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Which devices are the most energy intensive?
Tuesday April 25th, 2017 03:31:01 PM

We live our lives surrounded by devices. We work on computers, carry phones and tablets with us wherever we go. Kitchens are full of fridges, freezers, microwaves and washing machines. Some are more energy intensive than others, but all of them are contributing to high energy bills, and higher carbon emissions. So which are the main culprits?


Estimates of energy cost are easy to find, but vary a lot depending on the price of electricity and the amount of time a de[...]

How important is solar shading to passive solar building design?
Monday April 24th, 2017 12:10:01 PM

Trying to get indoor spaces to be the right temperature is a constant struggle. During cold parts of the year we use large amounts of energy for heating, but when warm weather arrives we suddenly want to cool down our buildings, either with fans or air conditioning. There seem to be relatively few occasions when the indoor temperature is just right.


One way around this problem is passive solar design. This is a building principle that seeks to maximise heat gain a[...]

What cleaning and maintenance does a biomass boiler need?
Friday April 21st, 2017 02:26:01 PM

If you are thinking about installing a biomass boiler, you’ll want to know how much cleaning and maintenance is involved.


A biomass boiler needs regular cleaning and servicing as build-ups of ash and clinker can stop it working efficiently and even cause damage. Some of these tasks you will need to do yourself, such as ash emptying and checking. Other tasks, such as the annual service, require extra skills and if you can’t DIY then you’ll need to[...]

What is the most energy efficient form of transport?
Wednesday April 12th, 2017 01:40:01 PM

Many of you will be planning a long journey this bank holiday weekend and it’s worth considering which method of transport will be the most environmentally friendly. As you are probably aware, some transport methods are much more energy intensive than others and some have higher greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s pick a long journey, so that taking a plane isn’t an unreasonable option. We’ll start in London, and assume that we would be flying from Heathrow, the larg[...]

Thermal Storage: How much could you save?
Monday April 10th, 2017 02:34:01 PM

Storing the energy produced by solar panels is a hot topic. Developments in battery storage for solar photovoltaic systems are constantly improving, but when it comes to storing energy, thermal systems have a lot of advantages.


Solar thermal systems work by pumping a mix of water and antifreeze through a panel of pipes. During the day this fluid is heated by the light of the sun and is transferred to the hot water system. Solar thermal systems don’t usually [...]

Soaring ahead: Gatwick Airport first in the world to turn waste into energy onsite
Friday April 7th, 2017 12:03:01 PM

If you’re a fan of environmental waste management then fasten your seatbelt (and do not unbuckle until the landing light is switched off) because London Gatwick Airport and DHL supply chain have officially opened a new waste management plant, making it the first airport in the world to turn Category 1 airline waste into energy onsite.


Costing £3.8 million, the pilot scheme will turn organic airport waste such as food, cups, meal trays and packaging into[...]

Sunny weekend breaks UK solar record
Wednesday April 5th, 2017 12:59:01 PM

With days becoming longer and sunnier afternoons on the rise, now is the perfect time to be generating electricity from your solar PV panels. Cast your minds back to the weekend of the 25th March 2017, temperatures were rising and you were dusting the cobwebs off the barbeque. However, that weekend marked a key milestone for electricity demand and solar PV generation in the UK.


Saturday the 25th saw electricity demand from homes and businesses during the afternoon[...]

Can living in a Smart House help us save energy?
Monday April 3rd, 2017 03:30:01 PM

With the spread of smart phones a variety of options now exist to remotely control how electricity is used throughout your home. It is now possible to create a “smart house”, where all appliances and devices are connected to a wireless network, so that they can be monitored and controlled remotely [1]. This allows you to check that all of your devices are powered off, at a glance from your phone. Devices that might otherwise be left on standby can be switched off from your p[...]

What makes an energy-friendly garden?
Thursday March 30th, 2017 03:01:01 PM

Don’t we all dream of having a green garden? I know I do. The thought of lush green grass, vibrant leaves and sheltering trees makes me want to retreat into that sweet haven for the whole of spring. But saving water and energy in your garden is something we should all take more care to do. In an effort to have an attractive garden we sometimes end up throwing money (and water) down the drain...


Luckily there are many ways to make your garden hold on to its w[...]

Can you charge your electric car from a lamp post?
Monday March 27th, 2017 05:09:01 PM

Well actually you can’t, unless you happen to live in Onslow Gardens in Kensington, but some residents there can.  Back in December the Government made £2.5m of funding available via its On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which enabled Local Authorities to install charge points in residential areas where there is no off street parking.


What has happening in Onslow Gardens is that two street lights have been converted to enable electric vehic[...]


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