Ex holiday cottage as new family home.

How will oil depletion affect the way we live? What will the economic impact be? How will agriculture change? Will we thrive or merely survive?

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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Works continue.
The older son is now living on site to deter thieves.
Rewiring done. Lighting is all 24 volt, mainly LED. Refrigeration and some other appliances to be 24 volt.
2 lighting circuits, each 10 amps and wired in 2.5mm.
2 small power circuits, each 16 amps at 24 volts and wired in 4mm.
1 heavy power circuit in 10mm.

240 volt wiring consists of just two ring circuits, one for the kitchen and utility area, and one for the remainder.

The 24 volt lighting is currently energised at 12 volts from an old battery that was to hand. The LED bulbs are multi voltage, and the fluorescent lights are disconnected until 24 volts is available.

A new pump raises water from the underground cistern into the smaller cistern in the loft.
Cold water supply functioning throughout, but no hot water as yet, apart from a pumped electric shower.

PV modules delivered, over 5KW worth ! suspiciously cheap, hope that they are OK. not yet installed.

Heating and hot water still under discussion.
A wind turbine is tempting in this exposed location.
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Post by Potemkin Villager »

adam2 wrote:Works continue.

A wind turbine is tempting in this exposed location.
Small wind turbines can have a short stressed life in exposed locations especially if erected too close to buildings and other turbulence generating objects.
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

vtsnowedin wrote:Rocky ground is no obstacle to modern well drillers. My daughter's well was drilled 500 feet into solid rock in a single day for about $9,000 USD. It only yielded 1 gallon a minute but with the pump down 100 feet below the static water line it has served well without being hydo-fracked. The younger daughter just filled a fifteen foot pool from it over several days with no problem. (4640 gallons). Septic systems in the USA are usually designed for 100 gallons per day per bedroom or 75 gallons per person. One gallon per minute is more then enough for almost any house.
A good starting point would be to conduct a Geological Survey - typical cost £400.
Drilling a basic 60 metre borehole and installation of the pump, control system and connecting pipe work typically costs between £6,500-£9,000.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Mark wrote:....
A good starting point would be to conduct a Geological Survey - typical cost £400.
...
Is that what a dowser costs nowadays!!
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

They hope to avoid the cost of a drilled well. There are many other calls on the limited money available.
The spring is now yielding a small trickle, not much good in itself but a hopeful sign.
A large above ground water tank has been connected to the drain from one side of the house roof.

Heating and cooking arrangements are now more or less finalised.
A multifuel stove with back boiler to heat domestic hot water and provide limited upstairs heating by gravity circulation.
Existing LPG cooker to be retained.

Solar thermal to heat domestic hot water when stove not lit.
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

adam2 wrote:They hope to avoid the cost of a drilled well. There are many other calls on the limited money available.
The spring is now yielding a small trickle, not much good in itself but a hopeful sign.
We've dug a borehole at work (much bigger), so I have some experience.
A full Geological Survey defo gives a bit more detail than a dowser :)
I'd also advise some chemical analysis of the water, especially if the plan is to drink it....
Our water quality was pretty good - we're only using it for industrial purposes, but we still filter out the Iron and Manganese...

Last time I checked, our local water company was charging approx. £1.70 per m3...
Water from the borehole costs a few pence per m3, through our EA Abstraction Licence...

It's a 'no brainer' for any company using reasonable quantities of water - the drilling costs are soon paid back...
Appreciate the economics domestically could be very different though....
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Post by emordnilap »

Mark wrote:I'd also advise some chemical analysis of the water if the plan is to drink it...
Maybe. If it doesn't smell bad and it tastes ok, go with it.

Ours would not pass tests but after drinking it (and I drink a lot of it) for 20 years. I'm still pretty fit and healthy and like the taste of it.
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Post by clv101 »

Few thoughts:
adam2 wrote:Rewiring done. Lighting is all 24 volt, mainly LED. Refrigeration and some other appliances to be 24 volt.
2 lighting circuits, each 10 amps and wired in 2.5mm.
The voltage drop will likely be too high running running 10a through 2.5m cable. Just 9m of that cable will drop 5%. With multiple rooms, two way switching, that's way too much and won't be compatible with building regs (we use 8 circuits rather than 2).

Why use 24V? I think it's better to use 48V these day, there's good availability for 48V LED now and it makes the wiring much easier.
adam2 wrote:PV modules delivered, over 5KW worth ! suspiciously cheap, hope that they are OK. not yet installed.
What charge controllers are the using? What's the battery store?
adam2 wrote:Heating and cooking arrangements are now more or less finalised. A multifuel stove with back boiler to heat domestic hot water and provide limited upstairs heating by gravity circulation.
Existing LPG cooker to be retained.
What about an induction hob? ...and electric oven? For the last month we've been cooking exclusively on induction hob and electric oven (including baking bread every other day). 5kW of PV is easily able to run a normal kitchen's hob, oven, kettle etc. At least in summer, and given the infrastructure (hob, oven, kettle) is so cheap, it's foolish not to use the PV.
adam2 wrote:Solar thermal to heat domestic hot water when stove not lit.
No need, at all. With 5kW of off-grid PV there is no point in the expensive/complex/maintenance associated with solar thermal. With £100 of components (DC emersion heater heater, relay...) you can dump all excess electricity into hot water. At the times when the solar thermal would be providing good output, you WILL have excess solar PV. When you don't have excess PV, the solar thermal won't be doing much.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

24 Volts is favoured for lighting and small appliances on the grounds of simplicity, greater availability of lamps and small appliances , and slightly safer.
For 24 volts I would use standard domestic light switches, but probably not for 48 volts.

Although the lighting circuits are fused at 10 amps, the load is unlikely to exceed 6 amps. Most lamps are 6 watt LED, no more than about 20 such lamps per circuit.

2 Way lighting circuits do indeed involve considerable cable lengths, but remember that the load on these long cables is less than one amp.

A bit more than 5% voltage drop would not worry me in this sort of situation.
24 volt high efficiency refrigeration is readily available, 48 volts less so.
24 volt electric kettles also.

The battery will be a lead acid traction battery as used in fork lift trucks, these are relatively cheap and durable.
They have higher losses/self discharge than some other types and therefore used not to be favoured for off grid use. The present much reduced price of PV modules has tipped the balance back towards this type of battery.
Capacity yet to be decided, but generous.

An electric induction hob is already on the shopping list.

Electric water heating is well worth considering.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

PV now installed on shed roof.
Battery now installed, fork lift truck type, 2 strings of cells each over 1,000AH at 24 volts.
House lighting and small power circuits now available.
Inverter connected and working, 5.5Kw.

Inverter reliability unknown as it is used, it was very cheap.

Stove installation and plumbing to commence shortly.
Existing LPG installation condemned.
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

emordnilap wrote:
Mark wrote:Maybe. If it doesn't smell bad and it tastes ok, go with it.
Ours would not pass tests but after drinking it (and I drink a lot of it) for 20 years. I'm still pretty fit and healthy and like the taste of it.
Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality:
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/hand ... sequence=1


Depends where you live I guess..... I'm sure that you know that landfills, septic tanks, agricultural runoff, mine tailings, surface spills, acid rain etc. etc. all infiltrate into the ground and penetrate groundwater aquifers. If the aquifers are porous, the harmful substances can travel long distances polluting groundwater along the way....

The quality of groundwater can affect a person’s short- and long-term health. High magnesium concentrations may result in an upset stomach for a few days. High levels of nitrates will reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood and could cause methemoglobinemia which is harmful to pregnant women, babies and the elderly. Groundwater shouldn't be used to prepare baby formula if it hasn't been sampled....
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

At present drinking water is fetched in small plastic barrels from the present home.
In the longer term, water from the cistern will be used for drinking after treatment.
The options being considered are ultra violet light, or micro-filtration via ceramic filters, either is effective in removing microorganisms.
The water will be analysed first, my main concern is lead in the spring water, or various airborne pollutants in rain water.
Lead in groundwater effectively prohibits regular consumption, there is no simple way to remove it.
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Post by Mark »

adam2 wrote:At present drinking water is fetched in small plastic barrels from the present home.
In the longer term, water from the cistern will be used for drinking after treatment.
The options being considered are ultra violet light, or micro-filtration via ceramic filters, either is effective in removing microorganisms.
The water will be analysed first, my main concern is lead in the spring water, or various airborne pollutants in rain water.
Lead in groundwater effectively prohibits regular consumption, there is no simple way to remove it.
Carrying water in barrels will soon get tiresome....
The treatment proposed should be OK for any sheep pee added to the spring water...., lead and other heavy metals should only be present if there's been mining nearby ?
Most lead issues in water are/were caused by the pipes themselves ?
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Carrying water is only short term, it is from the present house that will soon be given up. Only drinking water is carried, all other needs are from the cistern.
Lead mining was a major industry in ancient times, hence my concerns.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Water from the cistern has now been analysed with following results.

Total dissolved solids---------high
Agrochemicals----------------very low
Petrochemicals----------------very low
Lead----------------------------low
Other heavy metals-----------low
Bacteriological count----------medium
PH------------------------------alkaline

Summary, fit for general domestic use but not recommended for drinking.
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