Drive, as in using a mansions heat inertia (the building takes days to cool down) to help you design the best heating system and work with the natural environment. Work is continuing to progress on the marine source heat pump for Plas Newydd on Anglesey. We had a meeting with a few of the statutory bodies last week to outline our design for the marine collector. The Menai Strait or the watery bit with all the heat in front of the mansion just happens to be a European Special Area of Conservation with quite a few fragile features such as the eponymous Menai Sponge. But the feature which was highlighted to us last week that we could potentially impact is quite a large area (as in most of the Menai) cold water reef. Or orange stuff we saw during the neap tides (it’s the ecologist in me coming out again) this is one of the special features of the site. The next task is to bring in a specialist ecologist who just happens to be a diver (there are a few out there) to understand in detail what we are dealing with in terms of location and extent.
This all got us thinking today. Instead of trying to mitigate any work around this reef such as trying to build over it or some other contrivance we could think more laterally. We know with certainty for the next few hundred years what the tides will do in the Straits to the minute. What about if we place a shorter pipe into the straits thus avoiding the reef. But i hear you say the pipe will be out of the water at neap tides. The proposition is that we switch the system off for the two to three hours a month when the pipe is exposed and let the buildings heat inertia (built-in heat) drive us through this gap. Sort of let the building freewheel for a while with the embodied heat. We now have to do the maths to make sure we are not caught short.
This reminds me of the time we were looking at the health and safety aspect of cleaning the weir on the Hafod y Llan hydro. All sorts of mechanical devices were being discussed. all with costs and training. Paul then suggested why don’t you get a brush with a longer handle! doh. We need more longer handle thinking if we are to deal with the global problems. Technology wont fix everything.