This is actually a pretty old concept. It's immensely logical to be efficient in how one uses energy. Why use Energy source A) to heat your house and Energy Source B) to put electricity into your house, if you can use Energy Source C) to do both (Combined heating and power, or "cogeneration")?
The obvious sense of Co-generation makes it all the more depressing that it's been so unusual to implement in widepsread practice. A famous exception is Sweden, where waste heat as a byproduct from electiricty production is widely used to heat local homes (it is piped from small local energy generation plants straight into people's homes).
In the UK, interest in combined heating and power has mostly centred on single-property situations -- what can I get installed in my building that will generate both heat and electricity? Even British Gas is in on this emerging trend and new technology, with their Ecogen boiler.
There are several machines on the market, intended for domestic installation, which will use various fuels to produce electricity with conveniently accessible heat as a useful waste byproduct. These devices vary considerably in price, power output, fuel source and technological sophistication. Some heat water as well as providing general heating and electricity to the house.
You need access to a consistent supply of fuel (typically conventional fossil fuels). So as well as a simple electricity line into your house plus those separate back up systems for heating rooms and water, you'd also have to find storage space for the CHP system, which may requrie a separate distribution system (pipes) for spreading heat around the property.
It's highly debateable about whether domestic CHP systems are going to be cost-effective as they claim, given the high investment costs and the loss of scale when buying raw materials in (you might pay per energy unit because you are buying in smaller quantitites than the big energy producers can). Using solar or wind energy as part of a CHP set up seems unlikely to be able to meet enough of a single household's needs (not enough sun or wind).
Nevertheless, most CHP systems are eligible for the Government's Feed-In tariff scheme, which means that some of the excess electricity generation can be sold back to the National Grid to create a small subsidy to your initial investment.
As things like CHP boilers are fairly new, we don't have a good sense of how reliable the technology is -- whether the devices are likely to be well-made and requiring only low maintenance costs over the years. There are unknown risks when adopting new technology.
My Broadband (more)
We had a bizarre situation recently where our internet access went highly unstable. It was very patchy, with some website access being fine and other access being impossible. Interestingly, video streaming would work - but only after many ... (more)
Performance Programme Lockdowns notwithstanding, my plan and diary for cycling in 2021 will continue to focus on long-distance rides throughout the year, hopefully spiced up with audax, time trialling and sportive events. 2021 targets ... (more)
This is a feed of everything I'm interested in, filtered and categorised according to my choices. Channels: Twitter (multiple accounts) Facebook groups Facebook pages Google+ LinkedIn Flickr Youtube Website RSS Webpage updates ... (more)
John Swindells I am a career professional in software development, becoming proficient in various systems and languages since 1992. In recent years I have been especially active in web and mobile app projects. I stepped down in April ... (more)
The Crivit® product range If you're looking for outdoors clothing or accessories, you could do worse than to browse the Crivit® range. Crivit® is a brand of German supermarket Lidl's, so it's most convenient for UK customers to head down ... (more)
The 100-mile TT champs is organised by CC Breckland's Mark Fairhead. It is four laps on the A11 between the Browick and Snetterton junctions, starting at the Spooner Row junction and finishing just north of Attleborough. More info on the ... (more)
This is an afternoon event organised by Adam Cross of CC Breckland. The B50/20 course starts in Attleborough (just south of the A11) and does two laps of the A11 between the Snetterton and Browick junctions, before finishing just north of ... (more)
The Cycliq FLY6 is a solid piece of kit that straps onto your seat tube, and is designed as a "turn on and leave it" device that continuously records video footage of the view behind. The footage is wide-angle to capture lots of the periphery ... (more)
The national championship returns again to the eastern region, with CC Breckland running the event. It also includes the East District championship. Unlike in previous years, the HQ will be somewhere near Attleborough and most of the miles ... (more)
Here's what the current mood is on Strava! It's based on the titles of activities uploaded to swinny.net, and highlights trending phrases over the last few days. Here are some previous keyword clouds of note: March 2020: Lockdown ... (more)
Only a dozen or so riders made it out for the 200km edition of the Silly Suffolk that was organised by John Thompson of VC Baracchi. Iceni Velo managed a group of three, and we set off just before 7:30 on back roads that were very wet from ... (more)
Background Over the years I've ridden quite a few long rides, but it wasn't until my early 40's that I gradually started increasing my time in the saddle from a few hours to six or more. I distinctly recall my first 200km ride as a bit of ... (more)
My previous on-bike device is a Garmin Edge 820, so that is what I'll be comparing my new computer to. First impressions On the surface, the Edge 1030 isn't fundamentally different to the 820. Sure, it's bigger (a lot bigger, really ... (more)