July 10th, 2006 Drytronic Newsletter

Feature: Saving Energy in a Different Way

Beside short term politics, the biggest issues these days are global warming and energy saving, just to take two. I think the times of low energy costs are finally over and we can tackle both main issues and even a lot more helpfull things at the same time. O.K. we can't do much while we need the car, except of e.g. turning off the air condition in order to save around 1 Liter on 100 km or about 1/2 a gallon on 100 miles, as a first step, wherever possible.
While talking about air conditioning, most people I know and when we talked about a healthy climate at home, did not think about how much energy they might eventually loose there. One is they donít care very much about their e.g. wet basement and the other thing is they donít realise the beside risk of mold and all issues related to it. As we see the theme is getting a little more complex right away. Letís say we need at least 1 kW per hour, which doesnít sound much, to keep it in a reasonable stable condition (air wise), we will realise a steady degradation of the wall, floor material and that no paint will ever again stick on it. (Please keep that in mind for later). After a while the smell will change and the stored things will take on the bad taste and so on, until after some weeks, months or years you would get ďusedĒ to it, for either you donít smell it anymore Ė but others probably will Ė or you want to use or sell some items from down there, or even the house. Some like patina in some way, but certainly not when things stink ...! But what happens, when you need more space, want to move and sell or rent out the whole, or parts of the house? Do you have any idea what to do next and what expert to call? First thing that comes to your mind probably is, to use the Internet you are on, right? Then after at least half an hour: now you are lost, frustrated and confused. Most people will Ė if they are not afraid of loosing on their main capital the house, will ask a neighbour or friend if he or she has the same problem or start calling the nearby experts right away. Now things most likely will change in a manner you wonít certainly expect. Either the more people you ask the more ideas they will come up with, most likely with a long history from the past, or they only know someone that might know more or had most likely an experience, maybe even some kind of solution and or even a failure themselves. At least if it is your neighbour or friend, you know that you are not alone trying to deal with it, but certainly it wonít help you or them much further.
Whatís the next step? To go out for a product or service that is inexpensive or commonly used in your area, community or country? Look for something sort of making no dirt, as well a plug and play thing, like a dehumidifier, pumps, or non-electric devices, granulates, extensive venting (what a waste of energy in winter and more condensation in summer), etc. are worth thinking about? Maybe OK, if you only had a one time flooding and there is nothing more coming through wall or floor. In these cases dehumidifiers, as just one example, cost a lot on the long run, regarding equipment duration and energy consumption, as well as forcing the wicking effect of the building material, degradation of such, because of coming through salts out of the evaporated water and last but not least, you also need to maintain them properly on a daily basis. What I mean by properly is the fact, that fungicides might grow inside and remain in the filters which, by the blowing around effect, could not only spread around, contaminate everything in reach and beyond, but also cause severe health problems, to anyone that touches things or even worse inhales this kind of air. We are sure, it once helped my mother to develop pneumonia. What ever mechanical Ďsolutioní, even digging out the whole compound, if possible at all, might only be a part of a solution, if you donít know the exact cause and point of intrusion, etc.! Another thing might be, to cover it or try to leak-tight it with some (additional) coating from the outside or as well from the inside, or a combination with other things to perhaps reach the proposed goal?
So we are stuck again? Not at all ! We also, respective my mother and others had done all and even some more of this, up to tiling the floor, so the flooding can not soak in that much and could be pushed away across the basement to the gutter, on the other side ...! Oh yes, most tried things were inexpensive at first sight, but sometimes made the scenario worse. Trail and error and in the end, it just did not work out and this brought me to get hold of something different and new, that I then had to develop on my own, for we were through with all other aspects and have had spent the value of a fine Mercedes.
The new approach is, to combine standard techniques of removing and redoing e.g. the mortared surface, which alone doesnít help much on wet surfaces and maybe last only for some years, and to add some electronics system power that is able to actually work on the water and salts, etc. without corrosive materials. The idea is to powerful drive the water out of the wall and then start to repel it downwards and towards the outside, so it can create a buffer zone in dryer weather periods. Now we have a very adaptive system, that can be used in combination with local structures and mostly commonly used material, i.e. mortar, cabling and power supply. Next step is to just think a little different. Sort out how the surface density is, itís spread out, by simple means, as looking, touching and taking overview and close-up photos, of the contaminated areas, with itís dimensions and material used for construction. It mostly helps to learn more of the cases/houses history. This way we can most likely sort out how many electrodes, mortar, as well as the power needs, etc. we need in order to do the job right, the first time. A nice thing about all the works, that can be done by a lot people out there themselves - if they want to - and part of the system is, that you cover the surface with mortar, so you wonít see the wiring material used and you only need one system installed somewhere, where it doesnít disturb and then walk away, to let it do itís work and then to constantly take care, so later on, all remains the best way possible. The good thing also is, that if another spot comes up anywhere, you just need to spread out the system to it, in order to then fix it in a really simple way. Now it comes: This is possible, to start with a number easily to compare, at only for 1 kW per day (not per hour as mentioned above), or even less and a Drytronic® Standard in use. This is a saving of 250 gr. of CO2/hrs. or better 6000 gramms. a day, equalling around 2 kg of gas-oil or Diesel !!!

Thanks for reading and have a good day,

This Issueís Sponsor: Christoph Schmidt
This issue of GLOBAL ASSISTANCE's newsletter is brought to you through the support of Christoph Schmidt.

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