How Heat Pumps work

Heat pumps are common.

Electric heat pumps are part of common household equipment because they are very efficient. While the heat pump uses energy for the fan and compressor, for every 1 unit of energy that the heat pump uses, it can move 6 times that energy as heat.

Heat pumps are used in:

  • Fridges: These heat pumps move heat from inside the fridge and into your kitchen. That’s why its good to have space around your fridge, so that warm air is not trapped around your fridge.
  • Reverse cycle air-conditioners: These heat pumps can cool a room by moving heat from inside the room to outside the house. When the cycle is reversed, they can heat the room by moving heat from outside your home to inside the room.

Heat pumps for hot water

You can use heat pumps to get your hot water.  You can run the heat pump during the day, powering the heat pump with electricity from photovoltaic solar panels.  After installing the panels and heat pump, you heat your water for free, generating no emissions. 

How a heat pump works to heat water

A good diagram here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump

A heat pump can heat your hot-water. It would move heat from the air outside your house into your hot water tank which is also on the outside of your house. It will have:

  • A refrigerant:  The heat pump contains a refrigerant, a liquid that boils at a low temperature like minus 26 C.
  • An electric fan: The fan blows air over a heat exchanger. As long as the air is above minus 26 C, it will tend to boil the liquid refrigerant in the evaporator.
  • An Evaporator:  The external air heats the refrigerant to above its low boiling point of minus 26 C. It will work even on a cold day like 5 C outside. So, the air heats the refrigerant which evaporates producing a gas. On a cold day, the fan has to work for longer to boil the refrigerant.
  • A Compressor:  A valve closes shutting the gas in the compressor where a pump compresses the air. As the pressure builds, the gas gets hotter, just as your bicycle pump gets hot as you pump up your tyres.  The gas is heated to 95 C.
  • A Condenser:  The hot, pressurised gas passes its heat, via another heat exchanger, to where you want it, to the water in your hot water tank.  In doing this, the gas cools and condenses into a moderate temperature liquid at high pressure.
  • An Expansion Valve:  The cooled gas moves from the high-pressure condenser, through an expansion valve,  returning to the current atmospheric pressure and to the place where it started, in the low-pressure evaporator. Then the cycle repeats.

Updated 28/11/2020

Australia’s strong sun

Australia could become a renewable energy superpower.  One factor behind this is that Australia gets stronger sun than most developed countries.

Two world maps superimposed

Here is a strange map that demonstrates this.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4707544/Antipodes-Map-lets-dig-virtual-tunnel-Earth.html

It is two maps superimposed on one-another. The first is a normal map of the world.  The second map shows, for each point on the first map, where you would be if you drilled straight down through the centre of the Earth to the other side.

The closer a place is to the equator: (1) the more the sun is directly overhead, (2) the more sunshine it gets, (3) the more electricity is generated from each solar panel, and (4) the cheaper it is for that place to generate electricity from the sun.  This is ignoring other factors like how cloudy a place is.

From the map you can see that:

  • Australia is closer to the equator than the developed countries in northern Europe, northern Asia and northern America.
  • Northern Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Russia are as far from the equator as northern Antarctica
  • Melbourne is as far from the equator as southern Spain, so most of Australia gets stronger sun than Spain and most of Europe.
  • Northern Australia is as far from the equator as the border between the Sudan and Egypt.
  • The southern border of the USA is about the same distance from the equator as Port Macquarie (half way between Sydney and Brisbane). So northern Australia gets more sun than the south of the USA.

Manchester in England is as far north as Macquarie island is south

Here is another way of understanding how strong Australian sun is, compared to Europe.  People often think of Macquarie Island, which lies far south of New Zealand, as being in the Antarctic.  Well Manchester in England is as far north (latitude 54 degrees north) as Macquarie island is south (latitude 55 degrees south).  Northern Europe gets very weak sun and if it were not for the Gulf Stream, much of Europe would be very cold.

Australia has quality solar resources

So, considering only the factor of sun strength (closeness to the equator), Australia has better solar resources than most developed countries – and we have other advantages too, which mean that Australia could become a renewable energy superpower.

Warm is Not Cool: A Musical Protest

warm-is-not-cool-350

A 2016 and 2019 Musical Protests Against Inaction on Global Warming

THE GLORIOUS RABBLE, with
THE HORNS OF INFINITE JUSTICE, and
THE DRUMLETARIAT.


Our long-awaited first public outing was on Sunday 19 June 2016.

A marvellous experiment in public protest, inspired by the New Orleans brass bands, the English football crowds, and Brazilian samba.  We brought our delicious hybrid to the streets.

It was highly enjoyable, highly effective and downright dead, dirty funky. The three contingents of voice, horns and drums intersected in every cool way possible as we protested the woeful lack of attention in these election weeks to the elephant in the policy room: CLIMATE CHANGE.

To get people started, we rehearsed in public on the steps outside the Victorian State Library.  Here we are, learning and brushing up our songs, chants, and grooves.

Video 1: (1) watcha gonna do (2) Warm is not cool

After the warm-up,  we strutted our stuff at the old shot tower in the Melbourne Central Arcade.  (Sorry, you may need to be owned by Facebook to see the next two links.)


Video 2: (1) warm is not cool (2) watcha gonna do

https://web.facebook.com/Nancy.a.casa/videos/10206440165870954


Video 3: (1) warm is not cool

https://web.facebook.com/stephen.taberner.9/posts/10154342463273623


Later we were in the Melbourne City Square

Video 4: (1) warm is not cool (2) Whatcha gonna do


Then we did our thing in Federation square.
And called it a day.


Warm is not Cool: The Sequel: 26 June 2016:

Video 5: In Melbourne Central again: (1) warm is not cool (2) Whatcha gonna do.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS0b37BoZOw


Vote the bastards out: 2019

We sang this in the streets prior to the 2019 election – to no avail.

Vote the bastards out: Spookey Men’s Chorale


The songs and chants: Lyrics and tunes

Not too many words.  Lots of repetition, harmony and jive
https://soundcloud.com/maninthe17throw


****** Song: Warm is not cool

You can hear this on the sound cloud links and videos

Warm’s not cool

Warm is not cool
Warm is not
Warm is not
Is not

Yo de aye
Warm is not cool

Did you know that’s the case so
We got to fix up this place

We don’t want to mess up the future


***** Song :  A message to you Turnbull

You can hear this on the sound cloud links and videos

Stop your messing around
Better think of our future
Time to straighten right out
This problem in town

Turnbull, a message to you Turnbull
, a message to you Turnbull
, a message to you Turnbull
, a message to you Turnbull

22 percent of the reef is gone
Turn the coal off.  Turn the solar on


***** Song 3: Malcolm

You can hear this on the sound cloud links and videos.
Each part: bass, mid and top is separate on sound cloud.

Words:
Malcolm Turnbull’s got a very nice face
So let’s find him a lovely job in another place


***** Whatcha gonna do:  Call and Response Chant

Whatcha gonna do                  What
When the world gets hot      What
Whatcha going to do               Whatcha going to do
What                                                  When the world gets hot
What                                                  Whatcha going to do

Then Repeat

Try this chant while listening to the above video of us outside the State Library.


***** Chant: Coal Don’t Dig it

Coal don’t dig it
Leave it in the ground
You’ve gotta get with it


Origin

Stephen Taberner taught us these songs and chants
www.stephentaberner.com

He knows how to work a group!
Here he is leading the Spooky Men’s Choir at a folk festival in Shrewsbury, England.  Good song.  You might even laugh.


Another top song

We Are Not a Men’s Group – The Spooky Men’s Chorale


As you might be able to tell, I’ve borrowed a lot of these “dirty funky” words from Stephen’s event promotion.

Andrew Gunner

A solar-powered winery on Sikinos

A remote winery on the island of Sikinos in Greece has a spectacular view and more.  It has solar panels on the roof and battery storage, along with the expected large stainless steel wine vats.  Across the world, it’s happening more, away from the grid, it’s economical to be self-sufficient.

The winery is 2.5 kilometres away from the main village, perched high over its terraced vineyard with views of steep island peaks. There’s a tiny church on one peak and, out of view in a valley below, there’s an ancient Roman temple that became a church.  The wine-dark seas of Odysseus are spread in front of you, with islands dotting the broad sweeping horizon.  You can walk the old footpaths of Sikinos, and most of the ancient agricultural terraces are crumbling, but at the winery, the terraces are in repair, and the vines thrive on the moisture from the morning mists. 

Manalis Winery Sikinos

Temperature, CO2 and Sea Levels move together

Sea levels, Carbon dioxide concentrations, and Global temperatures have moved together over the last 450,000 years.

graph-co2-temp-sea-level-450k-years

The graphs show the movement over the last 420,000 years of:
. Sea levels (the blue line)
. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the air (the green line), and
. Global temperatures (the red line).

The carbon dioxide concentrations have fluctuated between about 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm) over this period of 420,000 years, but in the last 50 years, it has rocketed to above 410 ppm. (See the red circle on the green carbon dioxide graph.)  

The sea levels and temperatures have moved with carbon dioxide levels in the past.  This suggests that the recent increase in carbon dioxide will lead to large rises in sea level and temperature.

The graph shows five periods of high temperatures. We are living in one of those warm periods. During the previous warm period, about 120,000 years ago, the temperature was a few degrees warmer than at present, and the sea level rose about 8 meters higher than the present – and carbon dioxide levels were a lot lower than they are now.

The work of Hansen and Sato provided the basis of this graph

(John Englander: Oceanographer)
https://johnenglander.net/420000-years-of-temp-co2-and-sea-level-what-a-coincidence/

Glaciers in retreat:

Glaciers around the world are in retreat. The Taku Glacier in Alaska has been studied since 1946, and only now, in 2019, has it started retreating. Out of 250 alpine glaciers studied, this had been the only one not in retreat. Now there are none. At 1,500 metres thick, it’s one of the world’s thickest mountain glaciers, now retreating by up to 390 billion tons of snow and ice a year.

This is a big deal. Mighty glacier finally succumbs to climate change. (The Age: 8 Nov 2019)


Glacial altitude feedback loops

As you descend from the top of a mountain, the air-temperature normally increases. Now, some alpine glaciers are 1,500 metres thick and some Greenland glaciers are 3,000 metres thick. So, as these glacial surfaces drop, there are significant potential increases in air-temperatures at the glacier surface.

This temperature difference is the basis for a feedback dynamic that can amplify glacial retreat or growth. While this glacial altitude feedback loop is dominant:

  • a decrease in the altitude of the glacier’s surface increases the average temperature at the surface of the glacier,
  • this increases the melting of snow and ice on the surface,
  • this decreases the altitude of the glacier’s surface and closes the feedback loop.

This feedback loop is reversible, as if the glacier’s altitude increases, the average temperatures decrease.


The Extreme Ice Survey

The Extreme Ice Survey collects visual evidence of the impact of global warming on our planet, like time-lapse photos of the contraction of the glaciers.  Outside of the Antarctic, 95% of the world’s glaciers are retreating.

See the film “Chasing Ice”, produced in cooperation with National Geographic. It won an Emmy award as an outstanding nature program.

Also a TED talk by James Balog in July 2009


Related pages


Updated 10 Nov 2019