Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

"Rejected Energy" and Heat Mapping the EU

by gmoke Tue Sep 7th, 2021 at 02:58:50 AM EST

USAmerica generates around 100 quadrillion BTUs per year, more or less, and has plateaued at that level since 2000.  However, about 67% of the energy produced is characterized as "rejected energy," energy that does no useful work, according to the annual energy report of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (https:/flowcharts.llnl.gov).  

We waste about 2/3rds of the energy we produce, each and every year.

A lot of that is waste heat which could be used for heat in industrial processes and heating (and cooling) especially if we had district heating systems.  The EU does have district heating systems and is now beginning to maximize their use in order to reduce their own "rejected energy" and the climate effects it produces.  In fact, "This is how Copenhagen plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025" (https:www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/the-copenhagen-effect-how-europe-can-become-heat-efficient) starting with Nordhavn, a district "designed to be the world's foremost smart energy laboratory at full scale" demonstrating "how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system."

They say, "We need to link district heating systems and expand thermal grids at scale. The next step in Europe is to make smart thermal grids that can harvest heat wasted from current and future sources such as power plants and data centres. Europe is wasting enough heat to almost cover the current heat demands in all its buildings. The Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE) project (https:/heatroadmap.eu) and World Economic Forum's Future of Europe, Energy initiative sparked the idea of creating a smart thermal grid in all EU countries. As a result, the Pan-European Thermal Atlas (Peta) (https:heatroadmap.eu/peta4) now pairs areas with heat demand and heat excess sources. In other words, it is preparing and planning the heat grid."

Let me make this clear, the EU is mapping waste heat sources throughout their participating nations and developing plans to transform that waste heat into useful work.  I doubt there's anyone in USAmerica who is even thinking along those lines at that scale.  Yet.

You can learn more about these ideas at the 7th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems (https:/smartenergysystems.eu) on 21-22 September 2021 at Aalborg University and Energy Cluster in Denmark.
"After being forced by circumstances into holding the conference strictly virtually in 2020, we look forward to yet again welcoming our conference participants in a hybrid setting with the possibility to attend either online or in person - this time in Copenhagen.

"The conference establishes a venue for presenting and discussing scientific findings and industrial experiences related to the subject of Smart Energy Systems based on renewable energy, 4th Generation District Heating Technologies and Systems (4GDH), electrification of heating and transport sectors, electrofuels and energy efficiency.

"This 7th conference in the series cements it as a main venue for presentations and fruitful debates on subjects that are pertinent to the development and implementation of smart energy systems to fulfil national and international objectives."

May there be USAmerican policymakers, scientists, and engineers in attendance at this conference who take good notes to bring back home.

PS:  "How much CO2 equivalent is offset if we whiten all eligible urban flat roofs world- wide?
Answer: 24 Gigatonnes (Gt) - 2/3 of a year's worldwide emission - Gigatonne = billion metric tons
If implemented over 20 years (the life of a roof or a program) this is ≈ 1.2 Gt/year."
Source:  https:

"We remain alert so as not to get run down, but it turns out you only have to hop a few feet to one side and the whole huge machinery rolls by, not seeing you at all."
Lew Welch

"the war that matters is the war against the imagination
all other wars are subsumed in it."
Diane Di Prima
"Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous behaviors that will avoid extinction."

R. Buckminster Fuller

Although, given recent and current events, there seem to be a whole hell of a lot of people who seem to be in love with the death drive.

Less "rejected energy"?
. yes 66%
. no 0%
. not yes 0%
. not no 0%
. neither yes nor no 0%
. both yes and nod 0%
. don't understand the question? 33%
. none of the above 0%

Votes: 3
Results | Other Polls
I think this discussion exposes a serious difficulty in how a society might approach infrastructure changes.

Most Americans live in low-density post-war suburbs. There is no provision for district heating or thermal grids, and to retrofit such systems into an existing neighborhood would be incredibly expensive. Even replacing household gas furnaces with heat pumps is very expensive, but at least you don't have to dig up the streets and alleys to put them in.

by asdf on Sat Sep 11th, 2021 at 03:06:26 PM EST
USAmerican cities used to have district heating systems but they were phased out over the decades.

Home Energy Efficiency Team (https:/heet.org) is doing a pilot "networked groudn source heat pump system (https:/heet.org/2021/08/30/get-involved-name-heets-networked-ground-source-heat-pump-system) with a local utility so we'll see whether we can adapt these ideas to USAmerica, at least to some extent.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Sat Sep 11th, 2021 at 08:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's expensive: So true, with credit risk (personal or HELOC rates ranging 4%-26%) or without credit (cash savings ranging nominal $8K-$20K, or $4K/ton CFM SEER|HSPF base case, excluding labor cost). Yet I myself, a "very low-income" home-owner, resident in MD's murder capitol intend to do just that.

My journey in earnest began 1.5 years after purchasing a vintage 1997 "V2V" row house (NO ATTIC), when the roof of  sprung several storm leaks. My 1.75 year RFQ search for reputable trade to repair|rebuild roof ($7.8K) and interior water damage ($TBD) literally exposed the decrepit HVAC system (ductwork, circuitry, and vintage insulation), coupled to vintage air exchange units (int gas furnace, ext A/C cooling). Additionally, I've paid OOP for a couple, strategically placed drywall rip-outs ($1.5K), which I later learned, inexplicably disqualifies me for the prerequisite "energy audit" performed by the sole utility sponsor (BGE/Excelon) in my area.

Three RFPs later, I'm sitting on the best-cost system replacement ($12.5K 2.5 ton pump and duct design, 14 SEER, 30K BTU inc labor) and no means to execute it. My savings are exhausted.

What have I learned so far?
To date, homeowner (and renter) "incentives" (grants, no-low interest loans) for high-efficiency equipment install, funded by municipal and state agencies, where I live, are not fit for purpose. Dare I say, eligibility and consideration--absent bona fide total system failure--are designed to discourage application AND settlement amount approved for scope of work, much less disbursement. According a local agency "workshop" presentation (6 Sep 2021), current application back-log is +1 year.

As is the custom in US America, the "green zone" of DSIRE is not what it appears to be.

by Cat on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 at 04:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My strategy is to focus on short-term, low-cost improvements and hope that massive government incentives will come about some day soon. We added another foot of insulation in our attic last fall, and have thermal drapes on all the windows. Some of the windows could use replacement, although they are all double-paned.

Big problems are

  1. Wall insulation, there is no way to improve it without ripping everything apart, and
  2. Heat pumps are expensive as all get out. And in a cold climate, you end up running the resistive electric supplementary heating so much that the payoff time is infinite.

One thing in our favor is that Colorado Springs allows homeowners to get
"all" their electricity from solar panels. That helps with the guilt trip part of things, although obviously the power at night comes from coal, mostly.

A relative built an all-electric house in Massachusetts in the 1970s as part of a utility company PR scheme when the Plymouth nuke plant was put in, then a few years later converted it to gas. Oops!

by asdf on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 at 10:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here in The Hague ... hopefully some reprieve with Nord Stream 2 doubling gas transport to Germany ... linked to Dutch Gasunie ... I too look at limited cost for energy saving investments ... had all thermopane windows replaced by A++ an improvement from 2.8 transmission coefficient to 1.1 / 1.2 ... surprised at low price. 🙂
by Oui on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 at 11:17:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How much exactly?

Let's not pretend that price is an insignificant factor in property improvements needed to optimized Choices®, if any, of fuel and efficient consumption by every "housing unit".

I look at my spreadsheet. In one year I reduced the cost of my HH energy consumption from $3K to $2K simply by sweating in the summer and shivering in winter: simple demand destruction, practiced by low-income families in memoriam.

Let's not pretend anymore that the principal barrier to carbon "neutrality" and "access" to high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment can be eliminated by promoting more, novel prototypes of hi-fi "tools" in some mythical, competitive marketplace, where 85% of buyers cannot afford to install them, much less support internet subs hosting "WiFi enabled" appliance apps that measure consumption up to the minute.

by Cat on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:07:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Wall insulation, there is no way to improve it without ripping everything apart"

I used to blow cellulose insulation back in the day.  In most houses, you can put a hole in the bottom and the top of each bay and blow a wall full of cellulose fairly easily without much damage;  but you may have a special circumstance.

I found blowing cellulose to be a very meditative activity and enjoyed it a lot.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Mon Sep 13th, 2021 at 06:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem is if there is old fiberglass insulation already in there, especially if it was sloppily installed.

Many people here have converted their houses to stucco exteriors. Disregarding the sort of siding might be on there already, whether aluminum or vinyl or wood, they just staple on chickenwire and then put a layer of stucco on. It covers up all sorts of problems with rotting wood, broken or missing siding, etc.

But I am not so sure it does much to improve the insulating quality of the wall.

by asdf on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 10:36:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A blower door test, especially with an infrared camera to spot where heat loss is located, is a very good idea for anyone wanting to button up their domicile.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 06:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I demonstrated(above) not unlike pre-close home inspection and BMI caliper measurement.
by Cat on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 09:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf presents a scenario that most definitely is not addressed in current "best practice" sales or,say, EPA litchitchure. Besides ATTIC or CRAWL SPACE voids terminating interior elevation, the "economics" assume new construction, mostly open frame construction, without drywall or plaster barriers to Choices®. Sure, "experts" have implied vintage of (fiberglass) batting (if any) is OK but not optimal (barring "envelope" hazards, eg. water damage, pests, molds, lead, asbestos) Instead, go forth and "weatherize" windows! Go forth an replace windows! Or assume the ultimate retrofit--a new residence that meets or exceeds current LEEDS specification for builders!

Who pays for that?
well, I expect the GREEN NEW DEAL state to generously subsidize my maintenance of efforts.

As readers know, water damage provoked me to, ahem, explore the structural integrity of me home. I now know the minimum cost of three (3) strategically placed ("selective demo") rip-outs--ceiling of each floor, including a ground floor exterior wall slice between studs.

I've even priced a range of replacement windows (custom-size-because construction reality: 1997 vinyl to 2021 vinyl|fiberglass|aluminum +Features®) excluding labor, $800-$1600 each). There are nineteen (19) windows in this old house. I GUESS, I'll keep 'em. SOOOOoooo I just paid a carpenter $595 to repair exterior trim+caulk of one window, 28x42, leaking into interior floor/ceiling below. Oh. Look, hidden, moldy insulation! How do I get that out (without rip-out) in order to INJECT NEW! FRESH! Foam insulation everywhere but the party wall!

Existing stock v new construction
NAHB table, sales pr0n, Freddie Mac & the inventory < reckless eyeballin' > shortfall
This oversight has stymied two generations of the best homeowner (possibly slum landlord) intentions to retrofit, ahem, rather than purchase a new home conforming to current LEED specification, possibly taxable improvements devoid of "curb appeal".

by Cat on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 09:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What you gloss is not a DIY task for existing, vintage SFR and MFR housing or commercial buildings.

I don't know what "bay" means where you live, but I've had to educate myself in architectural and construction framing terms to prepare for RFPs. A "bay" is any opening in an exterior wall--windows and doors. The top of each bay is a structural member called a horz. "header" to which  carpenters attach an ext. wall panel enclosing vert. 16" spaced studs. Panel materials vary by spec; the salient point is the interior finish, eg. drywall panels or plaster lathes, enclosing voids between studs.

Likewise for each window, a wall panel encloses the voids between supporting studs above the header and below the sill to the sole plate. IF insulation has been placed in these intervals during construction, "blowing cellulose" after the fact through an ext. or int. hole at 16" intervals above and below each bay is nonsensical.

What cost/benefit strategy have "experts" proposed to rehabilitate such a physical dilemma for property owners and a growing number of private and public housing tenants, who want to realize "carbon neutral" benefits?

I'm all eyes and ears. Where is this material and financial support?

by Cat on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 04:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cellulose = fire hazard

Yes, some of it is treated, but the treatment dissipates with time, leaving you with walls and ceiling ready to go up like a bonfire.

by StillInTheWilderness on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 01:25:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking its book. EU Taxonomy: The case of listed real estate owners seeking state incentives (where none exist) to "retrofit" private and publicly housing.

What is a EPCA rating?
UK a marketable asset
"Apart from listed buildings, every house needs to have a valid EPC before it can be sold."
US Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA)
"a federal program consisting of test procedures, (Energy Star) labeling, and energy (consumption) targets for consumer (durable) products"
by Cat on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 11:51:30 PM EST
EPA completes rule to phase out gases used as refrigerants
The new rule, which follows through on a law Congress passed last year, is intended to decrease U.S. production and use of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years, part of a global phaseout designed to slow global warming.
The rule is expected to reduce harmful emissions by the equivalent of 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050, McCarthy said, a total similar to three years of emissions from the U.S. power sector.
...because every commercial and residential "appliance" owner will dump their obsolete HFC cooling equipment in landfills?
Working with the departments of Justice, State and Defense, the task force will "detect, deter and disrupt any attempt to illegally import or produce HFCs in the United States,″ the White House said in a fact sheet.

Joseph Goffman, a top official with EPA's air and radiation office, said the experience of the European Union shows that enforcement is an important part of an HFC crackdown.

"Unfortunately, (the EU) has experienced a lot of illegal activity" on HFC imports and other issues, Goffman said. "We're going to be vigorous and proactive" in trying to stop illegal imports, he said.

Gee. Looks like I've got more homework to do before assuming $12K+ debt to replace my HVAC.

American Innovation and Manufacturing  Act

On December 27, 2020, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020 was enacted as section 103 in Division S, Innovation for the Environment, of the [2,124 pp] Consolidated Appropriations Act of ["]2021["]
Can an alternate refrigerant be used in my existing R-22 air-conditioning system?
The R-410A used in our newer systems cannot be substituted into existing systems designed for use with R-22 refrigerant. Many manufacturers offer "alternate" refrigerants like R-407C, R-438A and R-422, claiming they can be used in existing R-22 air-conditioning systems. Changing from R-22 to an alternate refrigerant can damage equipment and compromise overall system performance. Learn more
In response to rising prices, many refrigerant manufacturers have stepped up their marketing efforts for several "alternate" refrigerants, claiming they are cost-effective "drop-in" replacements for R‑22. The three most popular are R‑407C, R‑438A (also known as ISCEON M099) and R‑422.

The problems associated with these alternate refrigerants are many ...

by Cat on Thu Sep 23rd, 2021 at 06:00:34 PM EST
The R-22 refrigerant used in older cars and home A/C systems is recovered if the system is replaced. (If the contractor is honest.) My home A/C guy doesn't check the system pressures, which is a normal part of annual servicing, because the system is old and when you connect to it to do the test, some of the freon leaks out.
by asdf on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 11:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(If the contractor is honest.)
by Cat on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]