Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fireplace door Pictures


Some Photos
of my new Fireplace Door

The fireplace before fitting the door

Introducing the new door to the fireplace - Pleased to meet you!

How it fits and a look at the door seal

The side frame

Up and running - It looks really well!

2B further continued.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Pressure Cooker used to Extract Oil from Algae


Bio-Science meets Domestic Science

Bio-fuel researchers at the University of Michigan have come up with a novel way of extracting oil from algae.

They are mixing Domestic Science with Bio Science! They have found that pressure-cooking algae allows extraction of oil in a simpler and more efficient way.

The pressure-cooker method of oil extraction has not been used to date AFAIK. The accepted technique is to grow the most oily types of algae, then dry the algae before extracting the oil.

The pressure cooker method can extract oil efficiently from less oily varieties of algae. The process also eliminates the need for drying, which wastes a lot of energy and time.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

SEAI Promotes Fireplace Doors


The Promotion of
Fireplace Doors
by the
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland??

Almost two years ago I spoke, at some length, on the phone to a high ranking advisor at SEAI Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland about promoting fireplace doors as a viable, cheap, and effective way of increasing the nations energy efficiency, if not simply reducing fire related accidents.

The high-ranking SEAI consultant I spoke to practically dismissed the idea out of hand, offering several reasons why it couldn't or shouldn't be attempted, no reasons given why it might be looked at or tried in any sort of reasonable way!!!

I got the feeling that SEAI would much prefer to engage in hugely expensive multi-million Euro exercises promoting woodpellet heaters and geothermal units to the richer part of our society, rather than waste their time on piddling little exercises.

I was extremely frustrated by the stonewall response I received. It is partly the frustration that SEAI engendered, that has led me to have my own prototype fireplace door made. So thank you SEAI for helping me, yet again, - through your obduracy, lack of insight, and institutional self-serving attitude, to embark on another experimental sustainability exercise.

May Fools - June Fools- July Fools- August Fools- etc. !!!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Experimental Fireplace Door


A First Look at the Door

A really big thanks to Seamus O' , my engineering friend who did a first class job of making the experimental door. Firstly, he expertly deciphered my very poor drawings and measurements. Secondly, he came up with some neat ideas for seals, hinges etc.

My new fireplace door is really sturdy and IMHO quite classy looking made 100% in stainless steel. The fittings are simple, strong, and very effective. The door glass is a nice big piece, and gives a really good view of the fire.

So well were the makers interpretations of the measurements, that all I had to do when fitting the door, was present it to the fireplace, drill a couple of holes and it was fitted. Just finished off with a bit of packing to make the seal of the frame to the stone of the fireplace somewhat air tight.

2B Continued....


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Experimenting with a Fireplace Door


with a
Fireplace Door

A friend of mine, who is in engineering R&D has recently made me a really nice experimental fireplace door. I fitted it without much effort in about an hour.

I will be taking temperature measurement and experimenting with draught and fuel over the next couple of weeks. I will of course post photos and details here as the experiment runs.

Initial impressions are;

(1) the burn is much better,
(2) radiant heat is well reduced from the front of the fire,
(3) heat to the back boiler is increased substantially.
(4) the door and its frame get quite hot - something you would need to be aware of when adding fuel etc.

Watch this space for further postings.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Irish Grant for Electric Cars


Retrofitted EV

€5000 Grant for EVs

The just announced Irish Government Grant of €5000 towards electric cars might be better spent on a national strategy to retrofit existing vehicles.

I have just sent a proposal to Your Country Your Call on this basis. The focus of my proposal is, that instead of importing 100% of electric vehicles EVs over the coming years, and thereby sending some €7bn (my estimate / guesstimate) out of the country, that we set in motion a national plan to retro-fit existing vehicles.

A retrofit EV strategy would:

(1) substantially reduce the money leaving the country on imported electric vehicles,

(2) because of the substantial savings possible over new vehicle purchase price, it would encourage many more people to go electric,

(3) a retrofitting industry would provide new jobs and save existing jobs in the motor trade

(4) stimulate ancillary services,

(5) It would additionally stimulate the economy,

(6) add to national security,

(7) further promote Ireland's sustainability drive,

(8) substantially reduce spending on imported fuels,

(9) spare us scrapping tens of thousands of ICE vehicles, and

(10) last but not least, it would help reduce our carbon footprint.

I have, against my better judgement, posted the suggestion as a proposal to "Your Country Your Call"