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1 minute ago, Loddon said:

It's even more expensive than diesel 😱

It's a bit more expensive than diesel but it's a lot better for the environment. Many people would think this is an acceptable price to pay to help "save the planet"... 😉

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HVO is better for the environment than diesel or kerosene but it is not CO2-free.

 

So more accurately it still damages the environment, just less than fossil fuel.  There seems to be little consensus on the net about just how much less CO2 it creates. 

 

 

Edited by MtB
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Just now, MtB said:

HVO is a lot better for the environment than diesel of kerosene but it is not CO2-free.

 

So more accurately it still damages the environment, just less than fossil fuel.  There seems to be little consensus on the net about just how much less CO2 it creates. 

Which is why I said "a lot better" not "CO2 free". Arguing about whether it's 70% or 80% or 90% better misses the point rather... 😉

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1 minute ago, IanD said:

Which is why I said "a lot better" not "CO2 free". Arguing about whether it's 70% or 80% or 90% better misses the point rather... 😉

 

Quite so. 

 

I was just highlighting the point as I notice an impression developing amongst boaters that HVO is CO2-free, and burning HVO is the perfect solution. It isn't. 

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3 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Quite so. 

 

I was just highlighting the point as I notice an impression developing amongst boaters that HVO is CO2-free, and burning HVO is the perfect solution. It isn't. 

 

But the other problem is that arguing that it's not 100% CO2-free may discourage people from adopting it and greatly reducing their emissions.

 

We should not reject a good solution -- possibly the best one available for non-fixed narrowboats -- because it's not 100% perfect... 😉

Edited by IanD
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3 minutes ago, MtB said:

HVO is better for the environment than diesel or kerosene but it is not CO2-free.

 

So more accurately it still damages the environment, just less than fossil fuel.  There seems to be little consensus on the net about just how much less CO2 it creates. 

 

 

 

I don't see how it can produce any less CO2 when burned than any fossil fuel unless it contains far more hydrogen and less carbon. I suspect the claimed reductions arise from the feed stock which would, if it had sequestered carbon would allow the producers to claim zero net carbon. The different feed stocks being the cause of the different amounts. I read that it can be produced from .wide range of materials from domestic waste, waste vegetation through to sawdust

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3 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I don't see how it can produce any less CO2 when burned than any fossil fuel unless it contains far more hydrogen and less carbon. I suspect the claimed reductions arise from the feed stock which would, if it had sequestered carbon would allow the producers to claim zero net carbon. The different feed stocks being the cause of the different amounts. I read that it can be produced from .wide range of materials from domestic waste, waste vegetation through to sawdust

 

Of course it still contains carbon, what matters -- as you say at the end -- is where that carbon comes from, and what would happen to it if it wasn't turned into HVO.

 

That's how the net CO2 burden of anything is worked out, you look at the whole carbon chain not just the end point.

 

It's why the exact CO2 saving of HVO is difficult to state precisely, because it depends where it comes from. But whether the CO2 emissions are 4x or 10x lower doesn't matter, what matters is that they're many times lower.

Edited by IanD
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11 minutes ago, MtB said:

HVO is better for the environment than diesel or kerosene but it is not CO2-free.

 

So more accurately it still damages the environment, just less than fossil fuel.  There seems to be little consensus on the net about just how much less CO2 it creates. 

 

 

It's also worth mentioning that carbon footprint is not the only environmental concern to consider.  HVO's main problem is the amount of land needed to produce it and the resultant habitat and biodiversity loss.  It is most definitely not some kind of magic bullet to transition to.

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Just now, doratheexplorer said:

It's also worth mentioning that carbon footprint is not the only environmental concern to consider.  HVO's main problem is the amount of land needed to produce it and the resultant habitat and biodiversity loss.  It is most definitely not some kind of magic bullet to transition to.

afaik it is produced from waste oil/fats so no extra land though obs that means there will be a finite supply

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7 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's also worth mentioning that carbon footprint is not the only environmental concern to consider.  HVO's main problem is the amount of land needed to produce it and the resultant habitat and biodiversity loss.  It is most definitely not some kind of magic bullet to transition to.

 

That's true if HVO comes from biofuels which are grown specifically to manufacture it, but there are many other sources which don't suffer this problem -- most HVO today doesn't come from biofuel stock.

 

The objection "but it's not perfect!" is perpetually raised -- especially by the fossil fuel lobby -- against almost any proposed alternative energy source. And they're right, building windfarms uses steel and concrete, lithium batteries or cobalt have many environmental issues, biofuels consume land and water, renewable energy has the sporadic supply problem...

 

Because there is no perfect solution (except perhaps fusion power...) -- but the key point is that all these are much better than the fossil-fuel based solutions we rely on today.

Edited by IanD
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5 minutes ago, Phoenix_V said:

afaik it is produced from waste oil/fats so no extra land though obs that means there will be a finite supply

And that's the problem - the finite supply.  If we all switch to HVO, there isn't enough suitable waste oil, so it would need to grow it.

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Just now, doratheexplorer said:

And that's the problem - the finite supply.  If we all switch to HVO, there isn't enough suitable waste oil, so it would need to grow it.

I think that is why it is being promoted for marine use and not elsewhere

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11 minutes ago, Phoenix_V said:

I think that is why it is being promoted for marine use and not elsewhere

Correct -- IIRC marine/waterways in the UK have less than 1% of the CO2 emissions (and therefore fuel use) of cars (for propulsion) or domestic CH (for heating), HVO should be able to support this.

 

Even if some of the HVO feedstock is from biofuels, this is still far better than fossil fuels, and the massive impact on land/water use doesn't happen as it would if it tried to support the other 99% of the market.

 

As usual, it all comes down to the numbers -- and these are very favourable for HVO on UK waterways.

Edited by IanD
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12 minutes ago, Phoenix_V said:

I think that is why it is being promoted for marine use and not elsewhere

In the UK maybe.  Elsewhere it's being pushed as a straight swap for road vehicles and for home heating.

Edited by doratheexplorer
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2 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

In the UK maybe.  Elsewhere it's being pushed as a straight swap for road vehicles and for home heating.

But we're talking about UK canals here, aren't we? The thread subject is "liveaboard heating", not "solving the UK CO2 emissions problem2...

 

Nobody is seriously suggesting that HVO can solve the much bigger car/domestic CH problem -- at least, not anyone with any sense, which could exclude the government... 😉

Edited by IanD
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2 minutes ago, IanD said:

But we're talking about UK canals here, aren't we? The thread subject is "liveaboard heating", not "solving the UK CO2 emissions problem2...

 

Nobody is seriously suggesting that HVO can solve the much bigger car/domestic CH problem -- at least, not anyone with any sense, which could exclude the government... 😉

The UK canals don't exist in a parallel universe.  If all the waste oil is being used elswehere, then the HVO in your boat tank will have been grown for the purpose. 

 

I'm simply pointing out that it's unwise to leap on these new things without taking a step back and considering the wider consequences. 

 

So many green initiatives can be summed up as "robbing peter to pay paul".

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On 12/02/2022 at 19:31, David Mack said:

Nor an indication whether the power supply is 12 V dc or 230 V ac. Nor overall dimensions.

 

Just found a data sheet linked from https://postmarineheating.com/en/assortiment/smart-line-boiler-control/. Has dimensions and confirms unit is 230V. No price.

I asked Ricky if this is what he uses, and he just replied:

 

"It isn’t, but the burner head looks the same. There are 5 or so different variants on the market. Ours are made to our spec locally."

 

Like the custom motor/controller/BMS/battery setup, his approach seems to be "do it properly for the job in hand, don't bodge something which was designed for a different use".

 

As an engineer, I respect that 😉

2 minutes ago, David Mack said:

I suspect that uses quite a lot of concrete and steel too...

Duh -- but so does anything else, including renewables, which need a lot of space and don't generate baseload power without any gaps... 😞

 

Obviously I should have added a smiley to make it clearer that nothing is perfect... 😉

Edited by IanD
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On 13/02/2022 at 11:17, Loddon said:

Not always, if we lose external electric we still have a gas hob to cook on and a stove in the front room for heat. It has always been that way in every property.

Also I think I may be able to switch the solar/battery system over to "off grid" so external electricity could be irrelevant in summer🌞

 

Yes, but I meant if a house loses the electrical supply then most occupiers are screwed in terms of lighting and lots of other things. I would also suggest that you're not "most occupiers".

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14 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

Yes, but I meant if a house loses the electrical supply then most occupiers are screwed in terms of lighting and lots of other things. I would also suggest that you're not "most occupiers".

I will take that as a compliment 😉

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30 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

Yes, but I meant if a house loses the electrical supply then most occupiers are screwed in terms of lighting and lots of other things. I would also suggest that you're not "most occupiers".

We had a power cut when my daughter was a few hours off submitting her Masters dissertation (online upload). So lots of panic! We lost power, heating, cooking, lighting and broadband via the phone line. The only heating was the multi fuel stove in the living room, and computer/internet via the phone was good for only as long as the laptop and phone batteries would last. Fortunately it was only out for a couple of hours.

Edited by David Mack
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During the 3 day week, energy shortage days of the 1970's, I was working at Plessey's, where some of the engineers built themselves invertors to power their central heating systems from car batteries  during power cuts. The gas back boiler I had then just installed had a gas valve that used a 24V supply  obtained from the mains via a transformer. Fortunately my area rarely suffered from electricity blackouts, but if it had been a problem I would have been able to run it from a 24V battery. The hot water circuit was gravity anyway, and there was enough gravity circulation to the radiators to provide  background heating without running the pump. Indeed,  I had previously fitted a switch so I could have heating without running the pump during milder  weather.

 

The analogue phone system using copper wires is being phased out, meaning that your existing analogue phone will eventually have to be plugged into a broadband router that will stop working if the mains supply for its mains adaptor fails. The presumption is that most people will be able to use their mobile phone to make 999 calls during a power cut.  We have not been converted yet, but given that we  still have to use our landline for our calls from home  because we are in a black hole for reliable mobile reception,  and the fact that our BT home hub runs on 12VDC, I thought it would be a simple job to run it from a 12V battery in the event of a power cut. Not so: BT use a DC power plug that looks like a conventional coaxial DC jack, but has a much larger bore than any in my comprehensive collection of plugs and  adaptors. So I would need to cut the cable of the BT mains adaptor and fit an in-line  plug and socket of a standard type to be able to  run the home hub from a 12V  battery via the cut-off end of the  BT DC power cable. 

Edited by Ronaldo47
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Re the phone change to digital. On TV this lunch time they said that OFCOM has told the phone companies that they have to ensure vulnerable customers either are given a mobile phone or a back up battery system for the routers. You can see which way that will go. Bung them a £10 mobile with unusable small buttons  for old people and meet the requirement.

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8 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Re the phone change to digital. On TV this lunch time they said that OFCOM has told the phone companies that they have to ensure vulnerable customers either are given a mobile phone or a back up battery system for the routers. You can see which way that will go. Bung them a £10 mobile with unusable small buttons  for old people and meet the requirement.

Or bung them a cheap big-button mobile that they can actually use, easily available on t'internet 😉

 

I'm pretty sure that handing out mobiles that "vulnerable customers" couldn't use wouldn't meet OFCOM requirements...

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