Posts by James Green

  • Speaker: Why you should vote,

    Late to the discussion, but two slightly different reasons to vote.

    1. For better or worse, we have a representative democracy. This means that we don't directly vote on policy, but vote for people to best represent our views. Even if you could find a person or party who perfectly encapsulated your views, the chances of them being able to enact them all must approximate zero. And if you don't vote, then your views are not represented (in fact probably the inverse).

    2. More weakly, a strong democratic process should hopefully protect us from more extreme forms of government.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?,

    So I've come up with my design for a one household experiment on whether a drain water heat recovery system is worth it. Will update once I have some results
    http://distractedscientist.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/drain-water-heat-recovery-weve-ordered-one/

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?, in reply to DeepRed,

    There was a brief discussion about just that in a recent RNZ Media Watch podcast. Get it while it’s still online.

    Which episode is it in?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?,

    So I think in the public interest, I might invest in a bit more plumbing (so I can bypass our drainwater heat exchanger), and update with some data, both on how much money is saved, and how much efficiency is reduced through fouling.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to David Haywood,

    Either way, you should definitely install it so that it can be easily cleaned (hopefully just a single grub screw that allows you to remove the final plastic section

    As you'll see above, not strictly gravity film, and and at least some very mild corrugations to induce turbulence, which enables it to be installed in a near horizontal position. And we will be installing near horizontally. The current shower waste is all copper(!), but given what you've written, I think I'll get the plumber to put in a Y regular joint, and use the straight access for cleaning. Will update once installed!

    (PS - thanks for the advice! get well soon)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to Hebe,

    I remember this article: I bored Beloved senseless about it. Where can the systems be obtained?

    I bought ours from a napier company ($425 incl freight)
    http://energydrain.vaportec.co.nz/
    However, you should probably also read David's comments re: mounting and the inner surface, as on closer inspection, it does seem like this one does have a slightly irregular inner surface, but can be installed in a more horizontal position.
    The (better?) gravity film ones are more expensive and can be sourced here
    http://www.quadrix.co.nz/79.html

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to Russell Brown,

    David's is the first piece of skepticism I've come across, so I'm super keen to hear to!
    (Plus, I've actually bought, but not yet installed one).
    I've spent a lot of time investigating this as, on the face of it, it just seems like a no brainer. And so we wait :) :)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to David Haywood,

    I’ve done heaps of modelling on these systems and they are good in theory. The problem is the HX cost and the cleaning. Most systems use some sort of horrible draino-type stuff every few weeks.

    Hi David,
    As we are about to install one, I'm curious about the cleaning issue (many claim to require no cleaning). Is it that the kind of scum that normally builds up in drain pipework reduces the HX efficiency, or another kind of problem? Would we be wise to plumb it in so that it could be mechanically cleaned (with an oversize bottle brush)?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?,

    $650 installed
    Similar savings to solar

    Reference

    This isn't spam, I'm just so frustrated that this isn't in the frame. Basically the only people drain water heat recover isn't good for is if you have a new house with a concrete floor and your shower drain is inaccessible. Or if your house has exceptionally restrained showerers.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?,

    If you are interested in cutting your hot water energy costs, and showering is a big consumer of hot water, you should do this first: drain water heat recovery. Essentially, it's a heat exchanger that goes in the waste pipe below your shower, that uses the heat from that water to pre-heat the cold (either for a cylinder, or straight back to the shower). I wrote a long post about it here. The Napier company sell them for under $500, and they cost about $200 to install, and confer about the same savings as a solar system.
    I just don't understand why we are still talking about solar*, and not this. Except I guess drain water is yucky.

    *Of course solar is still a good thing, but if you put one of these in, you can install a smaller system.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

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