Monday, December 10, 2012

Video: Cold Climate Direct SDHW system with Recirculation Freeze Protection

I've mentioned this system before, and I finally made a video.  Please remember this is the first prototype system, and is intended to be temporary.  (It's ugly.)  Our current thinking is that the system isn't developed enough for general public consumption, but I definitely recommend it for do-it-yourself types in milder climates. It is literally the least expensive and most efficient system with freeze protection possible with off-the-shelf parts.

We've instrumented the prototype system, and are checking all the failure modes this winter and measuring the amount of heat lost due to freeze protection.  The video still raises many questions, so don't hesitate to ask them in the comments section here, or preferably at Youtube.

Smart Light Bulbs?

Phillips has recently introduced their HUE lighting system.   It's a wi-fi based light bulb control system for timing,  brightness and color.

How can you use it around the house to save energy?  Honestly, I can't think of any scenarios that would reap enough savings to justify a $60 bulb.

But in multifamily buildings, there's the hallway lighting to address.  In the middle of the night, the hallways could be dimly lit.  During the day, the lights could be completely off.  This system is competitive with the cost of hardwiring timers and dimmers.   And I've never seen dimmable timers.  You could save at least 30% of your hallway lighting cost.  Still, I'd wait until these bulbs come way down in price.