Monday, January 27, 2014

Saving Energy with Secondary Glazing

All that rain- West Ealing
I have started to take an active interest in the issues around energy usage and Fuel Poverty. Sadly the disadvantaged are in a difficult position when it comes to taking up energy saving offers and initiatives for a variety of reasons.

This Saturday I took a walk to a home in Hanwell (noting the water 'pooling' by the local railway line from all that rain as I walked there) boy did Iget wet on my walk back.

At the house of the demo' I took part in a practical workshop that addressed the addition of a further layer of transparent (very clear Acrylic)  material to windows (internally) to reduce the loss of heat. For some on low incomes in either their own homes or rented accommodation this is a potential money saver and will improve comfort.

The people behind the presentation were part of the Ealing Transition project and were welcoming and friendly to the half dozen or so of us who turned up to learn more..

Measuring properly
The practical advantages of undertaking a window were apparent both in terms of confidence building (yes I can do this) and int terms of  suggestions for improving the install.

As the Perspex can be delivered cut to specified sizes by the supplier the work and tools needed are quite straightforward,  the addition of fixing to the Acrylic and the existing window surrounds is all that needs to be done.

The tools suggested are:

DIY scissors - to cut the steel and  magnetic  tapes ( these available at Wickes and are  better than wire cutters)

Hammer - to hammer in the wire clips (if used)
You'll need a clear working surface
Gloves - to keep the magnetic tape and acrylic sheet  clean while handling.
Sand paper and Chisel -to remove lumps and burrs around the windows


The fixings and Acrylic for this project were ordered from:

Acrylic sheet 3 milimeters (mm) thick cut to size and delivered from
Robert Horne 

Magnetic tape & Steel Tape: get a Secondary Glazing Kit from
Eclipse Magnetics

* The old artisan adage of measuring advice  is worth sticking to so do 'measure twice and cut once.'

Graham who is helping roll out the project has approached Brunel University with a view to getting post graduate research to validate the initiative both in terms of energy saving and also as a method of empowerment for the (self) installer, to my mind actual indicative figures are essential for getting some momentum behind this so hopefully some students will come on board.

Graham also mentioned the optimum spacing between the two layers, strangely this reminded me of a Physics school project which I undertook around 40 years ago - this had included the idea of triple glazing.

* The gap between layers for secondary double glazing should be between 10mm - 20mm (around  3/4" in old money is ideal) as well as reducing heat loss there is a reduction in acoustic noise from outside and graham said he'd found less condensation formed - practically you'll have to arrive at a spacing that the window will let you make.

Part of the Ealing Transition's vision is for groups to come together to support one another on the install and also act as a bulk buying co-operative minimizing ordering costs, which will reduce the carbon footprint impact (as well as the burden of post and packing).

Here's a useful couple of links

Photo's from the session

Centre for Sustainable Energy

and a nice Youtube video here

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