BetaTalk is the recent winner of the British Renewable Energy Awards 2020 communication category “which recognises an organisation who has done most to enhance awareness or championed positive change for renewables or clean technology with key opinion formers: parliament, government or the public”Nathan Gambling known as BetaTeach on Twitter discusses energy and the transition to low carbon technologies such as solar thermal and heat pumps with some of the best renewable engineers. He is uniquely known in the industry for spotting the exceptionally high talented heating engineers who are out at the coal face doing their bit to decarbonise our homes and buildings.
Big Heat Pumps - Talking to Dave Pearson from Star Renewable Energy
Big heat pumps powering district heat networks is the topic of conversation. Nathan chats with a well known figure from the vapour compression industry Dave Pearson, the Group Sustainable Development Director from Star Renewable Energy.
Star Renewable Energy, based in Glasgow, Scotland is responsible for the world’s largest 90°C natural heat pump for district heating based in Drammen, Norway.
Star uses ammonia, a naturally occurring refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential for their heat pumps. They have just built the water source heat pump for the Clyde Bank district heating system run by West Dunbartonshire Council.
As well as chatting big heat pumps Nathan speaks to Dave about his business model idea for decarbonising domestic heat.
At the end of this episode Nathan speaks with Jayesh about transitioning to heat pumps for the Optimized Retrofit Bulletin
What is a Hydrogen and Hydrogen Ready Boiler?
In this very honest episode Nathan chat's to Martyn Bridges from Worcester Bosch about 100% hydrogen boilers and hydrogen ready boilers, also known as H2 ready boilers.
Worcester Bosch are a very well known boiler brand here in the UK who are also involved with renewable technology such as solar thermal, air to air heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.
There is a lot of confusion around hydrogen and the decarbonisation of heat and hopefully this episode is able to answer some questions.
Nathan also discusses the new online benchmark system which has recently been introduced along with the topics of BS7593 and VDI2035 which are standards around corrosion in heating systems.
The new heat pump courses from the heat pump association and the new low temperature heating course from the CIPHE are also on the agenda
Nathan would like to say a personal thank you to Martyn for the kind words he wrote in a about his grandfather in a private message last year. Nathan misses his grandfather lots as he passed away just before the world started talking about the heating industry. Martyn knew Van very well and, like Nathan, knows how much of an asset his knowledge would have been in the discussions we all now find ourselves in regarding the decarbonisation of heating.
What is the Best Boiler - if you can not have a heat pump yet?
What is the best boiler features on some consumer sites. Unfortunately, these consumer sites have very little knowledge around boilers so it is best to take their advice with a pinch of salt .
In this episode Nathan chats to Si Posket who is going to be doing a lot more heat pump work with his friend Craig from https://cbrookesheating.co.uk/
We also chat to Damon from https://blakemoreplumbingandheating.co.uk/
who has really impressed Nathan with his commitment to the industry and to learning.
REMEMBER: a boiler or a heat pump is part of a heating system. It is the system which needs to be efficient. ALL boilers (which nowadays are condensing boilers) are designed for low temperature heating systems just like heat pumps are designed for low temp heating systems.
Zoning Heat Pumps Can Be Bad For Comfort & Efficiency
Zoning heat pumps and heating systems is the topic of this episode. We chat with Adam Chapman AKA Heat Geek who is one of the BetaTalk Heat Architects about a recent video he published on youtube https://youtu.be/zpTVIeUh04E
Adam runs the Heat Geek Hydronics course and you can find a discount code at Nathan's website https://www.betateach.co.uk/
We also get to chat with Jez Climas who is a very rare breed of merchant who actually understands the technology he sells along with the heating systems it will be going on to. He has made an interesting career move from being and M&E consultant designing BIG heating systems to working at a company https://midsummerwholesale.co.uk/ who have experience with PV systems and have branched into the area of heat pumps.
We obviously cover the topic of zoning along with other topics such as commercial building management systems (BMS)
Other topics include thermostatic radiator valves TRV's, valve authority, mass flow rate, mean water temperature of radiators and Delta T. We also discuss a favourite topic of Adam's: weather compensation controls.
In the Optimised Retrofit bulletin we chat to Dr Rhiannon Wreede who has made the transition into heating and works for https://www.solarpvtech.com/. We hear how colleges running courses and the Awarding Bodies getting payed for issuing hundreds of thousands of certificates often leave learners high and dry with no progression into industry, a topic very close to Nathan's heart e.g. why is tax payers money for funding education going straight to colleges when it's the employers who need financial support to train our industry.
Rhiannon has also written articles in HIP magazine about her journey
Chatting with John Cantor Author of the book Heat Pumps for the Home
John Cantor has been working with heat pumps since the late 70s and with refrigeration much earlier. He wrote his book along with Gavin DJ Harper (one of the BetaTalk guest battery experts) back in 2010 just before the renewable heat incentive came into play. He is joined by regular guests Ken and Steve who are big fans of John's pioneering work. It's a longer than usual episode so please use the chapter markers if you wish to find specific topics being discussed.
John's book is here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heat-Pumps-Home-John-Cantor/dp/1785007793/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=heat+pumps&qid=1626527840&sr=8-1
Decarbonising Heat in America: a conversation with Nate The House Whisperer
Decarbonising heat is a world wide challenge and Nathan had a conversation with Nate in Virginia USA to see what is going on over there.
Season 4 has a short bulletin at the end of each episode where Nathan and the Welsh Government Optimised Retrofit team listen to coal face engineers to learn about any issues and barriers they think they may face with a transition to renewables.