Showing posts from February, 2020

Perspectives on Heat Pumps

A publication by the Energy Saving Trust, The heat is on: phase 2, provides a useful introduction to heat pumps [1]. Its focus is on the performance of heat pumps installed in UK homes during the years 2010 and 2013, both air-source and ground-source types. An earlier trial (phase 1) demonstrated poor performance in some installations, and remedial action was taken prior to phase 2. Several measures of heat pump efficiency - Seasonal Performance Factors - are discussed. For the phase 2 trials the metric SPFh4 was chosen; the calculation of this SPF includes “the electricity supplied to the heat pump, all fans or pumps and electricity delivered to any incorporated auxiliary or immersion heater”.

38 heat pumps were used in phase 2, with average SPFh4 figures of 2.45 for air-source heat pumps and 2.82 for ground-source heat pumps. However, the performance range was wide, with SPFh4 values from 2.0 to 3.6 for ASHPs, and 1.6 to 3.8 for GSHPs. Consequently several of the sites fell below th…

Subjectivity and Climate Change

In her 2016 Ph.D. thesis Gillian Westcott examined the part played by subjective attitudes to climate change in determining the policy and actions of local authorities in South West England [1].The research used interviews with officers and members of seven local authorities in the area, conducted during the years 2010 to 2013. While much has changed since then, the views expressed could well be relevant to today’s community energy workers and others who engage with local authorities on climate change issues.

In addition to its central focus on individual subjectivity, worldview and motivation, the study investigated corporate culture, climate change denial, the influence of central government policy, local political realities, and institutional structure. The thesis is valuable in providing historical and theoretical background to climate change issues at international and national level through its review of the literature, however the emphasis in this article will be on the finding…