Renewable Energy Services

Renewable Energy Services

Unquestionably, there has been a recent and global generational shift in the perception of how we both use and create energy. Even on a macro level, “doing our bit” for the environment and future generations is now more important and prevalent then ever before, arguably it is now seen as mandatory. This means as a society we are now far more of conscious of how we use and create energy, more so than we ever have been previously. And of course, renewable energy is the future of all commercial and domestic energy use.

Culturally and collectively, it’s crucial we recognise that renewable energy sources can heat our homes while reducing our energy bills; and relieve our reliance on fossil fuels used to generate electricity. Currently, 28% of the UK’s electricity comes from renewable energy, and this figure is set to grow over the next few years.

As well as helping the environment, making the switch to renewable energy can save you money. For example, installing solar energy panels could save you up to £240 a year on your energy bills, or to reference the Energy Saving Trust, two weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of four.

There are many different types of renewable energy sources available. Here at RSM we can provide you with a consultative approach to switching your home into a more climate conscious environment and living space. Get in touch with the team to discuss how we can help you make a green transition.

Air Source Heat Pumps

An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) is a system which absorbs heat from the outside air. That heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and provide domestic hot water in your home.

ASHPs can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -25°C.

In the outdoor unit there is an evaporator (grill with fins), a fan draws air across it, latent heat in the air crossing the evaporator is used to increase the temperature of the refrigerant within the evaporator, the refrigerant is now a gas.

air source heat pump

Once it has absorbed the latent heat this gas is then passed through a compressor which in turn compresses (squeezes) the gas, this compression cycle of the refrigerant increases the temperature to between 25°C – 75°C. Now the higher temperature gas is passed through a plate heat exchanger this is where the high temperature from the gas is absorbed by the primary water within the heat pump system, this primary water, just like your boiler, is used to heat the house or produce domestic hot water.

There are two main types of air source heat pump systems:

  • An air to water system distributes heat via your wet central heating system. Heat pumps work much more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would. This makes them more suitable for underfloor heating systems or larger radiators, which give out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time.
  • An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home. (Please note, an air-to-air heat pump isn’t eligible for RHI)

An ASHP is installed outside your home, the unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air.

The benefits of installing an Air Source Heat Pump:

  • Reduce your heating bills, although as an Air Source Heat Pump uses electricity, so you will stay pay for electricity.
  • Cut your carbon footprint.
  • You could earn income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Can heat your home as well as your water.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

A Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) uses pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

A GSHP circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump.

The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.

The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need. Longer 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.

Water Source Heat Pumps (WSHP) can be used to provide heating in homes near to rivers, streams and lakes. They extract the heat from open water such as rivers, lakes and canals and can also extract water from sea water.

The Benefits of installing Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps:

Maintaining Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps :

GSHP/WSHP require regular scheduled maintenance but you can expect them to operate for 20 years.

There is no need for safety checks for ground source heat pumps and routine maintenance requirements are very low. These may include pre-heating season checks of the water pump, external pipes and fittings and electronics.

Hybrid renewable energy systems

These are different to hybrid solar heat pumps. They are conventional heat pumps, but with a secondary heat source alongside, usually a gas or oil boiler. The idea is that you can switch to using the boiler instead whenever the heat pump is unable to provide all the heating requirement, or to operate at a reasonable efficiency.

Some people describe these as bivalent systems, but that name can be used for any heating system that uses two different fuel sources.

We can’t currently advise whether there are any situations where it would be better to fit a hybrid heat pump rather than a heat pump on its own or a gas or oil boiler on its own.

air source heat pump

If you're thinking of a renewable energy system, please contact us.

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Environmental Consultancy

Protecting your staff, your environment and reputation is vital. That’s why we regularly engage with businesses across the UK to help them maintain that crucial level of protection.

If we can help, we will. And with a plethora of expertise and strong partnerships we likely will be able to support. Get in touch with our team to discover more about what consultancy services we offer.