The release of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of increased industrialisation is blocking out sunlight and causing world climate temperatures to rise. This is a situation we have come to know or refer to as “The Greenhouse Effect” or “Global Warming”.
To protect our environment and create a supply of energy for future generations we have to look for more sustainable sources of energy such as renewable energy.
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is energy that is produced and replenished from natural sources, for example from sunlight, wind, rain, tides and the earth (geothermal heat).
The International Energy Agency has projected that solar power generators may produce most of the world’s electricity within 50 years, dramatically reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases that harm the environment.[*]
Ref: (*)Ben Sills (Aug 29, 2011). “Solar May Produce Most of World’s Power by 2060, IEA Says”.
Why choose renewable energy?
The growth in the world population, and the fact that we are living longer, have placed an unsustainable increased demand on our energy sources and reserves. This increased demand in the production and use of gas, fossil fuels, petroleum, etc. is threatening the environment and the availability of energy supplies to future generations.
Backed by government support and energy legislation, there are currently a number of financial incentive schemes available enabling savings to be made on reduced fuel bills and the opportunity to earn from the sale of unused renewable energy that you produce.
Solar & Heat Pumps
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There are no supplier organisations involved in the production, distribution or delivery of solar energy. Solar energy is produced by natural sunlight and is ‘free’. Installation of a solar system enables the natural production of solar energy to produce heating and hot water, all year round.
Benefits of solar energy:
- Solar is a renewable and sustainable energy source
- It reduces CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases
- Protects our environment and atmosphere from pollution
- Produces hot water and heating
- Is economical and affordable
- Is available throughout the year
- Reduced electricity costs – from use of lower night time tariffs when your solar panels are not generating energy
- Reduced gas costs – switching to a solar heated hot water system could significantly reduce your gas bill each year
A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to transfer heat from one location (the ‘source’) to another. The heat pumps ‘pull’ heat out of the air, or ground, to provide heat to warm a domestic dwelling or office building and can also be used as cooling systems as they operate in a similar way to air conditioning units. One of the biggest advantages of a heat pump system is that you do not have to install separate systems to both heat and cool your home.
By transferring heat rather than burning fuel to create it, heat pump systems are efficient and cost effective. With high energy efficiency ratings they are environmentally friendly as compared to more conventional heating systems. Their efficiency can also reduce your overall energy consumption levels resulting in lower fuel bills.
Unlike conventional heating systems (those fuelled by gas and oil boilers) heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time. Consequently, radiators will feel less hot to the touch and it may become necessary to run your heat pump system constantly during colder winter months to ensure your home is sufficiently heated.
There are different types of heat pump:
- Ground Source
- Air Source
Gracelands is an MCS accredited installer of air source heat pumps.
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the air outside and use it to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or to warm air convectors and hot water. Even when external temperatures are sub-zero, as low as -15° C, air source heat pumps will still absorb heat from the outside air. Whilst heat pumps have some environmental impact due to the electricity required to run them, the heat they extract from the ground, air or water is continually being renewed, naturally.
There are two main types of air source heat pump systems:
Low temperature energy contained in the air is converted to higher temperature heat, using a CFC-free refrigerant, to provide heating and hot water. The conversion process turns the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas which, when compressed, enables higher temperatures to be generated – making it an ideal solution for heating and hot water systems.
Air is filtered, warmed and circulated by fans to heat your home. Air-to-air heat pump systems are not designed to provide hot water.
Benefits of an air source heat pump system:
- No fuel deliveries
- Ground source heat pumps heat your home and provide hot water
- All year round climate control – heating in winter months and cooling during summer months
- Minimum maintenance as heat pumps are known as ‘fit and forget’ technology
- Filtered air from air source heat pumps reduce discomfort levels for allergy sufferers
- Air source heat pumps can be easier to install than ground source heat pumps
- Eco friendly with low-to-zero carbon emissions
- Efficient heating processes reduce energy consumption resulting in lower energy bills; especially if you are replacing an electric heating system
- Energy generated from heat pumps could provide an income through available incentive schemes