• Drop me an email if you want to call.
  • ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

Tag Archive batteries

10th year of the pioneering SuperHomes Open Days

This year marks the 10th year of SuperHomes, the innovative and multi-award winning national network of over 200 homes which have all reduced their carbon footprint by a minimum of 60%. SuperHome owners will open their doors this September as part of our Open House events, and there is a record 100 free events occurring this year across the UK. 

SuperHomes is a project managed by the National Energy Foundation, an independent charity that aims to reduce the use of energy in buildings.
The Open Days are a great opportunity for visitors to see for themselves both the challenges and benefits associated with making older homes more energy efficient, and view retrofit technologies in action. The free Open House events occur every September where the SuperHome owners provide honest and detailed accounts of their renovation stories and offer invaluable advice and guidance.
Since 2007 SuperHomes has been at the forefront of domestic eco-retrofit and the network continues to lead the way in carbon conscious renovation. To date, 222 homeowners have all transformed their properties through environmentally minded renovation resulting in lower energy bills, smaller carbon footprints and a huge increase in comfort levels.
SuperHomes include all types of houses, ranging from Grade II listed 16th Century ironstone properties to 1990’s build ex-council houses; from 6 bed Victorian mansions to 1940 terraces; from idyllic ecolodge retreats in rural Snowdonia to single story flats in the heart of London.

The technology found within and around the properties is innovative and market leading, and our SuperHomes offer exceptional, and often unique, examples of green technologies.

In addition to the more mature aspects of green renovation such as external wall insulation, solar PV panels and heat pumps, our houses boast a variety of cutting edge technologies such as Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems, green roofs, biomass boilers, and even whole house airtight membranes.

SuperHomes are pioneers in renewable technology and energy efficiency.






We have a number of SuperHomes opening for the first time this year. This includes our most recent addition Pamela whose 1920s ex-Council house in North London is carbon neutral! She achieved this by installing many technologies, including Solar Water Heating, Solar PV Panels and Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery. Visit Pamela on 16th/17th September on a free tour. Another interesting first time opener is Paul from Flintshire who retrofitted his 1960s home for under £10,000, and still managed to achieve a carbon saving of 64%! Visit Paul for a tour on the 9th September to learn about how to keep eco-retrofit affordable. To find an Open Day near you please visit http://www.superhomes.org.uk/get-inspired/events/.

Energy used in the home accounts for more than a quarter of total energy use and carbon emissions in the UK. Houses in the UK are some of the least energy efficient in Europe, and the majority of the housing stock is made up of older homes which are typically very energy inefficient. Without tackling this problem and improving the energy efficiency of homes we will not be able to meet our emissions target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 to meet the requirements of the legally binding Climate Change Act. Open House events like SuperHomes are great ways to distribute knowledge and passion about retrofit, and persuade people to take the carbon conscious decision to reduce energy use in their home.

The current, post-Green Deal (the Coalition Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy that was scrapped in 2015), climate, with lowered green incentives and a distinct lack of interest from subsequent governments has seen the focus on eco-retrofit waver. Yet the refurbishment of our homes and buildings is one of the greatest challenges we face to reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. SuperHomes harnesses the enthusiasm of our energy saving pioneers to stimulate community-led renovation.
SuperHome Open Days occur throughout the year with a co-ordinated national event throughout September. Most of our openings coincide with Heritage Open Days (7-10th September) and London Open House (16/17th September). To find out more visit www.superhomes.org.uk
To help SuperHomes celebrate this anniversary we’ve partnered with the Ecology Building Society who are supporting this year’s September openings.

SuperHome owner #59, Mark Brown stands in front of his 1980’s detached house. The High Wycombe property has achieved 90% carbon savings. Visit on 9th/10th September.

Sci-Fi to Sci-Fact: Solar Impulse 2

In a surprising turn of events, we find ourselves in a position whereby we can follow two brave, pioneering, inspiring and revolutionary individuals as they fly across the world using nothing but solar energy. We wish you the best of luck and are amazed by the work you have done so far and wait eagerly to see the next development. This will only become easier as solar technology improves.

Like many of you I am an avid Sci-Fi fan… and I fought off the Super Man and Star Trek puns to make a serious point here. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg have taken on a truly phenomenal feat of engineering and blue sky thinking, to create something beautiful. The synergy and the achievement is in itself the sort of thing you would only ever find in the mysterious world of Star Trek and comic book hero’s, I salute you.

The solar powered plane, began its journey from Abu Dhabi on the 9th of March last year flying across Asia and is attempting to fly the globe, if all had gone to plan they would have finished last year. Sadly however there was issues with the batteries and they spent a few months fixing them up and have begun the next leg to carry on the stages, sharing and switching the pilots seat between the two men between the journeys.

SOlar Impluse 2

This is at present a single seat plane that weighs no more than a car but has a wing span of a Boeing 747. The plane works by raising to 9,000 meters at the beginning of the journeys in peak sun and then going down slowly towards 1600 meters. This rise and fall means that the high energy climb happens at peak generation and then the plane uses less energy as the sun goes down meaning the plane works in waves so that as the sun comes back up the plane raises again and so on.

If you want more information on the plane or the two individuals that are taking it on this epic journey I have found some links for you.

CNN have a nice video here that shows you inside the cockpit of the Solar Impulse 2

Reuters have a video of take off from New York to Spain

A post from the BBC after the first leg was completed last year

The question I would pose is that while this is early days, will there be a time in which you can spend weeks on a solar powered holiday plane? Or living on a plane for for a prolonged period or working on one. This may well be possible though obvious practicalities will have to be worked out first. Maybe Sci-Fi can be science fact in our lifetimes, it certainly seems to be heading that way and its made even sweeter knowing that its sustainable.