Tranquility Houses

For Living on Just One Planet

Browsing Posts in Energy

Mike considers some pitfalls with both the system design for underfloor heating and its operation, and explains why it is expensive to operate and much more expensive (unnecessarily so) to install.

Solar Hot Water (SHW) Blog 2 The Tranquility System and how SHW can work Tranquility is all but self sufficient in hot water with an annual bill below £10 for the gas used. But this is light years ahead of systems for sale.  White Paper 1 proved how little heat normal systems actually collect, and […]

White Paper 1 showed that existing systems don’t work very well, don’t collect a lot of hot water and certainly nowhere near what is claimed in the marketing hype.  They are also extremely cost ineffective.  But in that first Paper I did say the Tranquility (T) project had significantly developed the basic concept to solve […]

A growing number of people, including those with Solar Hot Water systems already installed, are asking just how well they work and what they save.  The trouble is that houses with them don’t know when the boilers are heating the water – they just know when the sun is, but that is extremely different.  So […]

Setting the Scene When I started designing Tranquility (T) with the intention of making it the lowest energy (financially effective) house I could, I quickly realised that conventional SHW systems didn’t seem to be remotely viable.  Or at least they could not be effective as sold.  Having already concluded solar PV was hopeless this was […]

There must be something wrong here as the EU, the British Government and the Welsh Assembly have all declared these power stations to be zero carbon, and the EU even subsidises them substantially to encourage them.  The Welsh Assembly rests 70% of it carbon emissions target on the new 350MW chip station in Swansea.  Is […]

Copyright Mike Hillard Having researched the global forest rather extensively, I am aware just how overharvested it is, so I never understood why huge wood burning power stations were being built.  And the biggest surprise of all was that they were being built in the UK– after all we are only about 17% self sufficient […]

This blog is not comparing makes of burners but compares the two primary types of wood burners – the normal one and the room sealed products.  Those who sell non room sealed will not normally make the distinction unless you ask. The Normal Wood Burner This type of stove simply burns the wood in a […]

We have shown that Solar PV is of no value to the house that has it installed or the planet, so are GSHPs our salvation? Well, let’s take a detailed look at them as there is a lot of controversy that we might be able to sort out.  I have spoken on them publicly several […]

Given that generating electricity from wind and sun are two prime marketed ways of making it, I think we should at least compare them properly, and anyway we compared their outputs across the year on our first chart.  So we know wind tends to generate when we need it, but how cost effective is it […]