More Eco Stuff September 11, 2010 cliffski For those who don’t know, I moved into an OLD house (approx 1750), and am trying to improve its energy efficiency. The house was laughably inefficient and leaky when we moved in, and its better now, albeit incredibly bad by modern standards. Being a ‘listed’ building, I can’t have double glazing, and the house is built before cavity walls were invented. Anyway, one of the long term plans has been solar panels, and many many weeks and months of debate later, I’m slowly edging closer. A structural engineer told us (for £200) that he has ‘no idea’ whether the kitchen roof can handle the weight of solar panels. So that was just fab. A better person than me recently found a company that seems to be the world experts in making lightweight steel roof tiles that have integrated solar panels. How cool is that? And where in the world are they? About 10 miles away. How double cool is that? I’ll be speaking to their solar guy on monday. In unrelated news, I bought an ‘ecofan’. It’s one of those clever little propeller fans that sits on top of a wood burning stove, and uses the rising heat from the stove as its own power source, then gently blows the warm air around the room, reducing the amount of wood you need to burn. Is it worth it? I dunno. It’e been warm ever since, so the fan sits there, unused, braced for it’s first night, full of exciting promise. One of the things we changed was to get new radiators fitted. We now have the old fashioned big tubular things, like they used to have in British schools. They are pretty cool. We swapped some badly placed ones for longer, shallower ones, so that they don’t just throw all their heat out of the windows. We also got a cast iron radiator. Have you ever tried to lift a cast iron radiator? They weigh more than a star destroyer. It took four of us, together shuffling it a foot at a time. That thing holds more water than a thousand olympic sized swimming pools, and when you turn it off, the house stays toastry warm for six months. It looks incredibly steampunk. If there were radiators in captain nemos office, they would be that one. It has etched patterns and allsorts. If I ever actually get working solar panels installed in this house, I may have to have a celebration cheap games sale or something. I’ll have news monday. News of a silly experiment.