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Beacon Architectural Services

Renewable Energy 

 Diagram Showing Optimisation of Solar Panel Orientation

solar panel orientation beacon architectural services brecon powys wales

 

Solar Panels

When installing solar panels in the UK, the panels should ideally be mounted on to a South-facing roof for maximum efficiency. On a South-facing roof they will receive maximum exposure to sunlight.

South-East and South-West orientation is also very good, but efficiency will be lost venturing past these points. Never ever, ever, should a North facing roof be considered for a solar thermal installation. See diagram above. This shows how much efficiency is lost depending on the site orientation and angle of the roof.


When considering the installation of solar panels, consideration should be made with regarding shading and it is very important when surveying a scheme in the winter when trees are bare; a 10 metre high Oak tree for example with no leaves in the winter months will not cast as much of a shadow as it will in the spring and summer months and will cause serious efficiency problems! Trees and hills quite a distance away can also cast shadows on the roof, if they are large enough.


Angle of the roof

Solar panels are not affected by rainwater and do not need cleaning provided a sufficient angle of inclination is achieved. Manufactures of solar panels will sometimes recommend a roof angle of between 22 and 75 degrees form the horizontal. If the angle is too low the rainwater will not disperse easily off the solar panels and water could collect and cause moss to grow, which will reduce panel efficiency. The ideal angle to set the panels, as a general rule without going into the science, is the same angle as the degree latitude of the site where the panels are being installed. For example London panels should be set at 51 degrees.

 

Photovoltaics - Reduce dependency on the National Grid

 

photovoltaics beacon architectural services brecon powys wales

 Solar Water Heating - Efficient use of Suns Energy

 

Renewable Energy 

solar water heating beacon architectural services brecon powys wales

 

Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps - Space heating using heat from the ground and air.

ground and air source heat pumpsbeacon architectural services brecon powys wales

 

GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

The heat pump consists of a Water-Water or Brine-Water type. The unit is the approximate size of a washing machine containing a pair of cold-water and two heated-water connections.

The heat source is usually a closed loop of plastic pipe containing a Glycol Antifreeze solution. This pipe can be buried in the ground vertically in a bore hole or horizontally in trenches. The pipes can either be straight or coiled. The pipes are buried about 1.5 to 2m below the surface; a large garden or field is required for this type. The ground area should be selected carefully. Wetter areas are very much better than dry.

The heat system can either be underfloor heating pipes or conventional large radiators.

The system will require an electrical supply. A normal single phase is perfectly adequate for most household systems. A designed control system will be incorporated to provide temperature and timing functions required for the system.

The advantages:


1) The heat pump unit is a sealed and a reliable self contained unit which contains an antifreeze-water.

2) The buried pipes are plastic so will not corrode or be subject to degradation .

3) Due to the pipes being buried well below the surface a constant temperature is maintained. This means the system will continue to provide the same heat output even during extremely cold spells.

4) There are no ugly tanks to be seen and maintenance is minimal.

To keep the system running efficiently the heated water should kept at a low temperature. Underfloor heating is highly recommended for this reason, and therefore the underfloor heating layout must be designed with this in mind. The use of a lot of pipe work with a high flow-rate is recommended. Do not use a mixing valve to drop the temperature for the floor pipes. Depending on the size of the underfloor system, zone valves will be used to close and reduce the flow-rate. It might be necessary to incorporate a buffer tank to maintain the correct flow-rate; this will depend on the area being heated and whether the system is always on.

Depending on the design of the house and whether or not it is well insulated, separate zones may not be required nor the buffer tank. This is where a good underfloor piping layout in the floor screed is required for good heat output. Badly insulated houses may not be suitable for a full underfloor heating system.

Where radiators are to be used, they must have a large surface area. They could be twice as large as the ones used with a boiler. The pipework will have to be fully designed to ensure high-rates. The use of thermostats fitted to the radiators would have to be carefully looked at.

Underfloor heating is more efficient when a concrete floor screed with tile finish is used. Where the system is used in a timber floor construction the running cost will be greater.

If the house is not particularly well insulated, then you need to be more careful with the underfloor or radiator design. Poorly insulated houses may not be suitable for a full-heating system using underfloor heating.

It is also wise to have a back-up boiler linked to the system, or even a wood stove to help cope with very cold snaps.

The system must be planned very carefully to avoid costly mistakes.

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home. An air source heat pump is usually placed outside, at the side or back of a property, and may require planning permission. The pump needs electricity to run, but the idea is that it uses less electrical energy than the heat it produces. The physical size of an air source heat pump unit will vary depending on the output and type but will be larger than a gas boiler of the same capacity. Typically a 12KW (heating) single package unit will be about 1500x1200x750mm.

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.

Heat from the air is absorbed at low temperature into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased, and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the house. There are two main types of air source heat pump system:

Air-to-water system

The heat is distributed via your wet central heating system. Heat pumps work much more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would. So they are 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. They are unlikely to provide you with hot water as well.


 

Rainwater Harvesting - Rainwater Collection and efficient use.

 

  • Your rainwater harvesting system can save you up to 50% of your water consumption. Collected water can be used for washing the car, washing clothes, flushing toilets and watering the garden.

  • rainwater harvesting beacon architectural services brecon powys wales

     

    Rainwater Harvesting

    A rainwater harvesting system collects the rain which falls onto roofs via the normal guttering and down pipes. The normal underground drainage system would have to be designed or modified accordingly The water is filtered on entry into an underground storage tank. The tank size is determined by calculating the amount of water available for storage and the amount of water to be used. (The tank size is important to ensure a good quality water supply, so do not over-size the storage tank). The water is pumped from the underground storage tank into the building with a highly efficient and reliable submersible pump for direct use on demand, or to a header storage tank or a garden irrigation system. This type of system will help with the demand for mains-water and thus save money, and in the process reduce the flooding risk by keeping rainwater out of the storm water drainage system as required for SUR 1. The plumbing system within the building will usually require a separate drinking water supply. This type of system can also provide off-mains supply for remote areas and also help satisfy the water requirements for the various levels of the code for sustainable homes or BREEAM for commercial schemes.

     

    Grey Water Systems - Reusing your household water from various sources from around the house such as baths, kitchens and wash hand basins.

    grey water systems beacon architectural services brecon powys wales

     

    Grey Water Harvesting

    A Grey water harvesting system collects the used water from the showers, baths, sinks and washing machine. The normal underground drainage system would have to be designed or modified accordingly. The water is filtered and can used straight form the filtration unit to irrigate the land or can be stored above or below ground in storage tanks. The size of the tank is determined by calculating the amount of water available for storage and the amount of water to be used. (The tank size is important to ensure a good quality water supply, so do not over size the storage tank). The water is pumped from the underground storage tank into the building with a highly efficient and reliable submersible pump for direct use on demand, or to a header storage tank or a garden irrigation system. This type of system will help with the demand for mains-water and thus save money. The plumbing system within the building will usually require a separate drinking water supply. This type of system can also also help satisfy the water requirements for the various levels of the code for sustainable homes or BREEAM for commercial schemes.

     

    Sustainable architecture & design

    Sustainable architecture seeks to minimise the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency use of local materials, renewable energy, site conditions and building orientation. At the same time, architecture and design is also concerned with creating inspirational places to live without having a detrimental effect on the surrounding environment.

    Contact :

    Tel  Cardiff : 029 20024599

    Brecon : 01874 638082

    Mobile :  07792 695996   

    Email : baservicesuk@btinternet.com

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