goonhilly downs aerials


Whatever the reason, for me the answer is simple

Human intelligence and ingenuity have always been awe-inspiring; at that moment we were in touching distance of icons of the ancient and modern world. In its time, the message from the menhir may have been no less powerful than that transmitted from giant aerials that paved the way for satellite and internet communication - on that precise spot, the first broadcast was received to tell the world that men had landed on the moon.

We share more than history with ancient people. They were entirely dependent on the radiation of the sun for warmth and food and since the beginning of time, the earth has stored that solar heat. A metre or so down, the temperature is maintained at around 10C, and being perpetually replenished, this can provide renewable and sustainable energy, almost doing away with the use of fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions to zero.

Laying out the slinkys Putting the slinkys in a trench The heat pump plus tank

Ground source heat pumps can tap into this heat store to provide one of the most energy-efficient ways of warming homes and providing hot water with low environmental impact. The heat is extracted from the ground from 'slinky' ground loops containing water, with a little antifreeze, buried in either a shallow horizontal trench or a vertical borehole. The heat exchanger then extracts the absorbed heat and transfers it to the pump, it is then distributed around the home via radiators or underfloor heating. The pump can be reversed in summer to provide air cooling.

OK, I'll quit before I dig myself into a hole! I know as much about anthropology as I do plumbing and I'm stumbling towards one of those, " Stop talking rubbish mother" moments. All I need to know is that it works! I live in a home that is always warm and I will never have to see an oil tanker again or worry too much about the cost of electricity: the energy I use is renewable, sustainable and as green as the leaves on the rowan tree outside my window.

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