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The Shedifice

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Designed and built it to be 50% hobby room, 50% warm/dry/secure storage. (Some where to put my stuff while I work on the house). Roof angles optimised for year-round solar collection. Almost sound- proof; I can play music as loud as I like without disturbing the neighbours. No-one seemed to be demolishing locally, so I had to use new timber. The sheathing and floor is used shuttering ply scraped clean. The door and window are ex-display units from a local window shop. The outside cladding is 6" feather-edge fencing. (The offcuts were used up at the 'non-visible' end). It has worked out cheaper to build this as a store, rather than use a local lock-and-store for one year; at the end of the work on the house, I will still have my shed.

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The intention is to create a similar sort of thing to Ken Boak's shed, generating my own power, and feeding hot water back to the house. The shedifice is insulated from floor to roof as much as possible. Once the solar H/W panel has been made and fitted, (Based on the 'solarfriend' design), the interior will be warm and dry all year round. Heat requirement is 30W per 1deg C differential. (Outside to inside). The power from the (eventual) P/V panels will charge an off grid battery, to provide inverter power for lights and assorted machines. Phase 2 shedifice will provide a generator area for Domestic CHP from a lister 6-1 cobbled together with an assortment of my own design and build heat recovery with heat main to the house. (a la KB). If there is any room left, possibly home cinema!

I have taken lots of in-process pics. How would I make these available to anybody who is genuinely interested? Why do all of the panels line up? ... force of habit!! (some of them stopped lining up when the framing dried out and shrank. I had to take down all of the liner, plane 1mm off each edge, then re-fit it all. Not as pretty as when first built!) I was given a radiator for helping someone move house. That has now been fitted and piped in. Once the solar panels are on the roof and the thermal store has been installed, the radiator will keep the shed warm in the winter. (I hope). Surplus heat will be fed into the house via the heatmain. The crane is very useful for moving things that I could once lift and place by hand. I've finally got the hot water collector on the roof. Inside the shed I have 130 gallons of second-hand hot- water cylinders connected to the solar collector. These will store collected heat as hot water. When the house cylinder is at a lower temp than the shed cylinder and the sun has gone down, the hot water will be circulated to the house via the heat-main underground, through the heat exchanger and into the house H/W system. Initial testing has the panel get to over 105degC dry. Jury rigged to stop overheating damage sees 4 gallons of cold tap-water (12c) get too hot to touch (and steaming), within 20 minutes. Just got to finish wiring the controller back to the house, then start on the PV side of my power station.

Midsummer's day has seen my power station collecting it's first solar hot water. The two bedsheets were removed from the panel and at 13:00hrs the sun came out. In bright sunlight it is amazing how quickly just over half a gallon of water goes from 12c to 55c. My thermal store should be topped up enough over the next few days, (sunshine permitting), to start feeding hot water back to the house. 77p per day saving from my calculations! As I started to collect heat from the panel, and store it in the tanks it was very obvious that more insulation was required, because the heat escaping from the pipe-work had taken the shedifice indoor temperature up to 25c. (The previous hot similarly hot spell had resulted in 20c.) Controller still to be wired, commissioned and set up. Free bath tonight! (Well, first bath is about £800, but it goes down after a while).

Fitted a shelf for the pump and the battery today. After tweaking the controller to get it working approximately, the thermal store tank temperature reached 45degC at 3:30pm and hot water was automatically circulated via the heat-main to the house system for 3/4 of an hour to give a full tank of acceptably temperature. This is my first fully automatic operation; my morning shower tomorrow will have cost me 800 pounds. The next shower will be 400 pounds. Hopefully we will have some sunshine over the next 2-3 years, and the system will pay itself off; then all my summer hot water is free for as long as the sun shines.

Thank you Sheddies

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