It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

It’s cold out today

Posted by chrisrick13 on May 18, 2011

It is obvious: there is no energy shortage

The deckchairs were out in force for re-arrangement at the Rick household at the back end of last year.  We had converted our house from a nest with 3, ever open, squawking mouths demanding food and attention to a home of peace and tranquillity.  Not a mansion but plenty of room for 5 and room in excess for 2.  At this point the decision was made to put a conservatory on the back and thereby nearly double our living space.  There were plenty of places for me to hide from my wife – we didn’t need it.  Obviously there was an executive over-rule and it was built.

It was finished in December, but long before then the under-floor heating, don’t ask, had been turned on sucking cash out of my (our) bank account.  The conservatory is on the north side of the house.  It was mostly cold in there.

On March 16th things suddenly changed.  The sun now rose high enough that the conservatory came out of perpetual shadow and started getting sun.  It was particularly effective when we were both out all day.  Come home to a cold house in the evening, open the double doors to the conservatory and dump enough superheated air into the house to keep it warm all evening.  Even with the hot weather over the last few weeks it has been cool of an evening.  If we were in the conservatory during the day the outside doors were open, the ones to the house shut.  Then reverse that in the late afternoon and heat the house for the evening.

Our house has an integral garage with the door, nearly obviously, on the south side of the house.  I got the car into it once.  In there amongst a lot of ‘stuff’ is a fridge, freezer, washing machine, condensing dryer and central heating boiler.  Quite early on I put a drying rack on pulleys so clothes come straight out the washing machine and get hoisted up to the roof.  We hardly ever use the dryer because it is so hot in there.  It would be wouldn’t it, with all that energy being used on those devices.  But that is only a small part of it.  At any time of year if you clamber to the front and put your hand on the up-and-over car door it is warm.  In summer it is so hot that it hurts your hand.  The door is painted black on the outside.

All the time the sun puts a lot of energy onto this planet.  On the shaded side the earth radiates the same amount back into space.  If there were not that balance we would not be around.  There are small imbalances.  For example a lot of dead things have stored the energy that they incorporated into their bodies in oil in the ground for millions of years.  We are now releasing that energy into the atmosphere.  The system oscillates.

Trouble is that most of the energy that arrives at the earth is not in useful form and usually arrives at times when we don’t need or want it and in a form that we don’t want…except that conservatories and garage doors are good converters.  The conservatory is even a good conserver.

So we don’t have a looming energy shortage, we have a conversion and storage crisis.  For the first time in my life I am moved, by price, to put some serious thought into energy consumption.

It is obvious: there is no energy shortage, just a motivation problem…but that will soon be fixed.

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