JSHarris

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JSHarris last won the day on July 19

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About JSHarris

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  • About Me
    Retired scientist, made the decision to build our own home a few years before retirement, then had the good fortune to be able to retire early and start the self-build journey. Started our build in late 2013, took far longer than anticipated to finish, but have now moved in and we are enjoying having a house with no bills at all (except for the blasted Council Tax...). The house pays us a modest income from the excess energy we generate, over and above the energy we use for heating, cooling, cooking, hot water etc, so we now have a healthy retirement holiday fund.
  • Location
    Wiltshire/Dorset Border

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  1. I agree with @Ferdinand, this is an application that is only intended to prove the principle of allowing this land to be used for dwellings. There's no way dwellings would get BR approval without ventilation and means of escape from fire, but once the land has approval for residential use (which it now does) the owner is free to submit an application for a more sensible/profitable development.
  2. Dorset seems fine. We're a mile or so East of the Dorset county boundary, yet I've used the Shaftesbury centre loads of times with no problems. Pity Wiltshire are such a PITA, something that's obvious from all the fly tipping in every rural lay-by.
  3. I'm banned from all the recycling centres in Wiltshire. The ban happened not because I was misusing their services, but because some commercially-motivated moron decided that my Prius was a "commercial vehicle", and as such I was breaking the rules by using the facilities without a permit. The reason this happened? I was clearing stuff out from our old house and made the mistake of making three trips to the recycling centre in one week. They have ANPR, and apparently my third visit triggered a lifetime ban, as I was flagged as a commercial user who was trying to fiddle the system. The really annoying thing is that, because they use ANPR, and because I have a personal plate, the ban is permanent. I can never, ever, use a Wiltshire recycling centre again. I can get around the ban for now, as the Shaftesbury recycling centre (in neighbouring Dorset) is just as close as the Salisbury one, and for now Dorset aren't checking that people using the centre live in (and hence pay Council Tax) the county (Wiltshire are implementing ID checks soon, I believe).
  4. It should work well to kill off moss and lichen on concrete, but there may be a slight blue stain initially. The stain should fade away after a week or two though.
  5. Both our bathrooms are on the North side of the house, and we had a planning constraint that meant we weren't permitted to put roof windows in (concerns over light pollution, our area is trying to gain "Dark Skies" accreditation). One of the bathrooms has an internal window that looks into the hallway, make from glass bricks. This works well at giving some light into the bathroom and also keeps sound out well. The other bathroom just relies on artificial light. Both are fine, and by not having external windows they no different to the bathrooms in a lot of hotels.
  6. Another variable to add in to the mix is if your house has a need for active cooling. For the past few weeks some of our PV generation has been powering both the MVHR cooling heat pump and the ASHP in cooling mode. These two combined would cost around £0.18 to £0.20 per hour to run if we didn't have PV.
  7. +1 for getting a condenser dryer, but if you really want an externall vented unit then there are different rectangular duct sizes around. At our last house I ducted the tumble dryer with that 110mm x 54mm rectangular ducting. Seemed to work fine. Our tumble dryer seemed to have a pretty powerful fan on the outlet, so the slightly smaller size of the rectangular duct didn't seem to cause any problems. You can get wider slim rectangular duct if you want to try it. I've seen 150mm x 70mm and 204mm x 60mm, but there are probably other sizes around too.
  8. We generate around 6 MWh/year from an array that, if installed new today, would have a net cost of around £5k to £6k (allowing for the saving in roofing cost from having roof-integrated panels). With no FiT, just export payments, and assuming these would be metered and paid at about 5p/kWh, then we would generate a direct income of around £120/year from exported energy. The remainder would be self-consumption, used to charge the car, provide hot water, run the house during the day, etc, during the useful generation months. We often have "zero import" days during the summer, with the whole house running for 12 hours or more from self-generated power, all of which offsets electricity use at peak rate. Without PV we would shift some loads, like charging the car, running the washing machine, etc to the off-peak rate. The value of our self-generated energy is around £540/year, but if we were to load shift some stuff to E7, because we didn't have PV, then that would shift to maybe £450/year. Total saving for us from having PV (ignoring FiT) is therefore around £660/year, but if we didn't have it and shifted some stuff to E7 that would reduce to about £570/year. It still looks as if a PV system could have a payback time of around 10 years or so, which seems to stack up reasonably well, given that the panels should last 20 to 30 years. The investment in a battery system is far less clear cut. At best it might break even in terms of whole life cost, but most probably there would be no saving at all. Still worth doing if you place a value on having standby power in the event of a power cut, though, assuming the battery system supports this (not all do).
  9. You're right, the dryer doesn't work as well as a vented one, but we couldn't fit a vented one, so had to compromise. In practice we rarely ever use the dryer to really dry stuff, as we have one of those hoist-up clothes dryers in the utility room, with an MVHR extract above it. If we have to hang clothes up indoors they dry pretty quickly on that, so all the dryer in the machine gets used for is tumbling towels when they are nearly dry, just to make them fluffy.
  10. We're about a year away from the system having repaid its investment. It's generated around 33 MWh so far.
  11. That;s all self-generated, except for about 0.35 kWh of import. I can live with paying about 5p for the day, given that I charged the car, did the washing and topped up our hot water for that. It also includes cooking two meals and few cups of tea. Bit of a cheap day.
  12. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Copper-Sulphate-Pentahydrate-100g-2-kg-Highest-Purity-FREE-Shipping/121201879010?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D2743c344f72e4d7f8a5e0d0215d0e711%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D15%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D132871662790%26itm%3D121201879010%26pg%3D2481888&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3A23641b43-ab2a-11e9-a68e-74dbd1807028|parentrq%3A10fffef016c0ad31c39e3de0ff51a202|iid%3A1
  13. We have an LG Direct Drive hybrid condensing washer dryer with a simple rotary dial and a 30 min wash that seems fine (but we have a water softener). Has a 10 year warranty on the motor and drive system, too. Only slight snag is that it plays silly tunes that you can't turn off.
  14. Yes, that's the stuff, but this is better value (get 2kg for £15): https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Copper-Sulphate-Pentahydrate-100g-2-kg-Highest-Purity-FREE-Shipping/121201879010?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D2743c344f72e4d7f8a5e0d0215d0e711%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D15%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D132871662790%26itm%3D121201879010%26pg%3D2481888&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3A23641b43-ab2a-11e9-a68e-74dbd1807028|parentrq%3A10fffef016c0ad31c39e3de0ff51a202|iid%3A1. It dissolves at a ratio of about 20g/100ml of water at 20 deg C, so roughly 1kg - 25 litres of saturated solution. Takes around a week to two weeks to work when killing live moss. Also works to kill moss on lawns without killing the grass (but may need dilution - test a small area first).
  15. Nice sunny day today. Hot water was recharged for free by 9 am. Washing machine ran for free after that this morning, then, when I came back from the supermarket run we were still exporting over 4 Kw, so I decided to charge the car. It finished charging about half an hour ago, with around 100 miles range gained for next to sod all (best I can estimate is that ~100 miles cost me around 5p). I read the meter this afternoon, and since January 15th we've used about 1,800 kWh, including charging my car.