Heat Pump System and Renewable Energy

(elkement. Last changed: 2015-11-07. Created: 2015-02-04. Tags: Postings, Blogging, Resources, Links, Engineering, Heat Pump. German Version.)

I blog about anything heat-pump-related, in particular about our system. In addition, I am interested in thermodynamics, heat pumps and heating systems in general - and their integration with the smart grid and related security concerns. These are my postings about our 'ice-storage-/solar-' powered system specifically and postings on closely related subjects like the power grid, renewable energy and sustainable living.

Hydraulic schema of our system

Infinite Loop: Theory and Practice Revisited. (2018-06-10 11:56:55)
I’ve unlocked a new achievement as a blogger, or a new milestone as a life-form. As a dinosaur telling the same old stories over and over again. I started drafting a blog post, as I always do since a while: …

Can the Efficiency Be Greater Than One? (2018-04-09 11:40:59)
This is one of the perennial top search terms for this blog. Anticlimactic answer: Yes, because input and output are determined also by economics, not only by physics. Often readers search for the efficiency of a refrigerator. Its efficiency, the …

Consequences of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (2018-03-03 11:43:25)
Why a Carnot process using a Van der Waals gas – or other fluid with uncommon equation of state – also runs at Carnot’s efficiency. Textbooks often refer to an ideal gas when introducing Carnot’s cycle – it’s easy to calculate heat …

The Heat Source Paradox (2018-01-19 10:23:13)
It is not a paradox – it is a straight-forward relation between a heat pump system’s key data: The lower a heat pump’s performance factor is, the smaller the source can be built. I would not write this post, hadn’t …

Things You Find in Your Hydraulic Schematic (2018-01-12 10:35:58)
Building an ice storage powered heat pump system is a DIY adventure – for a Leonardo da Vinci of plumbing, electrical engineering, carpentry, masonry, and computer technology. But that holistic approach is already demonstrated clearly in our hydraulic schematics. Actually, …

Cooling Potential (2017-12-13 12:43:38)
I had an interesting discussion about the cooling potential of our heat pump system – in a climate warmer than ours. Recently I’ve shown data for the past heating season, including also passive cooling performance: After the heating season, tank …

Simulating Life-Forms (2): Cooling Energy (2017-11-28 16:09:55)
I found this comprehensive research report: Energy Use in the Australian Residential Sector 1986–2020 (June 2008) (several PDFs for download, click the link Energy Use… to display them) There are many interesting results – and the level of detail is …

The Collector Size Paradox (2017-11-01 15:11:56)
Recently I presented the usual update of our system’s and measurement data documentation.The PDF document contains consolidated numbers for each year and month of operations: It is finally time to tackle the fundamental questions: What is the impact of the …

Data for the Heat Pump System: Heating Season 2016-2017 (2017-10-12 09:58:29)
I update the documentation of measurement data [PDF] about twice a year. This post is to provide a quick overview for the past season. The PDF also contains the technical configuration and sizing data. Based on typical questions from an …

Tinkering, Science, and (Not) Sharing It (2017-09-17 11:06:44)
I stumbled upon this research paper called PVC polyhedra: We describe how to construct a dodecahedron, tetrahedron, cube, and octahedron out of pvc pipes using standard fittings. … In particular, if we take a connector that takes three pipes each …

Simulations: Levels of Consciousness (2017-08-17 10:41:54)
In a recent post I showed these results of simulations for our heat pump system: I focused on the technical details – this post will be more philosophical. What is a ‘simulation’ – opposed to simplified calculations of monthly or …

Heat Transport: What I Wrote So Far. (2017-07-14 09:15:49)
Don’t worry, The Subversive Elkement will publish the usual silly summer posting soon! Now am just tying up loose ends. In the next months I will keep writing about heat transport: Detailed simulations versus maverick’s rules of thumb, numerical solutions …

Simulating Peak Ice (2017-05-02 08:43:17)
This year ice in the tank was finally melted between March 5 to March 10 – as ‘visual inspection’ showed. Level sensor Mr. Bubble was confused during the melting phase; thus it was an interesting exercise to compare simulations to …

Mr. Bubble Was Confused. A Cliffhanger. (2017-04-08 11:06:20)
This year we experienced a record-breaking January in Austria – the coldest since 30 years. Our heat pump system produced 14m3 of ice in the underground tank. The volume of ice is measured by Mr. Bubble, the winner of The …

Where to Find What? (2017-03-18 15:20:13)
I have confessed on this blog that I have Mr. Monk DVDs for a reason. We like to categorize, tag, painstakingly re-organize, and re-use. This is reflected in our Innovations in Agriculture … … as well as in my periodical …

Ice Storage Hierarchy of Needs (2017-02-22 17:30:10)
Data Kraken – the tentacled tangled pieces of software for data analysis – has a secret theoretical sibling, an older one: Before we built our heat source from a cellar, I developed numerical simulations of the future heat pump system. …

Earth, Air, Water, and Ice. (2017-02-05 11:48:33)
In my attempts at Ice Storage Heat Source popularization I have been facing one big challenge: How can you – succinctly, using pictures – answer questions like: How much energy does the collector harvest? or What’s the contribution of ground? …

Frozen Herbs and Latent Energy Storage (2017-01-20 13:48:10)
… having studied one subject, we immediately have a great deal of direct and precise knowledge … of another. —Richard Feynman Feynman referred to different phenomena that can be described by equations of the same appearance: Learning how to calculate …

My Data Kraken – a Shapeshifter (2016-12-22 10:53:56)
I wonder if Data Kraken is only used by German speakers who translate our hackneyed Datenkrake – is it a word like eigenvector? Anyway, I need this animal metaphor, despite this post is not about facebook or Google. It’s about …

And Now for Something Completely Different: Rotation Heat Pump! (2016-11-03 09:55:35)
Heat pumps for space heating are all very similar: Refrigerant evaporates, pressure is increased by a scroll compressor, refrigerant condenses, pressure is reduced in an expansion value. *yawn* The question is: Can a compression heat pump be built in a …

Same Procedure as Every Autumn: New Data for the Heat Pump System (2016-10-21 09:49:11)
October – time for updating documentation of the heat pump system again! Consolidated data are available in this PDF document. In the last season there were no special experiments – like last year’s Ice Storage Challenge or using the wood …

Re-Visiting Carnot’s Theorem (2016-09-18 10:09:51)
The proof by contradiction used in physics textbooks is one of those arguments that appear surprising, then self-evident, then deceptive in its simplicity. You – or maybe only: I – cannot resist turning it over and over in your head …

Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 2: Logging Energy Values (2016-08-24 09:52:12)
In the last post, I showed how to use Raspberry Pi as CAN bus logger – using a test bus connected to control unit UVR1611. Now I have connected it to my heat pump’s bus. Credits for software and instructions: …

Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 1: CAN Bus Testing with UVR1611 (2016-08-03 10:04:39)
In the old times, measuring data manually sometimes meant braving the elements: Now, nearly all measurements are automated: In order to calculate the seasonal performance factor of the heat pump system we have still used the ‘official’ energy reading provided …

Photovoltaic Generator and Heat Pump: Daily Power Generation and Consumption (2016-06-01 12:21:02)
You can generate electrical power at home but you cannot manufacture your own natural gas, oil, or wood. (I exempt the minority of people owning forestry). This is often an argument for the combination of heat pump and photovoltaic generator. …

Everything as a Service (2016-05-19 13:57:08)
Three years ago I found a research paper that proposed a combination of distributed computing and heating as a service: A cloud provider company like Google or Amazon would install computers in users’ homes – as black-boxes providing heat to …

Alien Energy (2016-04-15 17:03:12)
I am sure it protects us not only from lightning but also from alien attacks and EMP guns … So I wrote about our lightning protection, installed together with our photovoltaic generator. Now our PV generator is operational for 11 …

No, You Cannot ‘Power Your Home’ by One Hour of Cycling Daily (2016-02-07 15:45:30)
In the past days different versions of an article had popped up in my social media streams again and again – claiming that you could power your home for 24 hours by cycling for one hour. Regular readers know that …

Temperature Waves and Geothermal Energy (2016-01-22 11:04:48)
Nearly all of renewable energy exploited today is, in a sense, solar energy. Photovoltaic cells convert solar radiation into electricity, solar thermal collectors heat hot water. Plants need solar power for photosynthesis, for ‘creating biomass’. The motion of water and …

How Does It Work? (The Heat Pump System, That Is) (2016-01-07 11:13:05)
Over the holidays I stayed away from social media, read quantum physics textbooks instead, and The Chief Engineer and I mulled over the fundamental questions of life, the universe and everything. Such as: How to explain our heat pump system? …

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.