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Susie’s notes from CIBSE Technical Symposium 2017

Susie was the Inkling representative at this years Technical Symposium held in Loughborough 5-6th April 2017. She diligently tweeted and took notes, and has compiled this storify to offer an impartial digested read of proceedings:

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Conclusions listed are:

The carbon intensity of the UK national grid has fallen considerably over recent years as we cut coal use and increase the renewable contribution. This is good news, and we need to respond by updating the carbon factors that we use when predicting the carbon emissions for different servicing options. We will be making poor decisions about the optimum carbon saving solutions if we are using factors that are so far out.

As grid electricity becomes less carbon intensive, all electric solutions such as heat pumps look more favourable, and gas CHP seem less beneficial.

Heat pumps are not straightforward technology and a prone to issues with poor installation and operation (especially in domestic environments) as we don’t have the skills and experience to optimise their use (they are very different to gas boilers) – see also the issues with MVHR – great technology but fails way too often in practice for similar reasons.
In contrast at least two presenters spoke about PV, how reliably they operate and how closely yields match predictions.

Finally – in my opinion, learning from the experience of ASHRAE members was hampered by annoying differences in our terminology. terms such as ‘Demand cost’ were used which are not understood here and is it my failing that I have no idea how to convert from °F to °C? A glossary of terms might make a helpful handout for future CIBSE/ASHRAE joint events.