500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Housuv Mlyn


We were out at Housov Mlyn on Friday night – for a celt themed night at an amazing old building which is styled in a way which would be forbidden in the Health and Safety dictated UK – a Hussite Tavern. Straw on the floor (tripping hazard), Candles (fire hazard), open wooden staircases (falling down hazard). It was beautiful, a bit like the Viking museum in York but without all the plastic and dumb looking dummies. I was interviewed by someone from the radio (I suspect that this was either because a, I could ((freakishly)) string a Czech sentence together, or b, because the sentences in Czech I can string together sound freakish). It was an interesting evening – there was a talk about Celtic culture (I understood little), lots of food & drink and then they showed a film about the Celts – we thought this would be a documentary but it was Tristan & Isolde. Later an English speaking friend explained that the people who own the mill made the props for the film.  Anyway, the company who own the mill also take part in the Tabor Meetings (the biggest city festival in the Czech Republic), so judging by the tavern and the film, it’ll be amazing.

Heat pumps


Interesting developments abound!

We have been looking at different heating technology for Novy Mlyn. One option is a heat pump. This proven technology uses heat from a source such as underground, air or water and concentrates the heat, kind of like a fridge in reverse. For the energy you put into the system you should get about four times that out.

First of all I needed to calculate the amount of heat which would be needed for Novy Mlyn. After a bit of a trawl around the Interweb I found a formula from Georgia State University. Using a ‘back of envelope’ measurement of the number of very cold days I would expect at Novy Mlyn, my estimate was a requirement for a 31kwh system. Read the rest of this entry »

Heat from wood versus heat from a heatpump


If our heating need is on average 30 – 35 kw, what quantities of wood would we need to burn to achieve the same temperatures.

Now, this means delving into the territory of BTU’s and cords of wood… a little research is necessary: First off, BTU is the amount of energy needed to heat 1 pound of water by 1 degree farenheit. Being EU, it’s all rather un-metric for me. But, 1 kWh of electricity = 3,413 BTU.

Quantities. 1 cubic metre of wood (a stere) is equal to 0.276 cords.

1.0 gigajoule (GJ) = 109 joules = 0.948 million Btu = 239 million calories = 278 kWh

If we have 10 square metres of wood, this will provide 81.65 gj of heat (if pine and 20% moisture), which is 22698.7 kWh. If we were heating at 30 kWh, the wood would last for 30 days.

Electricity from Eon is provided us at 4.36kc per kWh (cheeky seeing as suppliers sell it for less than 1kc per kwh!). If we have a heat pump we qualify for a special electricity rate, yet to be determined.

To be continued…

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