View Full Version : A Five-Year Administration's Solution to a Hundred-Year Problem.

01-07-2008, 05:09 PM

The UK Government, through its own department devoted to Business and Regulatory Reform ? BERR (whatever that means- it was previously the Department of Trade and Industry until this year), has just published a consultation on renewable energy sources and how they may meet Government targets.
It all started with a leak in one of the trade comics here that there is a ban on oil fired boilers being contemplated ? played down as it happens in the consultation because there are no real immediate alternatives to oil boilers for off-grid gas heating in the UK.

The document itself, all 289 pages of it, is nothing to get upset about, however it does reveal the following amusing description of what the Government officials think a heat pumps does on page 107.

I?ve quoted it in full with thanks to BERR for giving me a good laugh??
If only it was all that simple?..

Box 4.1: How heat pumps work *
Heat pumps exploit the heat present in the natural environment. Ground and air-source heat pumps are the most common types. Both use electric power to compress liquid or gas which naturally heats it up. The liquid or gas is then allowed to expand, releasing heat as it cools down. The resulting cooler liquid or gas is circulated via a pipe next to a natural source of warmth, such as the ground or the air. Because the liquid or gas is much colder at this stage than the surrounding air or ground, it will absorb heat energy until it warms up to the same temperature. At this stage the process is repeated by compressing the liquid or gas again.
Because of the natural characteristics of liquids and gases, although heat pumps consume electrical power, they generate heat energy at a factor greater than the electrical energy they consume (this ratio is called the coefficient of performance, or CoP). This is because they exploit the warmth in our natural environment, which is a renewable energy source.
Ground-source heat pumps (GSHP) extract heat from the subsoil by passing a viscous liquid through a loop system placed in either a trench or borehole depending on the space available. Air-source heat pumps exploit the heat energy in the air through a similar system. They work best when combined with under-floor heating as this requires water heated to lower temperatures than conventional household radiators. They are very reliable (comparable to modern condensing boilers) and are less expensive to install in new build housing than to retrofit. Once the initial capital investment has been made, the annual running costs of a heat pump can be significantly lower than for an equivalent fossil fuel installation ? which could offer advantages to groups vulnerable to fuel poverty.

*Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
Consultation, June 2008


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01-07-2008, 05:25 PM
A 'Viscous' liquid eh?

Must buy some of that right rapid! :D
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US Iceman
01-07-2008, 07:14 PM
I like the part about compressing a liquid to repeat the process. Leave it up to a government body on how to define a process so that they may improve our lives. This is not isolated to any one country!
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01-07-2008, 10:11 PM

Yes I know.. ....
I believe that if you don't know what you're talking about you should hold your peace.

Applies to all mortals except civil servants (sorry - that's UK-speak for career government employees).
They outlast all the politicians they serve.

It's sad example of someone out of their depth.

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01-07-2008, 10:34 PM
Maybe install one at their office and have it pump liquid refridgerant through the compressor. They say it can be liquid or gas! Who are we, they have a degree and we now nothing! (?)
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