Solar Hot Water (Solar Thermal)

Sometimes called Solar Heating, most Solar Thermal systems are designed to assist domestic homes with supplying solar hot water. Although the system is often called Solar heating, very few solar thermal systems do more than just heat water. This is how it works in conjunction with a standard boiler setup.

Flat Solar Panels or Solar Evacuated Tubes collect sunlight which in turn heats up fluid carried in pipes underneath a glass surface. These tubes or panels carry the heated liquid into your hot water cylinder through an element which then heats up your hot water.

All solar systems require a Solar heating cylinder which is a twin coil cylinderor thermal store. This will replace your old cylinder and work alongside your normal boiler. The solar panels heat up the bottom of the solar cylinder, the boiler heats up the top. Your solar heating system is rarely independent, and can connect to your other heating systems and boilers.

Benefits

  • Solar heating (Solar thermal) is one of the most cost effective Renewable energy systems.
  • Can provide up to 70% of of your hot water needs.
  • Wide range of solar hot water products offering great value for money.


Typical Costs and Payback

For Solar heating systems it is difficult to give an exact figure as all houses vary. Often with heating and hotwater systems the efficiency of the house can be a factor itself. Generally you can expect a payback of between 8 and 12 years from a solar heating system which should last 25 years.
Typical costs are for a high quality system are around 3,500 including installation and a new solar heating cylinder.

Solar Electricity (PV)

Photovoltaic solar or Solar Power works by collecting the suns rays on solar panels or tiles made of silicon. These solar panels react to the sunlight and create and electrical charge which is fed into your site via an inverter. Solar PV panels can be connected to your home either directly into the national grid, or as an independent remote power source (usually connected to batteries). PV is the technical name for solar power and stands for Photovoltaic.

Main Benefits

  • Pure green solar PV power for your home or other use
  • You can sell back your solar PV power to the national grid
  • If you use battery storage you can have a useful source of back up solar power if the grid is unreliable where you are

Typical Costs and Payback

Solar power or PV has traditionally been quite expensive, but in recent years the price of modules and equipment has come down and we can now offer a very competitive price. The only caveat to this is that the main cost factor is the availability of silicon, which is in huge demand world wide and it is hard to predict how much prices fluctuate.

We can now offer a basic grid installed PV system for 2kwp for 10,000 inclusive of vat. As a very rough guide most 2 to 3 bedroom houses require a Solar PV system of around 2 to 2.5 kwp in size to supply their electricity needs.

Selling Your Electricity back to the grid

Under the new Government Feed In Tariff scheme you can now sell your own renewable electricity AND use the same units. You can find more information on our Feed in Tariff scheme factsheet.

Typical Scenario:

2kwp for 10,000 inc. vat, Annual generation of 1,500kWH per year, 14p per unit average electricity paid for the grid and 41.3p per unit paid to you for your electricity.
Add to this that the feed-in tariff is index linked AND guaranteed for 25 years and it is fair to say the future is bright for solar pv.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines are one of the most popular and effective renewable options available to date, and arguably one of the best renewable power generating solutions in the UK currently. Very simply, the wind drives a propeller, which in turn drives a generator, which creates DC electricity.

For Grid Connected Wind Turbines, the DC electricity generated is passed through an inverter which turns the DC into AC and can be either connected to the national grid. For Off-grid wind turbines the DC electricity can be stored with the use of batteries to enable you to draw windpower when you need it.

Benefits

  • Pure green electricity for your home or location.from the power of the wind
  • You can sell your excess electricity back to the national grid if you are grid connected.
  • If you use battery storage you can have a useful back up if your grid connection is unreliable.
  • A wide range of wind turbines to suit power requirements from 400w up to 250kw and beyond.
  • Very low maintenance and back up from wind turbine suppliers with over 25 years of experience in wind technology and manufacture.

Types of Wind Turbines

We can source a range of wind turbines in different sizes to fit your energy needs and budget.
We can offer 400w, 600w, 800w, 1kw, 1.4kw, 2.5kw, 3kw, 5kw, 6kw, 10kw, 20kw, 50kw, 80kw and 250kw+ wind turbines. We always recommend freestanding wind turbines mounted on poles to avoid damage to buildings from vibration. Our free standing wind turbines can be guyed poles or solid towers depending on your height and location

Costs and Payback

One of the benefits of wind turbines is that they have a relatively small "footprint" on the ground, this means you can increase the size of the unit and the height to make the most of your windy location. In theory the bigger the wind turbine blades and unit, the more wind power you can generate.

Costs for our wind turbines range from 4,000 to 250,000 (installed), depending on your requirements.

Payback can vary widely depending on your location, but given the right spot and lots of wind you can expect wind turbines to payback between 10 and 15 years and even earn a small income from your excess electricity on top within a 20 year period. For grid connected turbines you should expect to earn at least 10p / unit (kwh) even if you have used the units yourself AND you can earn 4.5p / unit even if you have an off-grid turbine!

Wood Burners
Wood or Biomass heating uses the most primitive renewable energy first discovered by man, wood fire.
Burning wood is a carbon-neutral renewable form of energy due to the fact that burning wood creates as much Co2 as if the tree were left to rot (creating Methane - a more powerful greenhouse gas than C02).
Whilst there are other forms of Biomass heating and combined heat and power solutions available, this section currently covers a range of products which are designed to burn wood in various forms for space heating only.

Benefits

Your Carbon footprint is lower - Burning locally sourced wood only creates as much carbon as if it were left to rot in where it stood. In addition to this trees re-grow, converting Co2 to oxygen.
There are many applications for wood fuelled hot water and heating systems, the latter being a major benefit as few renewable sources tackle heating can tackle as wide a range of buildings as wood currently.
Wood or Biomass offers an intense heat source, higher than other forms of renewable heating such as heat pumps, which means it can heat older, less well insulated buildings.
Wood fired boilers can work well with other renewable technologies such as solar thermal.
There is something satisfying about the smell and process which brings us closer to nature.

Costs and Payback

Systems can vary hugely due to the massive range of brands and types available.
Log burners can vary in price from second hand models at 250-400 and new models from 400 upwards and in many styles.
Wood pellet boilers start from 12k upwards including supply and installation of the boilers and storage equipment.

Heat Pumps
There are several kinds of heat pumps you can choose from:

Ground Source Heat Pumps and Water Source Heat Pumps work by absorbing the heat from the sun which is stored in the earth or in water between 1m and 2m depth. They use a system of flexible pipes containing fluid which are buried underground or in water which absorb, then carry heat into your house.

Air Source Heat Pumps extract heat from the outside air temperature wth the help of an air handling system. Air Source Heat Pumps can include the following types:

Air to Water usually includes an external unit collecting heat from the outside air temperature which is then transfered to the internal unit which uses the refridgerant cycle to transfer the heat into a wet central heating and hot water system.

Air to Air heat pumps take air temperature from internal or external units and transfer the heat via a air distribution system. External units can be used to heat apartments or open plan rooms such as church halls, offices etc and also work alongside or integrated with air conditioning systems.

Heat Recovery is a kind of air to air or air to water heat pump, whereby the warm air from excessively warm areas of a building (kitchens, lofts) can be used to heat water or air.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

All Heat Pumps work a bit like a fridge (BUT BACKWARDS), transferring heat from one source to another.
Essentially heat is transfered to the heat pump by lops or air units and this low grade heat is used to boil refridgerant. The heat is then pressurised and the temperature goes up to 55-65degrees - this can now be used for heating or hot water.
All Heat pumps produce between 3 - 5 times the amount of renewable energy than electricity required to power them.
Most Heat pumps rely on an immersion to give them a boost when high hot water demand is required but Heat pumps can also be installed with solar water heating to provide a complete hot water and heating solution.