During the planning of our building project we decided we would like to try and so something
about being eco friendly when it came to our energy requirements.
We are dependant on electricity, we do not use oil or gas. This is what we finished up doing:
Good Insulation is the first thing. Our Aerated Blocks (Ytong) with no cavity
as the walls for the Extension have proved to be excellent. Our windows and Velux are
also high spec on insulation. We have used Sheeps Wool throughout the lofts, a good choice.
Solar Panels We have 3 sqm of vacume tube solar panels which seems to be more
than enough for our needs, even with a full house (6 people). We have add a home made
controller (using an Arduino) to ensure that the immersion heater only comes when the
hot water tank is not been heated up sufficiently. We find that for the warmest 6 months
of the year the Immersion is hardly ever on.
Air to Water Heat Pump We have a 12kW Air to Water Heat Pump which heats up a
big Buffer Tank to supply the underfloor heating throught the house using night rate electricity
as a reasonably economical way to heat the place. Again we have the Arduino controller making
sure that the Heat Pump is not on if the house is warm enough.
Reed Bed We have a Grey Water system for all showers and wash basins, and a
Septic Tank for the other stuff. The liquids from these systems are pumped to a gravel Reed Bed
with various plants including Cumphrey, to treat the waste which then flows naturally down
the hill into the stream.
Wind Turbine We now have a Wind Turbine, which Francis built, to push heat via an Immersion Heater into the
Buffer Tank which supplies the underfloor heating.
So far so good. We are very pleased with this system.