Modern gas heating systems are very safe
This started the chemical reaction. The underground rock can increase in volume by up to 60 percent during this process.
Hide damage from tourists
Local residents and restaurateurs are desperate. The latter do their best to hide the eerie sight from the tourists – which is difficult because the destruction extends from the guest room to the toilet. Worst of all is the town hall. Structural engineers are currently checking how safe it is to enter the building.
The misfortune continues
What to do? A renovation at this point in time seems pointless, because it means that the increase will continue. By up to two meters, says a local resident. The option of tearing down the house, waiting and rebuilding it seems to make the most sense.
The worst could still be ahead
Sass confirmed: "This can go on for years – depending on how fast the water moves in the Keuper layer." He even fears that the worst is still to come: the gypsum layer could partially dissolve again in the water, and cavities would arise under the city. "I cannot rule out that danger is imminent." Because then there could be unexpected collapses in the middle of the city. "Something needs to be done urgently"says Sass. "The entry of water into the Gips-Keuper must be prevented." But that will cost.
Natural spectacle becomes judicial spectacle
But who pays? Are the geothermal boreholes really the reason for the whole misery? Did the civil engineer plan badly, did the drilling company not work properly? Does the city – the client – have to be liable for the damage? The natural spectacle has meanwhile become a judicial spectacle. Several residents and traders have sued the city. But in a letter, Mayor Benitz has declined any liability, as the lawyer Mirko Benesch, who leads the lawsuit against the city, confirmed Spiegel Online. The owners are responsible for their own damage, wrote Benitz.
Drilling can be to blame, but it doesn’t have to be
As long as the question of guilt has not been clarified, the insurers do not pay and there is no compensation. An expert opinion has already been commissioned to bring clarity. Geotechnicians from the Stuttgart Materials Testing Institute measured temperature profiles in the boreholes and determined the vertical movements at 30 measuring points in the city center. In the end, however, there was still no clarity: the holes could be to blame for everything. Or not, because natural causes are also conceivable.
A natural cause is also possible
"Staufen is tectonically active area"says Sass. "Of course, it is possible that clods move tectonically against each other, which could have changed the waterways and started the swelling reaction." Only: In his opinion, it is not very likely.theme of courage in to kill a mockingbird The timing of the processes with the drilling is a strong indicator that speaks against natural causes. Why now this strange increase, so shortly after the drilling? Many residents do not believe in theoretically possible natural geological shifts.
Drilling was definitely risky
In any case, the risk was known before drilling. A case-by-case examination must have taken place before the start of drilling, because authorities impose strict requirements on the approval of a geothermal well. in the " Guide to the use of geothermal energy with geothermal probes" of the State Office for Geology, Raw Materials and Mining, areas are classified according to risk zones. There it says on page 15: At "Areas with unsettled and spatially closely changing subsoil conditions – these include the marginal clods between the Upper Rhine Graben and the Black Forest with different layer sequences and rocks in the subsoil" geothermal probes are only possible after a case-by-case examination. In addition, according to Sass, it was known beforehand based on geological maps that a Keuper layer was under Staufen. The geothermal well itself is not the problem, says Sass. It was just very risky to drill here.
That will be expensive
So the show in Staufen continues. The damage has already devoured a double-digit million amount, the reports at least a five-digit amount. It is not yet clear who is to blame for all of this. But one thing is clear: Getting the reason safely back under Staufen will be expensive. Very expensive.
If you want to sit in front of a cozy fireplace, not just in winter, but also in summer, you should get a patio fireplace. This is mobile and can therefore be moved freely in the garden – as long as it is on stable and fire-proof ground.
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Terrace fireplaces need durable material
In contrast to a fireplace made of tiles or firebricks, no stone is used in the patio fireplace. Because these materials absorb moisture from the ambient air, they are rather unsuitable for the garden: after a while outdoors, cracks would form in the wall of the stove, which would no longer guarantee safety.
Terrace fireplaces are therefore usually made of durable materials such as solid copper, cast iron or stainless steel. Double-walled constructions are also common. Special requirements are also placed on the chimney base in the garden: it must not give off any heat down to the ground.
Safety in the garden
Some safety rules should be observed when lighting a fire outdoors. These concern, on the one hand, the location for the mobile stove and, on the other hand, the lighting. First of all, a level, stable and heat-resistant surface is crucial. The patio fireplace must not wobble, but should have a firm footing.
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Small pieces of wood with which you can fix the wheels provide additional support. To prevent flying sparks from starting a fire, keep a generous safety distance from flammable materials and garden furniture. Since most models are equipped with castors and are therefore easy to move, you can determine the exact placement depending on the wind direction. This will prevent smoke and smells from being drawn towards the patio door.
For various structural reasons, not everyone can get their own fireplace in the living room. With a gel fireplace, you do not have to worry about connecting it to the chimney, and the landlord cannot forbid you to use your gel fireplace either. Here is some useful information about how to heat with gel.
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Heating with gel: inexpensive and easy
Ever since gel fireplaces have existed, everyone has been able to bring their own fireplace into their home without violating the rules and regulations that would come with putting a classic stove into operation. A gel fireplace is operated with fuel gel – this ensures flickering flames inside the fireplace as well as pleasant warmth in the room.
The advantage of heating with gel is its simplicity. You neither have to add wood nor ensure that the smoke is vented as there is no smoke. The gel is also harmless to nature and humans, as it burns free of harmful substances and odorless. It consists of a starch, sugar or cellulose-containing biomass that is completely non-toxic. There are also no flying sparks. Only water vapor and carbon dioxide remain after burning. You can get a liter of gel in stores for as little as 1.50 euros, making the fuel very inexpensive.
With the gel stove to a cozy fire
You can buy gel fires of various sizes and shapes. They are suitable for almost all rooms, as they can be used variably. The structure always consists of at least one fireproof combustion chamber into which you pour the gel and light it. Most gel fireplaces even allow you to heat. According to the manufacturer, the stoves can heat a room of around 40 square meters with a heating output of two to four kilowatts.
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The gel burns for around three to four hours per liter. The prices for gel fireplaces vary greatly: As a rule, the costs are in the range between 100 and 1,500 euros, whereby both the design and the equipment are price-relevant. Tip: When buying, make sure that the stove has a TÜV certificate.
More and more homeowners are now turning to alternative heating, as many experts believe that the age of fossil fuels is slowly coming to an end. In other words, oil and gas will soon be obsolete. You can find a number of alternative heaters on the market, all of which have advantages and disadvantages.
What is alternative heating?
An alternative heating system is characterized by the fact that no fossil fuels are used. If you opt for such a form of heating, you can save a lot of money and also disconnect yourself from the steadily rising oil and gas prices.
With these forms of heating you can save considerable costs
An alternative heating system can function, for example, on the basis of solar energy, which is absorbed by solar systems. This method has the advantage that you can even earn money by feeding excess energy into the power grid. In addition, the running costs are low, which also applies to geothermal energy. However, the purchase prices of these heaters are quite high.
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At first glance, an old-fashioned but equally efficient way of saving costs through alternative heating is to install a fireplace or a tiled stove. Wood is cheap, especially in the country, and a stove does not necessarily have to tear a big hole in your household budget. One variant would be wood pellet heating.
Infrared heating runs on electricity and does not heat the air in the room, but the objects, which ensures a pleasant climate. Alternative heating is almost always worthwhile, and in addition to the cost factor, you can also be sure that you are making an active contribution to the environment.
Gas heating systems are operated with flammable gases. Most people use natural gas for this. Thanks to improved technology and more efficient fuel use, gas heating has numerous advantages.
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Gas heating: what are the advantages and disadvantages
To operate a gas heater, the gas is first ignited in a combustion chamber, which creates the heat output. This heat then flows through radiators into all rooms or, alternatively, directly into one room. The transmission is transported via air or water, depending on the heating model, in order to be used for heating, washing up or showering. Modern gas heating systems are more economical than in the past and nowadays require less gas for sufficient heating power. But even here there is often still potential for savings. If you want to check whether you are paying too much for natural gas, you can enter the billing data on a comparison portal on the Internet to find out whether costs could be saved.
Concrete advantages of gas heating
With gas heating, the fuel is burned cleanly and is therefore much more environmentally friendly than oil or coal, for example. If you only have a small system, you can do without the chimney and instead use a simple exhaust pipe, which in turn saves costs. Gas does not have to be stored like oil, but is only charged according to individual consumption. The investment costs when buying the heater are also lower than with oil, as no additional tank is required. Another advantage is the simple change of the gas supplier as well as the additional production of hot water.
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Security is important
Modern gas heating systems are very safe. Here you really don’t need to be afraid of an explosion hazard. Thanks to a built-in safety fuse, no more gas escapes after the gas flame has been extinguished. A solenoid valve is automatically opened during combustion, which means that the pilot flame goes out and the gas supply is safely shut off. The correct functionality of the gas heater must be checked regularly. A chimney sweeper also comes into the house to check whether the system is running properly.
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The city moves. Staufen at the gates of Freiburg has been suffering from the consequences of a failed geothermal well for almost seven years. Because the subsoil started moving, thick cracks run through the houses in the picturesque town in Baden-Württemberg.
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