I used to work in Aerospace Engineering and the site that I worked at was going through one of its many significant transitions. This normally resulted in either a call for volunteers to take early redundancy or that we’d won a contract and the profits were dependant upon a workflow that we weren’t used to.
One of the key characteristics of all of these times was the increase in activity that employed extra people to understand the statistics and their relationship to each other. I could never understand why this was the case until someone pointed out to me that in order to understand how efficient (or inefficient) a system is you have to understand what is going on.
This means that you have to measure all sorts of variables and try and determine how they are important to what you want to do. So don’t measure the number of cups of coffee that are drunk in the canteen at lunchtime, if you are trying to reduce the office stationary budget.
In the world of green and renewable technologies there are some key parameters that you will need to understand if it is going to be worth converting your house to be more environmentally sympathetic. You will be bombarded with Watts per square metre, Wind speeds in metres per second or knots, the flow rate of a typical toilet cistern and the Kilowatt-hours that your house uses on a monthly basis.
It is only be correct application and integration of this information that will allow you to properly plan and execute your desired selection of renewable technologies. I am not about to give you equations and formulas to fry your brain, but it is worth looking into (a little of) the science that is behind the route you want to take.
Smartmeters, a recording box attached to your power systems is the first step that a lot of homes take in this journey. It is valuable to have the information that it collects, even if it provides an embarrassment that you are using more than the equivalent family across the road. Perhaps this could spur you on to a Green Challenge to use the least amount of energy in a given period of time?
Measure Once, measure again is the title of this article because we need to know what we are trying to do, and we know that by understanding the information that we are presented with.