First attempt to figure out how much power I'm using

I've had my AlertMe smart meter for a few days now. Here's a quick attempt to annotate my power consumption

Jack's annotated electricity consumption

Our Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery unit has arrived

 I'm in the middle of renovating our living room:


We're insulating the external walls and floor and making it as airtight as possible.  Airtight construction is good for minimising heat losses but not so good for breathing.  So we bought a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery unit which pulls warm, stale air out of the room and sucks in fresh air.  It transfers 85% of the heat from the warm exhaust air to the incoming fresh air.  So you get fresh air without wasting too much heat.

If you're interested, I've written up my MVHR research on EnviroWiki:

The unit has just arrived.  I'll install it over the next few days.

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Peckham Power Meter testing

Peckham Power are currently developing a Power Meter project.  Anna and Hugo have been testing the kit and now it's my turn.  We're testing the AlertMe meter.  There are two main components: a small device which clamps (non-invasively) to the cable coming into the house and a base station which wirelessly communicates with the clamp and connects to the broadband modem.  The data is sent to AlertMe and then to Google Power Meter which allows you to analyse your consumption and figure out where you can save energy and money.

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Wormery arrived

A friend bought us a wormery as our wedding present and it's just arrived.  Owning a wormery wont reduce the amount of food waste we send to landfill because we already send most of our food waste to our compost heap or dog.  But owning a wormery will hopefully mean that we can reduce (perhaps to zero) the amount of plant food and potting compost we buy (which isn't much).  Plus, who doesn't love worms?

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Eventually I'll build a shelf above the compost bin to store the wormery.

Took train to Whitstable

 We took the train to Whitstable for a gorgeous day away from work.

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If we'd have driven in our Ford Focus 1.8 (which really isn't very efficient... not my choice of car) then we would have emitted 36kg CO

The stats:

  • Car:
    • 60 miles each way; 120 miles total
    • The car averages about 35mpg (measured; total occupancy = 2 humans, 1 dog)
    • Total fuel consumed = 3.4 gallons = 15.5 litres
    • Cost of fuel (at £1.20 per litre) = £18.60
    • Total CO2 emissions from vehicle exhaust = 36kg (ref)
    • Journey time per direction = about 1hr 10mins
    • Pros:
      • Convenient (especially when taking any luggage like dog food, towels etc)
      • Faster than train
      • Cheaper (if you only consider fuel cost and ignore cost of vehicle, tax, repairs, insurance)
    • Cons:
      • Higher CO2 emissions
      • Driver can't read / look out the window
      • Driving can't be described as relaxing
      • Dog gets car sick!
  • Train:
    • Cost of 2 return tickets from Peckham to Whitstable (bought on the day) = £42
    • Total emissions = 5-22kg CO2 (ref 1, ref 2) (depends on loads of variables including train occupancy, energy source, speed of train etc).
    • Travel time (per direction) = about 2 hours
    • Pros:
      • about a third of the CO2 emissions
      • relaxing (as long as you travel off peak) - you can read / chat / eat / look out the window
      • our dog likes trains ;)
    • Cons:
      • More expensive (if you book on the day)
      • Takes slightly longer
      • Can't take much luggage

Using school physics to calculate oceans warming rate

I've been - er - discussing AGW with sceptics again. One intelligent chap is making the argument that "we are chosing timeframes MASSIVELY too short for this sort of science..." His point is that the paleo record suggests that CO2-forced warmings take millions of years, not decades. This is my attempt to answer:

OK. So we need to talk about rates. Physics is good at this. To approximate the rate at which the planet warms, we need to:

Another reponse to James Delingpole

(this response hasn't been posted either as of yet...[edit - it has now been published on the telegraph blogs comments section])

Frank fisher wrote: "That’s all you’re left with? How about natural greenhouse gasses..."

Measured and tracked:

A response to commenters on James Delingpole's blog

(it looks like this might be moderated out so I'm posting it here for now


That statement seems somewhat at odds to the evidence:

My response to "The climate debate isn’t over" by Amanda Baillieu

Amanda Baillieu is the editor of "Building Design" magazine.  Her last two editorials have argued - to quote her twitter feed - that "Basically believing in man made climate change is a bit like hoping that fairies live at the bottom of the garden." I wrote the following response to her last editorial "The Climate Debate Isn't Over", published 13th Nov 2009.

Building cameras

So, the Oct 30th RED announcement has been and gone.  RED are clearly working very hard but they have also clearly been extraordinarily ambitious.  Perhaps too ambitious?

I look forward to hiring one of those RED cameras.  But I now know for sure that I can't afford to buy the Scarlet S35 that I was so hoping I'd be able to buy.  The S35 brain price hasn't been announced but the module prices alone put a working S35 camera out of my budget.


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