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Electricity usage

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default Electricity usage

Post by Chilli-head on 18th December 2014, 10:29 am

Some good news at last, according to this BBC news story, electricity use in the UK is falling.  It seems to be down to technology and legislation rather than individual restraint though.  Let's hope it can be sustained.

They mention LED lighting - I have to say, once I overcame teething problems of lamps not physically fitting etc, I am impressed.  On immediately, don't make you look unwell, promise to last a long time. It is a shame they could not have been invented a bit sooner, so we could have skipped the whole misadventure with the rather awful CFLs.
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Post by freebird on 18th December 2014, 1:27 pm

Gas usage down too - perhaps those energy-efficiency figures of condensing boilers aren't as implausible as you think CH.
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Post by Ploshkin on 19th December 2014, 9:49 am

I'm interested in your positive view of LED bulbs CH. Having got back into the sewing lark it's rather obvious that my eyesight is not what it used to be and I have been trying to find a suitable bulb for the overhead room light. I'll have a go at an LED. Luckily I can still thread a needle without needing to be able to focus on the eye.
Our electricity consumption reduced by at least a third when we installed the log burning boiler and the house is constantly warm now.
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Post by Chilli-head on 19th December 2014, 10:43 am

I'm sure that modern condensing boilers are quite a bit more efficient than the sort I have (a Baxi, circa 14 yars old).  I imagine that sometimes they actually do some condensing, though the plumes of vapour visible on a cold morning sugggest not always. I'll wager that the claimed high 90's % efficiency is achieved as often as my car achieves its nominal 57mpg though !

LED lamps - I have got a couple of these by my computer desk at home.  They are way brighter than the 7W CFL's they replaced, and a much nicer light. Quite white, not the warmth of old style incandescent, but not the sickly greenish hue of CFL.  I'm sure they would be a good option for all kinds of crafting.
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Post by freebird on 19th December 2014, 12:33 pm

Back to boilers again.

The products of combustion from burning natural gas, regardless of the type of boiler, are mainly CO2 and H2O (carbon dioxide and water). The water comes out the flue as either water vapour (visible) or steam (invisible). It comes out of your boiler flue as steam, because the flue gases are so hot, and disperses before you can see it. In a condensing boiler, the flue gases are held within the boiler for much longer, allowing them to cool and reach dewpoint. By the time they are expelled from the flue, they will be approximately 100*C cooler than those that come from your flue. All of that heat goes into the heating system, instead of wasted to the atmosphere. Condensing boilers flue gases will always be visible due to the temperature at which they are expelled. CO2 and H2O are the main products of combustion, and exit the flue together. Seeing a plume doesn't mean the boiler isn't condensing.

Providing a boiler is properly set up to manufacturer's instructions, it will be condensing for most of the time it is in use.

Use of flue gas analysers is mandatory now. If I serviced your boiler, I would expect to see an efficiency rating on my analyser of 82%-85%. I believe this is a calculation using flue temperature, and CO2 readings (possibly others, would need to check). On a properly set-up condensing boiler I would expect to see efficiency rating of no less than 97%.

The efficiency figures refer to how much heat has been extracted from the gas burned.

Phew. That was a marathon. Hope it's clear though.
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Post by Chilli-head on 19th December 2014, 2:13 pm

Thanks of that FB. I was expecting that more of the condensate would come out in liquid from, I think. Your figures are the ones I've heard mentioned before. By my reckoning that's about an 18% saving in gas, so probably not a bad payback period. I think the defining moment will be either when the boiler dies because of disintegrating plastc parts, or when Mrs C-H finally gets her way and we knock down and replace the kitchen, the impossible to heat conservatory, and the ramshackle lean-to what serves as my workshop. The deal is that I can have a new workshop if it is attached to a new kitchen !

Sorry to make you spend your own time talking boilers, BTW ...
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Post by freebird on 19th December 2014, 2:26 pm

Chilli-head wrote: I was expecting that more of the condensate would come out in liquid from, I think....... I think the defining moment will be either when the boiler dies because of disintegrating plastc parts, or when Mrs C-H finally gets her way....

Condensing boilers produce about 1 litre of condensate per hour - believe me, there's plenty of it when I'm having to deal with a blocked condense trap!

I usually tell my customers who have older boilers to wait until they have a major breakdown before replacing their boiler (ie fan, gas valve or PCB), but to do their homework in the meantime about what will be most suitable for their needs. That way they're not caught out and talked into having something inappropriate by someone looking to make a fast buck.
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