Choosing to build a bespoke house opens up a world of choices in energy provision. By integrating the heating and energy system with the build, installation costs are reduced.
On going running costs can be considerably lower than conventional methods. In fact, the government has recently introduced a scheme which means you get paid for generating your own electricity and you can sell your surplus to the national grid.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Underground temperatures stay fairly constant throughout the year. Ground loop pipes are buried in the garden containing a refrigerant mix, which is warmed by the earth. Heat is then extracted from the mix and it is then compressed which further increases the temperature of the heat. This heat is then used to heat water for the central heating and hot water systems in the house. The refrigerant mix is re-circulated outside to be heated again.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air Source Heat Pumps consist of an outside unit, which extracts heat from the air to a coolant mix. This can be used to heat air for heating or to heat water. Unlike ground temperatures, outside air temperatures vary, however many Air Source Heat Pumps are effective down to minus 15ºC.
Solar PV Panels
Solar PV (photovoltaic) Panels convert natural sunlight into electricity. Contrary to popular belief they work effectively in cloudy conditions but the sunnier the day the greater the amount of electricity produced. To maximise output the Solar PV Panels should face south. Excess electricity can be stored in batteries or even sold back to the national grid.
Solar Thermal Panels
Solar Thermal Panels are used to heat water. Although there are two different systems the principal is to pump water up to the roof. This passes through the panels and heats the water. This water is returned to a hot water cylinder for use in the hot water system. If the water is not at the required temperature the boiler further boosts the temperature.
As part of the new build process we explore these options with you and can give you details about grants, Feed In Tariffs and the Renewable Heat Initiative.
Biomass boilers burn wood pellets, chips or logs to power central heating and hot water systems. Stoves burning logs or pellets can be used to heat a single room and if fitted with a back boiler, can also provide water heating.
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