Eco Houses

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Mactech

Mactech

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It's really important to look at the building fabric first. The two we are currently building we are making as air tight as possible with vapour barriers. They are relatively low value buildings so we are not fitting MHRV but sticking with individual extractor fans in kitchens & bathrooms and all windows have to have trickle vents. Makes you wonder if we would be better deleting the fans & trickle vents and deleting the vapour barrier:doh:
If there are two tricks I have learnt already with this eco house they are:
  • Managing the house ventilation for maximum flow with minimum heat loss. I can do this with the whole house heat recovery system.
  • Minimising the temperature gradient between heat sources and required temperatures.
That means a bit of forward planning if you want a temp of 23 deg in the room using the underflow water temps less than 10deg higher. You have to strike a balance between efficient and effective.
Its pointless having a thermal store with a temperature way above anything you will use, this bleeds heat away wastefully. But you do want enough of a temperature differential that energy will actually flow!
Hot water temperature is set now at just the hottest we want a bath at and cold taps in bathrooms go unused.

Ask me in 9 months time, but I now believe that a net zero energy bill is entirely possible with this house, even with my mega-watt sound systems:cool:
 

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Our ASHP heats water to 50 degrees so a little cold water needs to be added to a bath or washing up bowl.
Do you have provision to heat domestic hot water to 60 degrees at least once every 14 days to kill off legionnaires?
 

SW18

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Talking of UK vs Germany building regs, a friend is buying a new-build house (chosen off-plan) just outside Rotterdam. Standards there are excellent too, with ground source heat as standard (from a vertical bore, not horizontal, to access a more stable ground temperature year-round). The house also has mechanical heat recovery and is very well sealed and insulated. A thatched roof was even an option (not selected) as this supposedly provides the necessary high quality insulation!

It’s a shame the UK can’t catch up a bit, but I fear the government is too much in the pocket of the house builders, especially given its targets on numbers of new homes.
 

Londonscottish

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Ask me in 9 months time, but I now believe that a net zero energy bill is entirely possible with this house, even with my mega-watt sound systems:cool:
Stop it. I'm getting jealous now.

In my first proper renovation, I fitted a surround system in one room with a 7.1 system that could run 6 of the circuits at 120w watts each. The sub could draw something like 250w. It was only when I added it all up that I realised that, in theory at least, the whole thing could pull near-on 1kw. No wonder there are so many heat-sinks in the amp - one per channel.

Since then I haven't looked back. That system has been upgraded with some lovely Monitor Audio speakers and today sits in the front reception where it's used for films & sport. It's running a mid-range Yamaha RXV amp.

In the rear reception I've got another chunky Yamaha amp driving a couple of MA Golds and a sub - this one is purely for music. I actually bought a lovely old Yamaha Aventage to drive those speakers (forerunner to the RXA range, so Yamaha's audiophile range) but made a schoolboy error - I measured the depth from bare brick wall to then of the shelving unit not talking into account of the fact there would plasterboard, electrical switch boxes and a layer of carpentry behind it. Doh. The Aventage is vast and so overhangs the edge of the shelf so I just used another mid-range RXV for that. Music comes via Spotify premium at max quality through a Chromecast audio and into the optical feed. It's not purist hifi but I'm happy with the way it sounds and it did well when pushed into service as a party sound system at an impromptu NYE party last year. It can shift a lot of air....

I treated the TV in the same area to soundbar and sub - that's the one me & the Mrs use all the time. It's a Yamaha YSP 2700 and actually extremely good for what it is. For various reasons of layout & space I couldn't easily configure a full surround system so went for that.

The TV in the den drives another soundbar & sub combo. And in the loft I have a Denon micro system driving some in-wall MA's. Plus a sub.

In case it's not obvious, I like the way things sound.

And this post has spurred me into action; with the help of my 16 year old I'm going to dig out that Aventage and plug it in the front room - there's plenty of room in the AV cabinet for it and the old girl deserves a go.
 
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Mactech

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Sounds like you have some very similar afflictions to me!
I have 3 Yamaha Aventage amps in the house (amongst others) and they are very good. You can check what will be using my electricity here...
Stop it. I'm getting jealous now.

In my first proper renovation, I fitted a surround system in one room with a 7.1 system that could run 6 of the circuits at 120w watts each. The sub could draw something like 250w. It was only when I added it all up that I realised that, in theory at least, the whole thing could pull near-on 1kw. No wonder there are so many heat-sinks in the amp - one per channel.

Since then I haven't looked back. That system has been upgraded with some lovely Monitor Audio speakers and today sits in the front reception where it's used for films & sport. It's running a mid-range Yamaha RXV amp.

In the rear reception I've got another chunky Yamaha amp driving a couple of MA Golds and a sub - this one is purely for music. I actually bought a lovely old Yamaha Aventage to drive those speakers (forerunner to the RXA range, so Yamaha's audiophile range) but made a schoolboy error - I measured the depth from bare brick wall to then of the shelving unit not talking into account of the fact there would plasterboard, electrical switch boxes and a layer of carpentry behind it. Doh. The Aventage is vast and so overhangs the edge of the shelf so I just used another mid-range RXV for that. Music comes via Spotify premium at max quality through a Chromecast audio and into the optical feed. It's not purist hifi but I'm happy with the way it sounds and it did well when pushed into service as a party sound system at an impromptu NYE party last year. It can shift a lot of air....

I treated the TV in the same area to soundbar and sub - that's the one me & the Mrs use all the time. It's a Yamaha YSP 2700 and actually extremely good for what it is. For various reasons of layout & space I couldn't easily configure a full surround system so went for that.

The TV in the den drives another soundbar & sub combo. And in the loft I have a Denon micro system driving some in-wall MA's. Plus a sub.

In case it's not obvious, I like the way things sound.

And this post has spurred me into action; with the help of my 16 year old I'm going to dig out that Aventage and plug it in the front room - there's plenty of room in the AV cabinet for it and the old girl deserves a go.


 

Londonscottish

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Sounds like you have some very similar afflictions to me!
I have 3 Yamaha Aventage amps in the house (amongst others) and they are very good. You can check what will be using my electricity here...



Aha! Another rabbit hole...

The RXV 3067 is in and sounding brilliant. All 980 Watts of it. And the sub on top.
....
 

Londonscottish

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Sounds like you have some very similar afflictions to me!
I have 3 Yamaha Aventage amps in the house (amongst others) and they are very good. You can check what will be using my electricity here...



Got it up and running properly after a fair amount of setting up and what a difference. I've spent an hour transfixed by the soundtrack of a couple of BBC nature docs. The crispness and separation are so much better. Love it.
 
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Mactech

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Got it up and running properly after a fair amount of setting up and what a difference. I've spent an hour transfixed by the soundtrack of a couple of BBC nature docs. The crispness and separation are so much better. Love it.
Just like the cars we drive, you don't really need all the power they produce.
It's not so much what they can do as the way they do it. Normally working so far inside their limits means a really relaxing experience, but always being aware of their capabilities.
This Yamaha Aventage is now 'relaxing' into just providing the centre and rear channels, whilst the Bryston and Audiolab power the different frequency bands for the main speakers.

Can you spot the Mercedes connection with the numbering on some of my amps :dk:

IMG_0742.JPG
 

Londonscottish

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Just like the cars we drive, you don't really need all the power they produce.
It's not so much what they can do as the way they do it. Normally working so far inside their limits means a really relaxing experience, but always being aware of their capabilities.
This Yamaha Aventage is now 'relaxing' into just providing the centre and rear channels, whilst the Bryston and Audiolab power the different frequency bands for the main speakers.

Can you spot the Mercedes connection with the numbering on some of my amps :dk:

View attachment 108857

Wow. What a set up. I'd never thought of using different amps for different channels and/or frequencies. That's talking it to another level entirely.

I found the process of wiring up, configuring and calibrating my one-box system reasonably challenging. There are so many confusingly-labled connections and so many different ways of configuring it. Not helped by a rogue optical cable that was misbehaving in random ways and sending me off on wild goose cases.

But yours must take have taken some serious setting up the first time?
 
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Mactech

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Wow. What a set up. I'd never thought of using different amps for different channels and/or frequencies. That's talking it to another level entirely.

I found the process of wiring up, configuring and calibrating my one-box system reasonably challenging. There are so many confusingly-labled connections and so many different ways of configuring it. Not helped by a rogue optical cable that was misbehaving in random ways and sending me off on wild goose cases.

But yours must take have taken some serious setting up the first time?
Haha! Well my system has been is a state of build for years and set up is really a continuous process.
I really have no idea why hi end domestic systems have continued with the wasteful, power sapping and distortion inducing, speaker based crossover. Virtually all pro audio, PA systems and now top car audio are all poly-amped. My Audi A8 has a 16 channel amp.
Maybe it is the set up problems you describe....
I was building and setting up active poly-amped PA systems on a daily basis back in the '70s and I haven't forgotten everything about it yet!
Both me and my hearing may not be as sharp as it was in my 20's, but with the aid of a simple sound meter, patience and a little experience, it really isn't a problem.
 

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Haha! Well my system has been is a state of build for years and set up is really a continuous process.
I really have no idea why hi end domestic systems have continued with the wasteful, power sapping and distortion inducing, speaker based crossover. Virtually all pro audio, PA systems and now top car audio are all poly-amped. My Audi A8 has a 16 channel amp.
Maybe it is the set up problems you describe....
I was building and setting up active poly-amped PA systems on a daily basis back in the '70s and I haven't forgotten everything about it yet!
Both me and my hearing may not be as sharp as it was in my 20's, but with the aid of a simple sound meter, patience and a little experience, it really isn't a problem.
Spoken like a true engineer.

FWIW what confused me was terminology; on my new amp Front Left and Front Right are marked as such but the rears are just called "Left and Right". Not to be confused with Left and Right "Rear Presence". Which I mistakenly used at first (see the word "Rear") which led to much confusion in the resulting on-screen set up.

Then I found that the previous guy had set up up the amp in a way that precluded the normal Sub 1 out and so I ended up using the pre-out at first as a workaround. But that caused lots of headscratching. As did the dodgy lead.

At this point I decided to grab a fresh optical lead and do a factory reset and start from scratch.

Then, with the help of my son, we just gradually worked it out step by step. The best moment was right at the end when I was using the LPAO mike to calibrate it and realised the the sparkie had labeled the rears the wrong way round - ie as you face them, not as they are with your back to them....... I just couldn't understand why the sound tests weren't working properly having checked and rechecked the labeling over and over again.

Anyway, it's done and, for the £300 I spent on the amp, a great upgrade.

Although it irritated my wife a bit, it was a really good bonding session with my 16 year old son. He said, "How times have changed. If this was happening when you were my age, you'd have asked me to fix your car".

Yes. Or fit a new head unit, speakers and graphic equalizer. LOL.
 
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Mactech

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Spoken like a true engineer.

FWIW what confused me was terminology; on my new amp Front Left and Front Right are marked as such but the rears are just called "Left and Right". Not to be confused with Left and Right "Rear Presence". Which I mistakenly used at first (see the word "Rear") which led to much confusion in the resulting on-screen set up.

Then I found that the previous guy had set up up the amp in a way that precluded the normal Sub 1 out and so I ended up using the pre-out at first as a workaround. But that caused lots of headscratching. As did the dodgy lead.

At this point I decided to grab a fresh optical lead and do a factory reset and start from scratch.

Then, with the help of my son, we just gradually worked it out step by step. The best moment was right at the end when I was using the LPAO mike to calibrate it and realised the the sparkie had labeled the rears the wrong way round - ie as you face them, not as they are with your back to them....... I just couldn't understand why the sound tests weren't working properly having checked and rechecked the labeling over and over again.

Anyway, it's done and, for the £300 I spent on the amp, a great upgrade.

Although it irritated my wife a bit, it was a really good bonding session with my 16 year old son. He said, "How times have changed. If this was happening when you were my age, you'd have asked me to fix your car".

Yes. Or fit a new head unit, speakers and graphic equalizer. LOL.
A bonding session with your son is worth it's weight in .....well amplifiers!
 

Londonscottish

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A bonding session with your son is worth it's weight in .....well amplifiers!

There are some upsides to lockdown and that is very much one of them.

Also, he & I have watched every minute of every QPR game since this started plus we try and do all the Scotland & England 6 nations games too.

Next game is Wednesday night. We'll be enjoying the new audio experience together.

Priceless.
 

Londonscottish

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One last point on my struggles to set up something that should be relatively straightforward. This is from Tech Radar;

"Yamaha seems rather pleased with its new user interface, but I don't share its enthusiasm. Learning to drive the RX-V3067 is rather like taking a course in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The brand has gone its own way when it comes to this UI, eschewing straightforward lists and instructions for a predominantly graphical approach. Selecting On Screen from the remote calls up a vertical bar, which offers access to Setup, Input and other niceties. Choose one of these, and a second bar pops up across the bottom of the screen, sporting more graphics. Click here and another pop-up appears in the centre of the screen.

The brand also expects users to invest a significant amount of time in its so-called Scene presets. There are four dedicated buttons on the remote (for Blu-ray, TV, CD and Radio), from a total of 12, all of which can be edited as required. For me though, this is just more obfuscation masquerading as ease of use.

Graphical WTF is taken to an extreme when it comes to assigning inputs. Rather than just scroll and select text options, you have to decode a graphic that resembles something from a PC puzzle game of the 1980s. Any GUI which forces you to cross reference with a manual constitutes a Fail in my book.

More Scooby Doo mystery is encountered when you want to update the firmware. The process involves all manner of arcane button presses via the AVR's Advanced Setup routine. Why it can't be in the regular setup menu is beyond me. Does Yamaha think we'll not be able to resist the siren call of firmware updating and bugger things up?"

For the record, my son and I were consulting the Yamaha manual (200 pages....), the Yamaha Quickstart guide AND another quickstart guide that the retailer had supplied to help people who were hopelessly lost in Yamaha manuals, sub-menus and labelling conventions.. :)
 
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Mactech

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....and so today, for the first time, the house mangled to make twice as much energy as it used.....and it's still only February :cool:
I wonder if I can get a car to do that?? !t would probably need a solar array much the same size as Texas.....oh! no that's covered in snow at the moment!
 

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