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Data Analysis
Extracting the maximum information from experimental data

When realistic data is available from a reasonably designed and executed experiment or monitoring exercise, the process of data analysis is one of extracting the maximum value from that data within the bounds of the validity, accuracy and relevance of the data. The challenge is recognising and overcoming the limitations of many data sources.

Unfortunately it is not possible to show analyses performed for clients due to confidentiality, so to illustrate this service area an example analysis is shown where the maximum benefit is extracted from a sparse data set to identify the benefit of programmable radiator valves replacing simple thermostatic radiator valves and the benefits of lighting a wood burning stove providing simple room heat output. The analysis example is summarised below and can be seen in more detail by downloading a short report here.

Identifying the fuel saving benefits of programmable radiator
valves and wood burning stoves in a domestic property

Objectives
- Identify the savings in fossil fuel burning (oil in this case) resulting from installing Pegler Yorkshire terrier i-temp programmable radiator valves
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Identify the savings in fossil fuel burning resulting from lighting a wood burning stove during cold winter days (room heat output only)

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Pegler Yorkshire terrier i-temp radiator valve



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The raw data - temperature and oil consumption over three years

Data Sources
- Readings of oil consumption by periodic 'dipping' of the tank with additional notes identifying stove lighting
- Daily average temperatures derived from a nearby, publically available weather station (West Cheshire College, Chester, UK)

Challenges
- Oil measurements by dipping are prone to reading error, ice forming in the base of the tank and temperature related expansion
- Weather station data sometimes contains 'holes' and other irregularities such as varying measurement periods

Analysis Process
- Data 'cleansing', repair, alignment, averaging, characterisation, etc. - the most time consuming and frustrating element of the task!
- Choosing an appropriate model for the underlying process - in this case a simple correlation of average daily oil consumption with average daily temperature
- Segregation of data to identify different events
- Choosing appropriate statistical tools to gain the maximum information from the available data
- Verification that the model(s) reproduce sensible consumption data

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Weighted fit to segregated data to identify effects of programmable radiator valves and stove



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Happily saving money!

Results
Programmable Radiator Valves:
- Installing programmable radiator valves to only the three largest radiators in the home gave approximately 20% oil consumption savings in this example
- 300 pa savings in oil consumption in this example, giving a payback of less than six months
- Carbon dioxide savings of approximately 1.3 tonnes pa in this example
- Savings achieved by zone/time control and more accurate and responsive control than can be achieved by TRVs - greater savings may be achieved if more programmable valves are used in a home with more occupancy
Wood Burning Stove:
- Typical savings of 10% oil consumption by lighting a wood burning stove (room heat only) on the coldest days of the year, more during colder winters (~15% 2010/11)
- 150 pa typical oil consumption savings in this example
- Stove lighting benefits could be considerably extended with KinXerG's FHT Stove technology - see www.fhtstoves.com

For a more detailed description of this analysis, download the example report (pdf file) here.

Caveats

The above information and attached report are supplied as an example of data analysis only. The savings achieved from the use of programmable radiator valves and wood burning stoves will depend on the particular household circumstances and the willingness to set up and use the products as intended. Greater savings may be possible through the application of more programmable radiator valves in the home and/or the willingness to light a wood burning stove on more days of the year. Neither KinXerG Limited nor the author are affiliated to Pegler Yorkshire and this information should not be taken as a guarantee of savings or an endorsement of the products - however, the analysis does confirm that these products worked well and were very cost effective in the situation described.


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