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Thread: Coffee machine in a passive house?

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    Coffee machine in a passive house?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This is way off topic but thought there is a small chance someone might have some experience or knowledge. Just at the very early stages of doing some research on building a passivhaus (passive house) or near to passive house (a passive house is a house which is highly airtight and highly insulated). One thing is they tend to remove any heat producing items to service areas or rooms. The passive house people don't like the idea of warming a machine up for half an hour before using, the reason I am asking here. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with coffee machines and the long heat up times in a passive house? Wouldn't hurt in winter in Europe, probably not as handy in Sydney in summer I am thinking.

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    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    use a robot or a flair.
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    +1 on Woodhouse's choices for minimum impact.
    And for relatively moderate heat gain electric I'd suggest La Pavoni Lever or an insulated ring-group machine along the lines of a Lelit, ECM Casa V (Probably need to be retrofitted), or perhaps if you're well-heeled, a Profitec 300 would be fricken awesome.
    But from my small understanding of the subject, a properly designed passive solar dwelling by design should be able to accommodate just about anything. because decent controllable ventilation should be one of the priorities?
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    The other option would be a thermoblock machine although pretty limited in their features and reliability. Some of the mid-level Breville and Sunbeam range are thermoblocks and have a very short heat-up time. But these machines are not going to make the best coffee or be the most reliable. Thermoblock is an alternative technology to the boilers on other coffee machines which produce hot water and steam.

    Other than that maybe manual machines as suggested.
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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    This is way off topic but thought there is a small chance someone might have some experience or knowledge. Just at the very early stages of doing some research on building a passivhaus (passive house) or near to passive house (a passive house is a house which is highly airtight and highly insulated). One thing is they tend to remove any heat producing items to service areas or rooms. The passive house people don't like the idea of warming a machine up for half an hour before using, the reason I am asking here. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with coffee machines and the long heat up times in a passive house? Wouldn't hurt in winter in Europe, probably not as handy in Sydney in summer I am thinking.
    I am in the throes of building a passive house in Beechworth for which I did all the thermodynamic calculations myself*. If your house design includes an energy recovery ventilation system (and if it doesn't, it should) the location of the machine is not very important because the ERV operates to spread heat loads.

    The next question becomes the actual heat load that the machine represents. Apart from the small load represented by the water in the boiler and the thermal mass of the group, the major loss is convective transfer from the boiler which is easily mitigated by insulation.

    I made a boiler blanket using a silicone foam pad (intended for ironing presses), this stuff has a u value of 0.12 W.m^-1.K^-1 so a boiler with about 0.1m^2 surface area wrapped in 20mm thick material loses about 60W when holding 100 degrees above ambient. Simply not worth worrying about.




    * I was for a while doing a PhD with my project being on energy efficiency in winery processes so I am reasonably well across the subject.
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    Kjarsheim and Roosterven, thanks for the suggestions. Kjarsheim my worry was a e61 may heat the house up before I wake up. Lyrebird impressive you are doing the calculations yourself ( though not surprising) your comments make sense about spreading the load around. I am thinking HRV, though my intended location is Northern Beaches which doesn't have the extremes of Beechworth. I am going to go and look at a few houses on Sustainable House Day - Sept 15, but half of me is wondering if I would get away with a house built to 3ACH (three air changes an hour) which may be adequate for somewhere with a mild climate. According to an article in Renew (worth looking at if you haven't already), 3ACH usually doesn't require mechanical ventilation. It is an interesting exercise and would love to hear how your build goes. I really believe this is the way of the future.

    Thanks for the reassurance, the talk of tiny heaters warming whole houses worried me I would never own an e61!

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    If you are ever in Beechworth you are welcome to come and have a look at what we are doing.

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    Thank you, would love to. It is still a pretty unique way of building in Australia, when you look on the passivhaus website you realise how rare these are, about 15 in Victoria, none in NSW. I am super impressed you did the calculations by yourself, even with your background I could imagine there is a lot of work in that side.

    You sound like you are mid way through the process, was it hard to find trades accepting of the idea?
    Last edited by 338; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:33 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    To be clear: we are doing a passive house but not Passivhaus: I cannot see the value in cleaving to their process when I am capable of designing something to suit myself.

    That being said, we have a friend who is building to full on certified Passivhaus, also in Beechworth, so if you want to look at that I'm sure I could ask John to show you over what he is doing. His cost per square metre must be about double mine; both houses are quite small but then I cannot see why anyone needs to live in a 300 m^2 McMansion with no eaves and 20 kW of airconditioning.

    Regarding the calculation and design work: it was actually fun and interesting and didn't seem like work but then my wife says I never met an equation I didn't like.

    Regarding trades etc: don't get me started. We are almost at lockup, we should have been finished weeks ago but the builders made a lot of mistakes which needed to be rectified. It has become obvious that they really don't know what they are doing, despite being the only Australian company certified to ISO 50001 for "energy efficient homes".

    A word of advice: sit down with the builder and go through the plans line by line and make sure both of you understand everything that is in there. Our mob didn't even return the plans to us until it was too late to correct fundamental mistakes like them having changed the roof pitch for no good reason, thereby stuffing up my solar panel azimuth angles and not leaving enough space for the insulation values clearly called out on my specification.
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    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    If you are ever in Beechworth you are welcome to come and have a look at what we are doing.
    Im coming too. So interesting!

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    Interesting. With the scarcity of this style of build I can imagine the problem dealing with the builder and his lack of experience. i have no doubt you and your project would have educated him, hopefully not too much at your expense. Interestingly Victoria seems to be the Passivhaus capital of Australia, so would have hoped for a little more experience being around. Plus that The Cape environmental estate with 8 plus star builds. It makes more sense in Victoria or the colder states.

    Great advice on the builder, to be honest I think they are key.

    I can understand you enjoying the calculations on the build, I enjoy pretending to be an architect and working around a sites problems but know these calculations would be beyond me

    What was your preferred materials for your build?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Im coming too. So interesting!
    Jackster works equally well in a warm climate, you can still open all the doors to get that nice summer feel or keep the temp relatively stable with the house shut

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    What was your preferred materials for your build?
    We wanted it to look like a tin shed so it's a simple stud frame with corrugated iron walls and roof. The roof is a little interesting because the house is basically two intersecting squares (to get the correct aspect on the block) and there are clerestory windows where the rooflines break.

    All the doors and windows are framed in Australian hardwood and there's a contrast panel at the top of the outside walls which is oiled marine ply. Inside it is very plain jane, polished concrete floors using local stone and plastered walls, the only obvious passive feature is an exposed brick wall which acts as a heatbank. Recycled / reclaimed doors and fitting where possible, a friend who is a cabinetmaker is facing the kitchen cabinets etc with heavy marine ply with the edges exposed.

    There will eventually be a second building on the block which will be the home of Lyrebird Cycles. The end walls on this one are going to be shingled in flattened olive oil tins as an homage to the old kerosene tin sheds that were common in the district but are rapidly disappearing.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:14 PM.
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    Lyrebird love what you are doing, the idea to reference or appear like a farm shed is great. Aus hardwood for the window frames would provide great thermal performance while providing a nice long life, though possibly not winning friends at your windowmaker. Did you go double or triple glazed? Clerestory windows let so much light in for their size. Like you I don't want the house to appear passive.

    Marine ply is a great product, I love its integrity and its cross directional strength. Will look great on the outside and in the kitchen. Interestingly I have been showing my wife pictures of ply kitchens and she isn't sure. I actually sleep on a ply bed set (bed, headboard and side cabinets) I made 25 years ago, looks and feels like new and still doesn't squeak - the reason I made it. We now have a CLT plant in Australia and considered building out of that - Cross Laminated Timber is basically ply in building sizes, like 100mm or 200mm thick and you get it precut.

    I haven't seen or heard of the kero tin sheds but can imagine people wanted to show that the family had 'moved on' from the period when they did that, inspired and will create plenty of interest. I think we owe future generations a little bit of history, some written, some visual, some oral and some living. Your olive tin shingled building will be the living history!



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