Plumbing and Heating Experts in Hertfordshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire
L.H. Cook Plumbing & Heating Ltd can now offer a large range of renewable energy options. Renewable heat is an application of renewable energy and it refers to the renewable generation of heat, rather than electrical power (e.g. replacing a fossil fuel boiler using concentrating solar thermal to feed radiators). Renewable heat technologies include renewable biofuels, solar heating, geothermal heating, heat pumps and heat exchangers to recover lost heat. Significant attention is also applied to insulation.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
A ground source heat pump system harnesses natural heat from underground by pumping water through it in pipes. The heat pump then increases the temperature, and the heat is used to provide home heating or hot water. They need electricity to run, but the idea is that they use less electrical energy than the heat they produce. The pump performs the same role as a boiler in a central heating system. But it uses ambient heat from the ground, rather than burning fuel to generate heat.
Ground source heat pump systems are made up of a ground loop (a network of water pipes buried underground) and a heat pump at ground level. You’ll need plenty of space for the system to be installed – generally a garden that’s accessible for digging machinery. How big the ground loop needs to be depends on how big your home is and how much heat you need.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source pumps serve as an alternative way to heat your home, and could be the ideal solution if you want to generate your own heat and potentially save money on your energy bills. There are other options available if you want to generate your own heat, however, such as wood burning stoves and solar panels. Heat pumps can save you more on your heating bills if you’re replacing an electric, oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or coal system, rather than gas. But remember, a well-insulated home is essential – otherwise the heat the pump is generating escapes more easily.
An air source heat pump is usually placed outdoors at the side or back of a property. It takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. The pump needs electricity to run, but it should use less electrical energy than the heat it produces.
Many air source heat pumps are eligible for payment through the Renewable Heat Incentive, a government scheme that provides payments to homeowners who generate their own heat.
Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
A photovoltaic system employs solar modules, each comprising a number of solar cells, which generate electrical power. PV installations may be ground-mounted, rooftop-mounted, wall-mounted or floating. The mount may be fixed or use a solar tracker to follow the sun across the sky.
Photovoltaic technology helps to mitigate climate change because it emits much less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. Solar PV has specific advantages as an energy source: once installed, its operation generates no pollution and no greenhouse gas emissions, it shows scalability in respect of power needs and silicon has large availability in the Earth’s crust, although other materials required in PV system manufacture such as silver may constrain further growth in the technology. Other major constraints identified are competition for land use. The use of PV as a main source requires energy storage systems or global distribution by high-voltage direct current power lines causing additional costs, and also has a number of other specific disadvantages such as variable power generation which have to be balanced. Production and installation does cause some pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, though only a fraction of the emissions caused by fossil fuels.
Solar thermal energy (STE) is a form of energy and a technology for harnessing solar energy to generate thermal energy for use in industry, and in the residential and commercial sectors. Solar thermal collectors are classified by the United States Energy Information Administration as low-, medium-, or high-temperature collectors. Low-temperature collectors are generally unglazed and used to heat swimming pools or to heat ventilation air. Medium-temperature collectors are also usually flat plates but are used for heating water or air for residential and commercial use.
High-temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors or lenses and are generally used for fulfilling heat requirements up to 300 deg C / 20 bar pressure in industries, and for electric power production. Two categories include Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) for fulfilling heat requirements in industries, and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) when the heat collected is used for electric power generation. CST and CSP are not replaceable in terms of application.
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