Archive for the ‘Renewable Energy’ Category

Ecofriendly Home Heating

Solar PanelsWe are all too aware of the effects we have made on the environment and in particular, the damage that has been caused to the fossil fuels we have used and abused for heating our homes. Many more renewable energy sources are arising slowly as the specialists concentrate on how we can provide sustainable heating sources for our home. Some are already in action and not only will they reduce your costs in heating bills every year; you will be doing your part for the environment also.

Solar Panels

Solar panels have been around for some time now, and are becoming increasingly popular. They use light energy photons to create electricity. Electricity is often needed for in home heaters, and quite frankly with the price of electricity nowadays, anything to cut the costs will be a massive improvement. Studies suggest that large solar panels mounted on the roof of your home can provide 60% of your annual electricity use. People are largely switching to electric heaters instead of using oil or gas to heat their homes, but with all energy bills on the rise, it will work out just as expensive, if not more. Solar panels will allow you to use electric heaters without having to worry about the extra costs, not to mention the overall use of electricity in the home. Check out Spirit Solar who will happily install solar panels to your home so you can start saving money and saving the environment immediately.

Bio-ethanol Heating

Bio-ethanol heating is 100% renewable as it comes from starch and sugar components of plants giving bio-ethanol fuel. This fuel burns with no fumes or smoke, therefore it is clean emission and as it is completely sustainable, it is the perfect solution. You will still have the effects of an open fire that will heat your home, but you are not damaging the environment in the slightest. You may feel that this is a little costly, but when thinking of the bigger picture, this will be extremely cost-effective in the end when your fuel bills have halved. The beauty of this style of fire is that they do not require a chimney or any cleaning, as they make no mess. If it is the traditional open fire you are looking for, these bio-ethanol heating systems come in a range of designs so you can get the same effect. Check out Real Flame who has a range of bio-ethanol fires available that they will supply and install for you.

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating is one of the newer ways of heating your home in the most sustainable way possible. Geothermal heating involves installing pipes beneath your home that will use the natural heating of underground to heat your home, and in the summer when it is warm it will do the opposite – it will take the heat from your home and restore it to the ground. The process is a cycle and you are guaranteed to have the best of both worlds at every time of the year. Check out the YouTube video for a full explanation as to how this system will work for you. Specialised pipes need to be installed under your home which will involve drilling beneath therefore this is certainly a job for the professionals such as TND Drilling who are company who have dedicated their specialties in geothermal drilling and installation.

Firelogs

Firelogs are generally a new invention and are fantastic! If you wish to keep your roaring, open fire then firelogs are the way forward. Instead of burning real wood, these firelogs are formulated to burn up 80% less harmful waste products by comparison. They have also been proven to burn longer than your standard piece of real wood, and are made entirely out of natural products. This is the ultimate greener choice for burning an open fire if you can’t part with it for a cleaner option. It may appear more expensive but by the end, you will reap the benefits as you are burning less of the product and getting a stronger heat. Check out Pine Mountain who specialise in firelog products for homes and are proud of their significant impact on improving the environment and encouraging you to do so to.

These new options may appear expensive, but as more people take the green, clean option to heating their homes, these will reduce in price. The larger job will prove cost effective within a few years as will the smaller ones, therefore it is time to take a little action and help improve our environment!

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Renewable Energy: Fabrication and Construction

Most people agree that renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, solar power and hydroelectric power are good for the environment, but it is not always a simple task to harness the energy. Solar power is becoming more popular and many houses have their own solar panels installed to help cut down on electricity and gas bills. They may not be as complicated as a wind turbine or hydroelectric dam, but they still require expertise to create and install. Here are some factors you may not have thought of when it comes to obtaining renewable energy.

Solar Panels

These are relatively easy to install and hook up to mains supplies, but it is still a skilled industry with its own standards to be adhered to – just like gas and electric fitting is. The solar panels themselves are quite expensive to make though, which doesn’t help the environment due to the processes involved.

The mining of minerals and them importing and exporting of goods makes the construction of solar panels have quite a carbon footprint, but the length of time they are used can help the environment. When compared to fossil fuels over decades they are much more environmentally friendly. The technology for making them cheaper is advancing all of the time too, although how it is done may not be classed as ‘technology’ in the traditional sense as seen here.

Wind Power

The technology in wind power is fairly similar to the turbines which are used in traditional fossil fuel burning power stations. This means that the technology has been revised and improved over a long period of time, but the actual construction methods are much more involved compared to solar panels.

The components which make up wind turbines are fabricated offsite and then constructed onsite, but these sites are often hard to access or require work to get the equipment into place.

One such example is that of Caton Moor wind farm, which is near Lancaster in the UK. Due to its position on moorland, it was difficult to get the heavy machinery and lifting equipment to the site without preparation. Roads had to be made and the earth had to be strengthened to accommodate the installation of the wind farm. This was done in a way which would allow as much of the moorland to stay as it is and reap the benefits from the wind power to help the environment as much as possible.

caton moor wind farm

Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric dams provide huge amounts of energy from the control of water flows, but the have arguably the largest environmental impact – both from their construction and the after effects. Although the energy is renewable, they can often cause damage to the environment as large areas above dams will have to be flooded to create the controlled water flow. This can destroy large areas of eco-systems, which are endangered anyway.

In addition to this, they take a long time to build over many years, which can be a huge undertaking and use up a lot of resources, such as the Hoover Dam in the US. As with the other methods, they do become worthwhile after different amounts of time, with dams taking the longest, but being able to be used for decades or maybe even centuries to come afterwards.

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Meet your Eco Garage

Sometimes having a garage is a godsend. It saves de-icing your car every morning in the winter, and stops damage from weather, other cars and other hazards. What’s also nice about a garage is that you can store something for as long as you want without the hassle of renting somewhere.

Some houses come with the space for a garage with the lack of garage in this useful space, and this is where it’s a terrific idea to invest in modular storage buildings and the result they have as a garage.

Whether you need to store your car every night, or need somewhere to put your boat out of season, then a portable garage is the greatest solution. Lightweight yet robust, these buildings are delivered to you flat packed on the back of a lorry. They take a few hours to piece together and are well designed and expertly built.

They are easily attached to plumbing, and usually come installed with electric fixtures already fitted. They are cheaper and more affordable than the likes of building a garage, and because they are as temporary as you want them to be, you really don’t have to commit to the likes of a built extension.

Easy to disguise, you can blend your modular garage in with the rest of your property wit things such as brick cladding, pebble dash panels and exterior paint. You can also convert your modular garage into two storeys high, and use the extra space as a tool shed, other storage or many other ideas.

Cheap, non labour intensive, easy to maintain, easy to dismantle, and adding value to your home or property, choosing a modular storage building is a great solution to a big problem. The next mission is tackling the emissions from the car you store in it.

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New Potential for Offshore Wind Turbines to be Unlocked

The UK and US have combined resources to develop new types of wind turbine, designed to be produced at lower cost and harness more energy than the traditional models in place.

A similar project underway in Norway.

The designs for ‘floating’ offshore wind turbines will hopefully reduce construction costs compared to traditional fixed models, which can be very costly due to the fact they are usually fixed to the sea bed for stability, making them nearly impossible to place in deeper stretches of water.

This was announced ahead of this week’s clean-energy meeting for ministers from 23 countries, taking place in London.

The UK has huge wind resources, accounting for around a third of Europe’s offshore wind potential. New technology is needed to access waters between 60 and 100 metres deep, which is currently too deep to fix, but where wind speeds are consistently higher.

The developments are set to come in-line with an increase in shallower sites planned before 2020, meaning the energy production can increase further into deeper waters.

The technology also has cost cutting costs implications for repairs. Without the need for seabed foundations, the turbines can be repaired in port rather than out at sea.

With wind turbines further out at sea, they will provide energy with minimal impact on our coast.

Energy Secretary Ed Davies said “Britain has more wind turbines installed around its shores than any other country in the world, and our market is rated year after year as the most attractive market among investors. Offshore wind is critical for the UK’s energy future, and there is big interest around the world in what we’re doing.

“The UK and US are both making funding available for this technology, and we’re determined to work together to capitalise on this shared intent.”

A project has been commissioned by the Energy Technology Institute, requiring chosen participants to produce an offshore wind turbine that can produce between 5MW and 7MW by 2016.

Four projects in the US are underway, backed by the department of energy and similar projects are underway in Norway and Portugal.

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Renewable Energy

renewable energy is an issue for everyone to consider, helping the planet and reducing expensive energy bills.

High oil prices, carbon emissions and their effect on climate change and the possibility of the ‘peak oil’ crisis have led engineers and scientists to seek alternative, renewable sources of energy. While we in the UK have all seen wind farms with their towering white turbines on the top of hills and the occasional solar panel, we are less aware of hydroelectric power generators and geothermal sites which generate energy through the earth’s natural heat. Renewable energy comes from the earth’s natural sources and cannot be exhausted.

 

Wind power is the most obvious form of renewable energy as the turbines which generate energy from the wind can be seen on hilltops and plains. Wind farms are also located at sea, although the cost of building these is more. Wind power comes in for criticism for two reasons; the first is the aesthetic look of wind turbines which some residents feel is detrimental to the look of their local environment and will decrease the value of their homes. On the contrary, environmentally responsible people welcome wind turbines as a form of renewable, clean energy and appreciate their aesthetic value, believing it to enhance the area. The second reservation with wind power is its intermittent performance, though excess power can be conserved for use during periods of lower winds and diversifying sources of energy production means supply can be continuous.

 

Wind farms can help bring power to rural areas.

Solar power is of less effective use on a large scale in the UK due to the often cloudy weather conditions. Solar panels are effectively

used to light road signs and there are companies using directional solar panels to provide a proportion of their energy requirements. In countries with warmer climates solar panels are extensively used, both to supply business and domestic power and to directly heat water. Solar energy is also suitable for use in isolated areas and can bring electricity and other functions to distant populations in the developing world. Only a tiny proportion of the world’s potential solar energy is currently used.

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