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TerryE last won the day on March 24 2017

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About TerryE

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    Northamptonshire, UK

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  1. Ah, the penny drops, and my confusion is explained. The two photos in your original post are 1st floor profiles rather than ground floor. Is this correct? I must admit I find it difficult to see what the advantages are for such a solid construction for internal floors within a single dwelling (though there are clear advantages for acoustic and fire separation in multi-occupancy dwellings). We have a eco joist system for our upper floors and this really simplified the distribution of services, such as foul water and MVHR. For example, it was pretty trivial to adopt a wet-room profile for all of our en-suites because we could trivially route our shower tray wastes within the floor void. You must have quite a few layout challenges. 🙂
  2. IMO, certification is an irrelevance. The core issue is thermal performance. You need the correct mix of profiles to get your U-values and your thermal capacities right. In your design the U-values are a bit high, I feel, and you don't have enough thermal capacity within the warm environment. Block systems like this are common across the Mediterranean. They have a lot of advantages, but they are nowhere near passive class. You would still need 200mm PUR in the walls to get this. Ditto under the block floor. Look at the data sheets. My floor profile has 300 mm EPS underneath the slab floor, and the slab floor beams have roughly 17 tonnes of concrete inside the warm environment. The cellulosic filled twin-wall frame with outer stone skin only has a 0.12 U-value; the skin makes no material difference here, but it does dramatical improve the overall wall decrement delays. All of this makes the room environment extremely stable. I only have about ±½°C daily ripple on a flat internal temperature set point yet only being heated overnight. This wouldn't be the case with a lower decrement delay profile and thermal capacity: you would need to heat throughout the day in colder periods. There's nothing wrong in principle with a continuous control, except that using electric resistive heating on a flat or peak tariffs can get quite pricey. You would really need a high CoP rather than 1.0 such as a decent ASHP. You need to start with a simple thermal budget calculator such as JSHs and plug in the numbers to make them balance before making finalising you profile and material selections. PS. On rereading this whole thread, I realise that this last advice comes too late. Maybe you can tweak the outer in insulation skin. You certainly need to think about correctly sizing your heating. / cooling system because whist the house is better than min 2016 BReg standards, it isn't going to be passive-class. The floor performance is a weakness, and you will probably need some upper floor heating for winter months, even if a few small 1KW oil filled heaters on timers.
  3. My son-in-law uses the Google timeline API to track his and my daughter's mobiles, plus polling the router to see if they are Wifi connected. He uses this for two reasons: (i) to detect if the valid occupants are at home. (He gets an alert if the movement detectors in house fires and one of them isn't at home), and (ii) to crank up the CH if either comes within a 10m radius of the house.
  4. That's why we decided to forgo the VAT reclaim and put the ASHP in as a post move-in install. We're still running on a 1×3kW Willis which rarely goes on outside the E7 window, so I am very relaxed about my ASHP sizing since I can base this on a couple of year's actuals.
  5. Dave, if you want to stick with Arduino, then the simplest method is to get yourself a Zigbee shield. There are a few marketed and YouTube videos on how to build ZigBee controlling projects. This way you can use standard Zigbee-controlled plugs. Less learning curve for you than using ESPs.
  6. Our house loses about ½-1°C per day with the heating off in Winter. I know because this happened once due an issue in my distribution board and it was over a day before I noticed. But seriously if I was in your situation then I would have a critical circuit which ran the MVHR, heating control and UFH pump, with a Honda generator and a rocket stove in an outhouse, and (as we have in our current house) a couple of propane rings off an external bottle as well as a 4 ring induction hob. A fallback mode should be just that: a fallback. A rocket stove typically burns at around 1100°C or so internally and so fully combusts the gas stream. You can run it for an hour a day if the electricity is out and it will keep your slab nice and comfortable. A genny is a good option to keep your essentials running, and you'll only need to swap the gas bottle every few years.
  7. Yup both boards seem to peak at around 65°C after about 16 mins on (measured directly above the closed relay) and stay around this temperature whilst the relay is closed. So yes, it is the power relay being closed (now that the damaged board has been swapped out). Here is the data sheet for the Schrack (RZ03-1A4-D012) relays; it uses 0.4W when closed. That's about 200W/m² over a package of that size if free-standing, but it is hard against another relay so the actual output is higher over the radiating surface. It's not surprising that the relay gets up to gets up to 65°C. Note that this is still within the specification of 85°C.
  8. I think that I'll stick with being able to wander around the house with bare feet and in a T shirt, plus really low energy bills. 😋
  9. PassivHaus is a proprietary assessment scale / methodology of a general energy saving goal, IMO. It's the goal that's important not the bit of paper. neither Jeremy nor I have gone for the certification. This was zero value in my view. I don't think that creating such any energy-efficient house ended up costing that much more of anything, but it did impact the construction design and required a lot of attention to detail during is execution.
  10. Yup there are various threads on this. Put all of your IoT devices on a private SSID and LAN connect your HA RPi and also set it up as the AP / Hotspot for your control LAN. Set up its routing tables so that the IoT devices aren't routed to the home LAN. This will work fine if you are running MQTT etc. on your IoT devices.
  11. Ditto to everything that Jeremy says. Would you dream of lighting a log burner in August? I keep my house at 22-23°C year round. It costs so little, so why not? When I am walking around in T shirt and bare feet, the idea of lighting a stove is the last thing on my mind.
  12. You are right in that the thermometer can is actually lying on top of the relays, so this might be relay heat. I'll have to look out the data sheet for its contact closed power loss for the coil. I'd love to have a play with a thermal camera, but I suspect that time is running out before we are off to Alonissos again. In the meantime I have a good thermal sensor for this sort of temperature range on the end of a finger.
  13. This is a difficult one and I have some sympathy for the company. We seem to expect to change our smart phones every few years; a PC maybe 3-4 years; 10 years for an ASHP perhaps; cars have a typical life of 10-15 years, though the average length of ownership is just over 4. So what is the reasonable life expectancy for a piece of kit like a SunAmp? My instinct is something like 10 years. I'd certainly approach the design differently if it were my product, with a greater emphasis on as-installed maintainability. The issue is that this unit is plumbed in to your DHW and at ~85kg per unit, these aren't trivial to lug around even it it is just to get access for maintenance. Jeremy made the comment that his UniQ is under the eaves on the first floor. My PVs are on the ground-floor but on a platform shelf over the rest of my UFH and DCW installation, and this means that I also need lifting equipment to drop one to floor level. In retrospect I think that this was a bad design decision. The best place for heavy bits of kit is on the floor at ground level. This makes maintenance and swap-out so much easier. Anyway my replacement board got delivered yesterday and I replaced it today. It has the 240V "neutral" bypass fix as discussed. This is a Rev 13 board whereas my current boards are both Rev 10, and there are both component and layout differences between the two boards. They've also made some other changes such as to replace the L / PV-L / N / E input pluggable M/F terminal block pair with a single screwdown terminal block. The PITA is that this block seems to use a screw-down blade attachment -- the sort typically used for bare cable and not ferruled multi-core. Certainly the female hole size was not big enough to take the ferrules that I already had on the cables (and these were the smallest that would take the full multi-core cable) so off came the ferrules again. Still everything is working though looking at my thermometer logs from the DS18B20 next to the 240V phase trace, the board temperature here still peaked at 47.3°C -- better than the 50.2°C on my fixed old board, but still warmer than I would like. And I still have the issue of what to do with my other PV with the rev 10 control board fitted.
  14. The potential issue that you need to be aware of is that the LA planning office have the delegated discretion to determine whether the amendment is material or not. You have no right of appeal in this. In simple small amendments to the rear of the property will be regarded as non material if they don't extend the line of the property or materially change the overlooking on neighbours etc. You can't just assume that the LPA will accept that the addition of a balcony will be classified as a non-material change. A change to the appearance to a balcony, probably yes. If your property or adjacent neighbours already have balconies and so this is a case of just one more, then probably yes. If you aren't overlooking neighbours, then yes (so long as you explain this in the change). You just need to be a little careful, because if the LPA thinks that the neighbours to the rear might object, then they could just turn this down and tell you to submit a minor material amendment. If some neighbours get on your case, then you might lose the MMA as well and be forced to remove the balcony. I say this because I've been there. Planning enforcement noticed that the style of our front door had changed. I explained why we had to do this and the enforcement officer said "don't worry, you just need to submit an NMA to regularise the change". We did as requested explaining why and that the door isn't visible from the road and only partially from an upstairs bedroom window of a neighbour opposite who didn't have any issue with the change. The first response we got back from the LPA was the refusal. "It doesn't matter that it can't be seen from the road; it's the principle elevation and callers to the house will see that the door is different."
  15. We have a warm loft with the loft space forming the 2nd floor, so our design parameters are different. But the corrollary to this is that it is worth considering whether you might ever want to convert your loft area into living space later. If you might then it's a lot cheaper and easier to design your loft floor, roof, etc. with this in mind, and construct it to this specification even if you don't fit it out during build.