on a "session", like they sometimes want to go on.

    Lol, that'll teach me to add an after thought when I'm tired.

    Perhaps we could figure out a treadmill design for dogs linked to a dynamo system? Hitch them up to that for an hour or two, they'd be exercised and we'd get free power. Any takers?

    In all honesty, I think the only way to be truly energy efficient with a house is to have a new build, it's just not viable modifying an old one. Begs the question why planning/building regs don't make it mandatory; if the government is serious about their carbon targets, all new builds should take this into consideration.

    We have a very big garden with the potential for a building plot, we've tried to get this through planning but it's instantly vetoed - ditto anything similar. Planning insist the only thing we can build is a bungalow; they're the most energy inefficient buildings due to so many outside walls and they have the largest footprint, the sense in this is??

    http://www.lighthousebypotton.co.uk/

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    Posted
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
    Lol, that'll teach me to add an after thought when I'm tired.

    Perhaps we could figure out a treadmill design for dogs linked to a dynamo system? Hitch them up to that for an hour or two, they'd be exercised and we'd get free power. Any takers?

    In all honesty, I think the only way to be truly energy efficient with a house is to have a new build, it's just not viable modifying an old one. Begs the question why planning/building regs don't make it mandatory; if the government is serious about their carbon targets, all new builds should take this into consideration.

    We have a very big garden with the potential for a building plot, we've tried to get this through planning but it's instantly vetoed - ditto anything similar. Planning insist the only thing we can build is a bungalow; they're the most energy inefficient buildings due to so many outside walls and they have the largest footprint, the sense in this is??

    http://www.lighthousebypotton.co.uk/

    Bungalow on the outside, two stories inside. http://www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/Construc...nderground.html to start you off. You surely can build downwards - then you are majorly insulated by the soil - in fact if you surround your underground living area with a tank in which you store summer-solar-heated water, you have the benefit of a controlled heating even in the height of summer, filtering some of the direct heating effect of the sun through your solar water heat exchangers.

    Now about your dog-powered generator, although you will have to clean off all that goose-fat first, the tumble dryer is an excellent way to start. Electric motors are just generators in reverse, and I believe springer spaniels are always on the move, so you have all the elements in place. Just make sure the plug is taken off before you start the conversion process. http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Puppy_20mill#1171843599 for some ideas <_<

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    Posted
  • Location: Vale of Belvoir
  • Location: Vale of Belvoir

    Planning insist the only thing we can build is a bungalow; they're the most energy inefficient buildings due to so many outside walls and they have the largest footprint, the sense in this is??

    My semi-detached bungalow has exactly the same number of external walls as the nearby semi-detached houses and one less than the detached houses in the vicinity.

    I bet it is more thermally efficient than the houses because the walls enclose a larger living space on one level. The cavity wall insulation and 30cms of loft insulation help as well.

    Its footprint of about 60 square metres it is no larger than the majority of the detached houses I can see from my windows.

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    Posted
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire

    Local TV last night had a item about re-using sewage. The methane given off by the raw sewage was used to power some equipment which effectively cooked the sewage and turned it into pellets/granules. Trouble is, I can't remember what the pellets/granules were to be used for. :)

    Nevertheless, this is the way we should be going, IMVHO. In days of yore ( :) ), everything was re-used......why can't we do it now?

    It is imperative that alternative, clean and sustainable energy sources are found.

    So much money is flung at research into "climate change" (remember the US government's massive handouts in this regard?), how much of it will be used for research into alternative, clean and sustainable energy sources?

    ================================================================================

    =========================

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/motoring/articl...r-runs-air.html

    Timely or what? :)

    I just came across this.....a car that runs on compressed air. That's the sort of thing that should receive funding.

    ================================================================================

    ==========================

    I hate it when two individual successive posts end up as one. Each post and it's point then loses some of it's impact. Then I have to edit the post to try and separate them and it ends up looking like a right old pig's ear'ole.

    Whinge, whinge. Grumble, grumble.

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    Posted
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
  • Location: Worthing West Sussex
    Local TV last night had a item about re-using sewage. The methane given off by the raw sewage was used to power some equipment which effectively cooked the sewage and turned it into pellets/granules. Trouble is, I can't remember what the pellets/granules were to be used for. :D

    It is called biochar - charcoal from waste sludge, dried and charred using the gases given off in it's own production. It can be used as a soil additive, with apparently excellent results..

    Then again, so can composted sludge. The advantage (?) is that the biochar charcoal (i.e. carbon) remains permanently locked in the soil, unlike compost carbon which is slowly released.

    On the downside, it makes soil black, thus absorbing more light, heating the soil, releasing more longwave radiation, like tarmacing your fields and potentially adding to AGW, creating rural heat island effects.

    All that pure carbon in the soil is also a potential wildfire waiting to happen. On the other hand, it will make readily available fuel if we happen to enter an ice age.

    IMO another loony AGW instigated scheme with potential to cause more harm than good.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
    It is called biochar - charcoal from waste sludge, dried and charred using the gases given off in it's own production. It can be used as a soil additive, with apparently excellent results..

    Then again, so can composted sludge. The advantage (?) is that the biochar charcoal (i.e. carbon) remains permanently locked in the soil, unlike compost carbon which is slowly released.

    On the downside, it makes soil black, thus absorbing more light, heating the soil, releasing more longwave radiation, like tarmacing your fields and potentially adding to AGW, creating rural heat island effects.

    All that pure carbon in the soil is also a potential wildfire waiting to happen. On the other hand, it will make readily available fuel if we happen to enter an ice age.

    IMO another loony AGW instigated scheme with potential to cause more harm than good.

    Don't a lot of market garden farmers 'warm' their soils early by sheeting in black polythene and wouldn't using 'biochar' bring the same 'early start' without resorting to petrochemicals?? :aggressive:

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
    My semi-detached bungalow has exactly the same number of external walls as the nearby semi-detached houses and one less than the detached houses in the vicinity.

    I bet it is more thermally efficient than the houses because the walls enclose a larger living space on one level. The cavity wall insulation and 30cms of loft insulation help as well.

    Its footprint of about 60 square metres it is no larger than the majority of the detached houses I can see from my windows.

    Going by current building regs and "green build initiatives" bungalows are markedly less thermally efficient than two storey buildings. When it comes to footprint, it is impossible for a two bedroom house and a two bedroom bungalow with the same room size, to take up an equal amount of space. The two bedrooms and usual bathroom which sit above the downstairs, must be placed alongside the ground floor, thus creating a larger footprint - hence traditionally bungalows costing more per square foot than a house as they require a bigger building plot.

    Chris - not too sure I could deal with subterranean living, I like natural light too much. It would work ok if it were possible to excavate the surrounding area to enable a glass wall for the lower level, but here that's just not possible.

    Love the dog idea though, I've had a word with Chester, I think the woof, woof, grrrrr, woof could be translate as "not on your nelly" perhaps Hedley the new pup could be persuaded....

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    Posted
  • Location: Chevening Kent
  • Location: Chevening Kent

    I do get very frustrated with the Green lobby and even our government on this subject, I am more then willing to go out tomorrow and convert my car to something less polluting or reduce my families footprint but the reality is there is nothing out there. If I did find something I would not get any subsidy to buy it, in fact it would cost me more then the guy next door who cannot be bothered to do anything. I don't want to turn this into a political thread but the government beats me with green taxes then tells me there's nothing I can really do about.

    I really do feel between a rock and a hard place on this subject!!

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    • 2 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    Three-in-one sponge to clean the environment

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1717...nvironment.html

    Materials that can clean up the environment and improve efficiency of industrial processes are always in demand. So prospects are promising for a new material that can do this in three ways: it strips sulphur from fuel, removes mercury from polluted water, and separates gases in industrial processes.

    Sounds like a promising answer to reduce some of the garbage we throw into the air with today's energy production..

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