Beginners Guide: Ground Source Heat Pumps, an untapped domestic resource

Ground source heat pumps use pipes which are buried in the garden to extract natural heat from  underground by pumping water through it. The heat pump then increases in temperature, and heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

 

“How do these fandangled contraptions work?!”

Don’t worry technophobes its quite simple! A ground source heat pump needs electricity to run, but the idea is that it uses less electrical energy than the heat it produce. It circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe – called a ground loop – which is buried in your garden. The water and anti-freeze is pumped around the ground loop and absorbs the naturally occurring heat stored in the ground. The pump itself consists of 3 essential components; the evaporator, a compressor and a condenser – together these take the heat from the water mixture, transfers it to your domestic heating system i.e. your radiators and increases the temperature in the process. A ground source heat pump increases the temperature from the ground by between one and a half and four times – if the ground temperature is 12°C, the output would be between 18 and 48°C so you can say good-bye to those chilly winter mornings! And the best thing is the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year – even in the middle of those harsh winters.
 

Will they ruin your garden?

No, not intentionally, unless the machines rise and have a thing against your flower garden! Joking aside; The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need. You’ll need sufficient space for installation of the system, generally with a garden that’s accessible for digging machineryLonger loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.
 

Other Things to Consider when installing Ground Source Heat Pumps

  • Is your home well insulated? Since ground source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, it’s essential that your home is well insulated and draught-proofed for the heating system to be effective.
  • What type of heating system will you use? Ground source heat pumps can perform better with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than with radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.
  • Is the system intended for a new development? Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system
  • Your existing fuel system. Savings will be greater if you replace an old or expensive heating system (like oil, LPG or electric heating) than if you are connected to the mains gas grid.
  • Water heating. You may need a separate electric immersion heater.

Lets get down to the important stuff, MONEY

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) differ in size and complexity, so pinpointing a typical cost is tricky. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates it can range between £11,000 and £15,000 to install one in your home. 
The payback period (the time it takes for the initial cost of the system to be recouped in energy savings) is also difficult to predict, as it depends on how efficiently your system works, the type of system you’re replacing, whether you can get financial support with the Renewable Heat Incentive and how you’ll be using the heat generated from the pump. Things to consider are:
  • A new build property will be generally more suited to a GSHP for retrofitting and RHI etc. 
  • How well insulated your home is.
  •  What you will be using the GSHP for as it is more suited for lower heat temperatures like radiators and underfloor heating
  • Running costs can be higher if you’re also using the system for your hot water supply, and you may require a supplementary electric immersion heater to keep up with your heating needs.
The EST estimates that an average performing ground source heat pump could save you:
  • between £650 and £1,035 a year to replace oil-fired heating
  • between £1,265 and £2,000 a year to replace electric heating 
Financial help is also available. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme and the EST estimated it could provide an additional £2,325 to £3,690 a year which is big money.
What RHI can do for you
 

Pros of ground source heat pumps

  • Ground source heat pumps generate less CO2 than conventional heating systems which means they are eco friendly, no protesters outside your door!
  • The Energy Saving Trust (EST) says that a ‘typical’ ground source heat pump could save you between £395 and £2,000 a year depending which existing heating system you are replacing, either way it is a considerable amount of money worth taking back from those dastardly evil energy companies 
  • You can get financial help towards the cost of a ground source heat pump. The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme provides payments to householders who have a heat pump, estimated to be between £2,325 and £3,690 a year for an average four-bedroom detached home.
  • You need to use electricity to power the pump which circulates the liquid in the ground loop, but for every unit of electricity used by the pump, you get between two and four units of heat – making this an efficient way to heat a building.
  • Cheaper Economy 7 electricity tariffs can be used to lower the cost of electricity to power the heat pump, and special heat pump tariffs may be available from some electricity suppliers – alternatively consider solar photovoltaic panels or a wind turbine (if you live in a suitable area) for a greener source of electricity.

Cons of ground source heat pumps

  • Installing a ground source heat pump is expensive – typically £11,000-£15,000, depending on the size of the system (not including the cost of fitting under-floor heating, if required) BUT, don’t forget that you can make your money back, all that money is an investment
  • Ground source heat pumps are generally not suitable for properties with existing gas-fired central heating as the technology works at lower temperatures, making it better suited to homes with underfloor heating.
  • The groundworks required to dig the trench can be expensive and disruptive – planning permission may be required if space is at a premium and you need a borehole. Ground source heat pumps tend to be better suited to new-build homes as they can be planned as part of the construction process.
  • You still need to use electricity to drive the pump, so a ground source heat pump can’t be considered completely zero-carbon unless this is provided by a renewable source, such as solar power or a wind turbine.

Will you be doing your bit in saving the environment?

A Ground Source Heat Pump can help in lowering your CO2 emissions, reducing your carbon footprint by a considerable amount, helping you go down a few shoe sizes! According to the EST, a heat pump with mid-range efficiency uses a third of the energy needed in an average gas or oil boiler to produce the same amount of heat. Added up over a number of years this a significant amount so yes, you will be saving the environment you nice lovely people.

Its in our hands
Are you considering Ground Source Heat Pumps? Visit our website here to get a FREE reliable quote. Its quick and easy and based on our database we can give you the top 3 companies in your area that can do it for you http://www.heatpumpquoter.co.uk

I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

 

Top 5 reasons how solar power can save the world

1. The research and development monies now going into solar energy are great enough to fuel innovation and bring down prices rapidly. First Solar expects solar generation manufacturing costs to fall from 63 cents a watt to 35 cents a watt from now through 2017!
2. Honda is experimenting with a zero-carbon home. It includes a direct DC recharger for an electric car so as to cut down on energy lost to heat during the DC to AC conversion. Charging would take only 2 hours, direct from sunlight.
The opening of Honda Smart Home US, showcasing technologies that enable zero net energy living and transportation
3. Thin-skin solar panels will be installed directly on the cars, and a canopy recharger will fill them back up, economical cars are the future (not the Prius)
 
4. Even poor countries of the global South like Pakistan are finding it affordable now to create enormous solar parks. Bahawalpur faces blackouts and a deficit of 4 gigawatts of electricity. It will soon get 1 gigawatt of electricity from solar and other renewables.
5. There are new technological advancements in Solar Power almost everyday and and a giant flow of ideas of how Solar can save the world which come as abundantly as the actual resource! Japan want to put a solar panel ring around the moon which can have the potential to power a 1/3, THIRD of the world’s energy demands. MIT are researching  solar panels that can grow from bacteria making them more affordable. A group of scientists also want to build solar plants in our oceans as the solar energy is greater there. The amount of solar energy that hits our Earth in an hour is enough to power the world for a year. Surely we have to harness this great natural, renewable resource?!
6. Okay okay, I know I said 5 but TOP 6 doesn’t have the same ring to it, sorry for lying my dear Sirs and Madams but this one is important! After seeing the way Russia is bullying Western Europe over opposition in Brussels to Russia grabbing Ukrainian territory, with Russia threatening to cut off natural gas, many countries will be encouraged to invest in renewable energy sources that cannot be cut off. Thailand is investing in 3 gigawatts of solar energy, not only because its government wants more electricity but because it wants more energy independence! The falling price of solar panels will give a further economic motive for going green, but tensions in the ASEAN countries over the possibility of gradually being reduced to Chinese puppets are real– something Obama is trying to address on his current trip to Japan and other countries of the far east. The alternative to solar, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to produce natural gas, is not affordable in many countries; it uses enormous amounts of precious water, damages the environment, and produces huge methane emissions that threaten deadly climate disruption. Solar gives both cost savings and security, as well as a brighter climate future.
I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Solar roof tiles (shingles)

To the majority the main reason why they won’t install solar panels is that some can look well… ugly. Nobody wants to lose their curb appeal understandably BUT, you don’t have to get panels. You can get solar roof tiles and they look just dandy!

What are they and how do they work? 

Solar shingles, also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar cells designed to look like conventional asphalt shingles. There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin film solar cell technologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. Solar shingles are manufactured by several companies by now.
 
Solar shingles are photovoltaic cells, capturing sunlight and transforming it into electricity. Most solar shingles are 12 by 86 inches (300 by 2,180 mm) and can be stapled directly to the roofing cloth. When applied they have a 5 by 86 inches (130 by 2,180 mm) strip of exposed surface. Different models of shingles have different mounting requirements. Some can be applied directly onto roofing felt intermixed with regular asphalt shingles while others may need special installation.

Aren’t they just dandy?!  There are all sorts of shapes and sizes that admittedly do aesthetically dance on the eyes more so than the panels!

Downside?

So it is a no-brainer then; fit solar tiles instead of panels unless you want to make a statement to your neighbours with your solar panels. Well – as is often the case – it is not as simple as that. The main issue is cost or, more to the point, return on investment. Solar tiles are more expensive – often double the price – and less efficient – typically 10 – 20% less than than solar panels. And as solar PV systems are being presented as an excellent investment with the Feed in Tariffs this will have an impact on their popularity and applicability.
Solar tiles still may have a part to play in the sustainable design of our buildings however. For those that view the appearance of their roof as paramount or for whom cost is not a concern may still want to make the extra investment. Also with new build homes, it may be practical to install solar tiles instead of conventional roof tiles which will offset some of the cost and look great; particularly if they cover the entire roof pitch.
 
I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Top 5 reasons to install solar panels!

Solar power is more efficient, affordable, and easy to install and use than ever before. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should turn to solar energy.

Solar is Easy

Modern Solar systems make going solar virtually stress-free for the home-owner. Installation crews can usually install a residential system in less than a week, and most installation companies take care of the necessary permits as part of their service. Using solar energy is easy too. Once the system is installed, your home’s internal wiring and appliances all work the same as before.

Solar is Flexible

Solar systems work even in areas with less than perfect weather. While solar energy has always made sense in places like the south of England, modern panels generate power at reduced rates even on days with partial sunlight. If you live in a temperate climate with frequent days of partial sun like the North of Scotland, you can still get the benefits of a solar energy system by using a net meter to manage your power needs.
Net meters are utility meters that runs forward or backward depending on the situation. Net meters let you sell excess energy back to the utility company for credit when you produce more than you need, and buy back that power at night or during bad weather.

Solar is Independent

One of the best reasons to consider a solar system for your home is freedom. The idea of becoming energy independent has become a popular subject nationally over the past few years, and owners of solar systems begin their journey to energy independence by reducing their dependence on public utilities, especially with their sky-rocketing prices you don’t want to be around for.

Solar is Environmentally Sound

Environmentally sound building practices are often more efficient than traditional methods, and solar energy is one of the best green investments you can make. Offering more than just panels and an inverter, some companies can install complete home energy management and solar energy systems that lower utility bills while reducing your carbon footprint.

Solar is Affordable

Government feed-in-tarrifs can help reduce the cost of your new system by selling back your excess energy back to the grid, earning up to £750 a year. Not to mention the new RHI that just launched (9th of April) means
Solar energy provides home owners with simple, secure, environmentally sound power, while tax credits and easy financing make energy independence a financially viable alternative to public utilities for more and more home-owners every day. Will you join them?

What you NEED to know before buying Solar Panels

Can I Get A Solar Panel System?

Before you decide to get a solar array there are a number of factors you have to consider as it can be a big deal. There are a number of things that have to be expertly evaluated before you can even consider putting panels on your roof.
 
First of all, some might have to come out and do a site survey. An engineer will climb up on your roof, take measurements, inspect to see if you have visibility to the south, and use this funky solar pathfinder device to determine the times of day that particular areas would be shaded.
Solar Path finder
They go to the four corners of where the solar array is going to be installed with the Solar Pathfinder, and with it point towards the south it has a series of marks on it and a glass dome which reflects anything that would be throwing a shadow. You basically look at the reflection and see what time of day the shadow might affect that spot. 
 
To get the most out of your panels you need to have them in a pin-point location to work efficiently as possible, you can’t just bung them on any old place! Basically this means it must be facing south within about a 20 degree window. If they can’t point the panels in that direction, you might as well not do it because your solar generation drops dramatically. Same goes for shade. If you’ve got a building beside you, or trees that tower over the house, you’re done.
 
Even if your roof points south, and nothing’s blocking the sun you still need to have an engineering survey done to determine if your roof can bear the additional weight! Luckily, it only adds about 5-6 pounds per square foot of roof loading, so most roofs should be able to take it.
 

How Big of a Solar Panel System Do I Need?

To some extent figuring out what you need is narrowed down by how much room you have and cost. But you also need to take a look at your previous year’s electric bills, find out what your electric rates are, and research what the projected generation will be for the size of system you’re thinking about.
 
Here’s a site to let you calculateproduction for your location. Just pick your country and region  You’ll come up with an estimate that looks kind of like this:
Station Identification
City: LondonòGatwick
Country/Province: GBR  
Latitude: 51.15° N
Longitude:     0.18° W
Elevation: 62 m
Weather Data:     IWEC
PV System Specifications
DC Rating: 4.00 kW
DC to AC Derate Factor: 0.770
AC Rating: 3.08 kW
Array Type: Fixed Tilt  
Array Tilt: 51.2°
Array Azimuth: 180.0°
Energy Specifications
Energy Cost:     0.0752 pound/kWh
Results
Month
Solar Radiation
(kWh/m2/day)
AC
Energy

(kWh)
Energy
Value

(pound)
1.45      128  9.63 
1.90      151  11.36 
2.55      227  17.07 
3.99      347  26.09 
4.60      406  30.53 
4.38      368  27.67 
4.63      397  29.85 
4.52      390  29.33 
3.56      302  22.71 
10  2.64      232  17.45 
11  1.61      137  10.30 
12  0.97      79  5.94 
Year  3.07      3163  237.86 
Can I Get A Solar Panel System?
ITS A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ARSE
 

Solar Panel System Tips and Tricks

Oh boy, there is a lot they aren’t telling you! For example, one really good thing is that these systems are mostly guaranteed for 20 years! What isn’t really talked about is that its the solar panels that are warrantied for that long, but the inverters are not. So when you’re doing your ROI calculations you need to include the fact that you’re going to have to spend more money somewhere in the middle of the life-cycle for changing out parts.
Sunny Boy Solar Inverter
Speaking inverters, I should explain that the reason you need an inverter is that the solar panels put out DC current. This is like the current that comes out of a battery. But houses use AC current. So the inverter takes care of the conversion. There are two different kinds of inverters that are currently in use.

Solar MicroInverters

Being dependent on one inverter can be inefficient, if they inverter goes down or has technical problems it means you won’t be generating any electricity. An answer to the efficiency problem comes in the form of micro-inverters. Instead of stringing multiple panels together and putting them through one big inverter, micro-inverters are installed on every single solar panel. This allows each panel to contribute 100% of its production to the home, and if one fails it doesn’t affect the output of any others.

Choosing between Inverters and MicroInverters

Each type of inverter has its own benefits. While micro-inverters are more efficient, they are also more costly. It could also mean a lot more wiring that have to be mounted and routed. Yikes! Big inverters might weigh 140 pounds(ish), but they get mounted in one spot and with minimal wiring. They are also extremely reliable, having been around since the beginning of the industry.
 
 

Other Things To Keep In Mind

Another thing no one bothered to mention is that the roof on your house generally doesn’t last as long as these systems. So let’s say you have a 10 or 15 year old roof. There is NO WAY it’s going to last as long as the panels. What do you do then? If you have to do any work on the roof you have to deal with the solar array first. Although some companies do provide a service that in the event of your roof needs repairs they will take down the Solar Panels for you for a cheaper price than it would cost originally. If you are worried about this then I would advise to talk about this with a trusted company that will be willing to help you out e.g. the solar company that fitted the panels.
 

Who’s going to look after the system? And how? I advise to stay at home and participate during the install so you can learn how things are connected, and if something needed minor repairs you could do it yourself.If you have a pitched roof, you probably don’t want to be getting on it to service your panels. So make sure the company you choose has been around a long time so you don’t have to rely on service from someone else.

 

How Long Does It Take To Install A Solar Panel System?

The good news is that it only takes about a day to a couple of days days for them to be installed on your roof. The bad news is, that the answer isn’t that simple. After we did the site survey and worked out pricing and all that, we had to sign contracts. Those contracts had to get sent off for approval to the electric company because we were going to be tying into the grid. Meanwhile, you have to have the structural engineer come to the house to determine if the roof could bear the weight. All of those things can take weeks to complete.
By the way, if you’re wondering if you can do all this yourself – the answer is no. Next question!

How much do Solar Panels cost?

Obviously Solar Panels range from country to country, region to region but, specifically in the UK (where I just so happen to be from) They are about £5,000-£10,000 but this all depends on the size, quality and quantity of Solar Panels you buy! A website that proved very useful to me was Solar Panel Quoter. They give you a lovely FREE quote from your region specifically and can give you a list of the top 3 companies in your area from their database, how convenient! 
 
Another thing before you are put off by the expensive price, you aren’t JUST buying the panels themselves with that money. Its also for the install which is in itself a complicated process witnessing it for yourself you’ll understand its worth every penny, just its a lot of pennies!

Your pay back can easily be done over a simple spreadsheet, factoring in the months when the panels will be at either a low or high efficiency. It should be fairly straight forward but on average most solar panel systems make back their money in roughly in half their life times. Which means it is worth getting them, you just need the money to kick-start it! However, if you can afford to do it, it is also a form of insurance against the potential of sky-rocketing energy prices.


This should be about everything you need to consider before installing solar panels. If I have missed anything out or you have any queries, make sure to comment below!

I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams! 

Costs and benefits of different Solar Panels

If you’ve ever wondered how much you would need to invest to harness the sun’s energy for your own personal use, this blog will give you an idea of the costs and benefits of each system. On the simplest level, there are two types of solar panels. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels which produce electricity, and solar thermal panels which produce hot water.

Solar Photovoltaic

Panels which convert the sun’s energy into electricity use solar voltaic cells to capture it. They do not need direct sunlight to work, generating electricity even on cloudy days (though not as much). The cells convert the energy into electricity which can be used in the house, or sold back to your own electricity supplier. Details on tariffs can be found here
In May 2012, the Department of Energy and Climate Change assessed the costs of solar PV, based on the average 3kWp (kilowatts peak) system that is installed. The average cost of installation was found to be £7,700. Whilst larger systems cost more, they are actually more cost effective in terms of the savings they produce. If you are wondering how much a Solar panel will cost you, you can click here for a FREE quote from your region!
On average, a 3kWp system has been found to generate 2,500 kilowatt hours of electricity every year. This is equivalent to about 3/4 of the average household’s electrical needs for a year. A larger system could therefore exceed the household’s requirements, with the extra being sold onto grid.
So the obvious benefit is that once you have paid for the installation your bills will be significantly reduced. If you are producing more electricity than you need you can sell it back to the grid. Furthermore, if you are eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, this could generate savings and income of approximately £750 per year (based on rates applicable since April 1st 2014). Here you get paid for both the electricity you generate and use and that which is sold back to grid. At this rate, the average payback is around 14 years.
There is very little maintenance required. As the panels are tilted at an angle, they should be cleaned by rain water. Being dirty will impair their performance, so if necessary you can contact window cleaning companies to wash them for you. The panels should last for 25 years, although inverters might break before then. 

Solar Thermal

Solar thermal panels work in conjunction with a hot water cylinder, so you must make sure you have a suitable one, or room to fit one, if you are thinking of installing this type of panel. The panels heat water that is circulated through a coil in the hot water cylinder, transferring the heat to the domestic hot water stored in the cylinder. If the panels are not able to produce enough hot water, an immersion heater or boiler will top it up. Once again there are the benefits of cutting you bills and reducing your carbon footprint.
The average cost of this system is £4800 and it produces moderate savings. In the summer it will produce most of your hot water. In the winter, it will need the boiler or immersion heater to produce most of it.
Maintenance costs are low and they come with 5 or 10 year guarantees. As with solar voltaic, they need to be kept clean, though hopefully rainfall will achieve this. You should also check it, or have it checked, for leaks. Leaks of the antifreeze in the panel will have a strong smell so should be noticeable. The pump may need changing after 10 years or so at a cost of around £100.
Studies have shown savings of around £55 per year (230kgCO2/year) when replacing gas heated hot water and £80 per year (510kgCO2/year) when replacing immersion hot water. However, savings will vary from house to house, depending on which way the panels are facing and which part of the country they are located.
 

Solar PV/T

It stands for ‘photovoltaic thermal’. It’s basically a hybrid solar panel consisting of photovoltaic (electrical), or PV, and thermal (heating) functionalities – usually separate – which will contribute towards a house’s electricity demands while heating hot water. 
 
PVT is essentially a photovoltaic collector that produces heat as a byproduct. The panel absorbs photons (electro­magnetic radiation) from the sun, and an inverter changes this direct current (DC) into an alternating current (AC), suitable for use in the home. The process naturally generates heat, which is transferred via an aluminium heat exchanger – located on the back of the collector – to a closed circuit through which runs an antifreeze heat transfer fluid (a mix of water and glycol); the fluid takes the heat to the hot water cylinder. When set up correctly, this process actually aids the functionality of the PV module, as it causes the heat in the cells to dissipate — and PV cells are more efficient when they are cooler. The best place to find this exclusive technology is at Newform Energy 
 
There is one potential problem in that heat output can be three times the electricity output. If we assume a 4kWp system, a standard PV array of that size would produce 3,000 to 3,200kWh of electricity each year. A PVT system will produce over 3,500kWh of electricity and up to 10,500kWh of hot water each year. That sounds fine, as an average house with four people in it will need about 4,000kWh for hot water and 8,000 to 10,000kWh for space heating. But, and it is quite a big but, PVT will produce around 50% of that hot water in the three summer months — some 5,250kWh when we actually need only 1,000kWh. So what do we do with the rest?

Conclusion

 

Clearly from a financial perspective, solar voltaic panels produce far greater savings. Continual improvements in technology and falling installation costs are also bringing the payback time down. PV/T would be more ideal but obviously it does cost a little bit extra and aren’t guaranteed as long as PV. Whilst this blog has looked at costs and benefits in financial terms, what it cannot measure is the importance to you of going green. However, if the environment is your priority, the fact that your investment will pay back in time is a comforting bonus. After all you only need solar panels the size of Ireland to power the entire WORLD! So do your part! 
 
 In no way am I saying ‘pave over Ireland with solar panels’ think of the leprechauns!
 
I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

NEW RHI LAUNCHED:

 

Earn £3,690 per year for heating your own home

After months of speculating and lengthy delays, the domestic RHI has launched in the UK TODAY, WHOOPIE – rewarding home-owners choosing to heat their homes with renewable technology with high tariff payments. This is great news for eco-green buffs as they will be rolling in money, waving their cash around like they just don’t care!

What is RHI?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat.
The RHI pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings. By increasing the generation of heat from renewable energy sources (instead of fossil fuels), the RHI helps the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets for reducing the effects of climate change.

Similar to the popular Feed-in-Tariff enjoyed by PV solar panels, the RHI will pay people for generating their own heat energy AND they get to heat their home efficiently – slashing their heating bills dramatically! I cannot convey the level of excitement I am currently in.

thermo banner Speculations of an imminent launch rose considerably when the minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker has announced via Twitter:
“Excellent progress on domestic RHI. All set now for launch by Easter.”
This is excellent news for those that already have, or who are considering RHI approved renewable heating, as they will see annual earnings and savings (payable for 7 years) of:
– £3,690 for ground heat pumps
– £3,390 for biomass boilers
– £1,280 for air source heat pumps
– £600 for solar thermal systems

It’s worth noting that currently, the hybrid solar panels (PV-T) that generate both electrivity AND hot water are not eligible for the RHI tariff.

Always check your system will be RHI eligible and use an MCS accredited installer.

Finally the government have got something right! The amazing thing about it is you will be independent, you won’t have to rely on those energy providers with sky-rocketing prices and you will be paid for doing it!  Just think of what you could do with a couple of grand left over at the end of the year..

I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Are Ikea’s solar panels a good deal?
 
Solar quotes - click here

Swedish home furniture giants Ikea are to begin selling solar panels in all 18 UK based stores within 10 months, following a successful trial period, but do they offer value for money and should you even consider buying solar panels from a furniture store?

Firstly, their price of £5,700 for a 3.36kW system, which is the size for a typical semi-detached property, is expensive. Comparing pricesfrom accredited solar installers shows that a larger 4kW system can now be installed for under £5,000, and a 3kW system for as low as £4,000. Though Ikea have to start somewhere

On the plus side the investment figures still stack up, with Ikea’s smaller 3.36kW system, on a south-facing roof in Southampton, forecast to earn £770 each year from the Government Feed-in-Tariff (guaranteed for 20 years) – meaning you can recoup the cost within just 7 years.

Though installing the same size system for a lower cost from an accredited solar installer makes more sense and will give you a shorter repayment period.

From a personal opinion, Ikea are making a smart move, they have seen the Solar Panel business on the rise and must be expecting a big boom soon like the rest of us. Hence the first UK solar advert airing last week and the noise Solar has been making in the news recently

New to Solar Panels? Here’s an introduction!

Did you know? The amount of the Sun’s Energy hitting the Earth Solar-System
daily is enough to power the entire planet 20,000 times over. And yet we only harvest a tiny fraction of this valuable resource that will continue to provide us with Free Energy for another 4 billion years.
If you had an oil or gas well under your Home or Business would you extract it?
Why ignore the most powerful resource known to man? Solar Energy is a clean form of renewable energy that if utilised correctly can provide vast amounts of energy daily & save your home or business  a lot of money over the lifetime of the system (roughly £17,000 over 20 years.)
With Energy costs constantly rising & our demand for fuel growing all the time,we are at serious risk of fuel poverty if we don’t reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Lets not run on dead Dinosaurs! We need to look at alternative, renewable way of heating our homes & businesses.
In 2012 the population reached 7 billion & the UN estimates by 2050 it will reach 9.2 billion by which time the Worlds fuel reserves will be 75% less.
 Either we stop going at it like rabbits or we change to renewable energy, I think we all know which one we would prefer!

Solar Panels providing Solar Water Heating

Solar Water heating can provide up to 70% of domestic hot water annually thus
reducing your reliance on fossil fuels which will equate to an approximate 30% saving on fuel. There are also environmental benefits to solar energy. A typical domestic system can save approximately 350kg of COannually or over one third of a tonne.

How Solar Panels Work

How it works – Solar panels are mounted on your roof ideally 45East/West of due South 1800. There are possibilities if you don’t have a South facing aspect but ideally anywhere within that 90windows optimum. Because solar technology has progressed so much in recent years they don’t need direct sunlight as they work on natural daylight.
At daybreak your panels heat up. The energy is sent from your roof to your hot water
tank via stainless steel insulated pipework & is transferred to your hot water cylinder.
When the temperature in your cylinder is reached the pump shuts off & you have a
fully heated tank of water at your disposal. When you run a bath or take a shower
the temperature in your hot water tank drops & the sensor tells the pump to deliver
more energy to the tank. The new heat that is being stored in your panels is sent straight down to your tank so even whilst you are showering your water is reheating. It’s a bit like leaving an immersion heater on all day except you are getting free energy from the sun. It really is that simple…
 
How to keep your Solar Panels efficient 
There are new materials coming out all the time to make Solar Panels more efficient e.g. new cells, metals. So my advice is to research a few companies that have the key ingredients so you know your Solar Panel will at the top of it’s game! Sort of things you would need to look for are Solar Panels with less wires as they would block sunlight, PVT cells etc.
Over a period of time your Solar Panels will get a bit mucky, just like how a glass house does over the years. This affects how efficient the panel is and will slow how much electricity you make right down. There are solutions to the problem though, in fact there are solutions for the solution! Basically you can buy most of the products to clean your Solar Panels online. I recommend a good Solar Panel cleaning solution and at least a 24ft cleaning pole if you’re too lazy to go up the ladder with a wet rag! If you are even lazier or have money to burn, (usually come hand-in hand) You can hire cleaning companies to do it for you that range from about £30-£50.
 
Until the next time, I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Solar Panels, not just for your average Hippie?

Solar Power was once deemed only for the eco-green world, TO SAVE THE PLANET and so on. Not to be taken so seriously by your average Joe. But times are changing and it’s becoming a big financial gain, becoming more public with 500,000 UK roofs with Solar Panels, its about time it got fully advertised.

First UK Solar advert to air here

The UK saw it’s first Solar Panel advert recently from Eclipse Energy, right after everyone’s daily dose of Emmerdale! Though a tad cheesy it proves that Solar Power is a more serious, mainstream business. Being targeted at the general, public ideally wanting to save a few quid!

Pioneering the way forward in the Solar Panel business is Chris Cash (Managing director of Eclipse Energy) who thinks that marketed the right way, it can become big industry. And rightly so! Solar Power is accessible to almost any home-owner with many rewards and benefits. Cash is paving the way forward showing the average Joe how Solar Power can help them.

Many other companies are stepping forward into the ‘light’ that Cash has so kindly shown, with companies like Spectrum Energy talking about their adverts coming out soon. The Solar business is finally coming into it’s own. It has been steadily rising for a while now and I won’t be surprised after a mass of adverts that it will finally hit it’s stride, making solar industry boom!