Renewable technologies

More of us are beginning to change the way we think about energy. We are filling our homes with energy efficient appliances, insulating them to reduce heat loss and trying to use less energy to save money. However thousands of homeowners and other organisations are taking one step further and installing their own source of renewable power.

Solar Water Heating

By using solar panels on your roof to provide your hot water, you will save money on your heating bills as well as playing an important role to help protect the environment.

Why solar panels?

It reduces your fuel bills. For example a semi detached house with an oil fuelled heating system can save between £40-£150 per year by installing a 2m2 panel.Using natural alternatives like solar energy will cut emissions of the main green house gas CO2 that is produced whenever fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are burnt.A solar water heating system is capable of providing up to 60% of your hot water needs every yearThe solar panel is easy on the eye – it is compact and blends in with your roof.How does it work?
Solar Water Heating systems are integrated with existing heating and water systems. They comprise of a solar collector (panel) a heat transfer system (pipes) and a hot water store (domestic hot water cylinder).

Photovoltaics (PV)

A PV cell is a system that converts the sun’s energy directly into electricity – they do not require direct sunlight so normal daylight is enough to produce electricity. It is a renewable, clean and free source of power.

Why PV?

It can help to meet a significant proportion of your annual electricity needs therefore reducing your electricity bills.Increases the value of your property and increases your energy efficiency awareness.It is silent and unobtrusive.

How does it work?
PV uses cells to convert the solar radiation from daylight into electricity. The PV cell consists of one or two layers of semi conducting material and when light shines on the cell it creates an electric field causing the electricity to flow.

Wind

Wind power has been harnessed for over 2000 years and is something that will never run out. It produces electricity without any harmful emissions to the environment.

Why Wind Power?

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Free, clean and renewable source of power. Will help to reduce your electricity costsHow does it work?
Wind turbines have aerodynamic blades, which face into the wind. The wind causes the blades to turn, which as they rotate turns a generator. This generator then produces electricity. Turbines come in many sizes to suit your energy needs.
Thinking of installing a wind turbine?

 

Geothermal
Ground Source Heat Pumps have been an increasingly popular technology within the UK. This technology is not new as heat pumps are found in most households and offices in the form of a refrigerator and air conditioning.

Why GSHP?

You can reduce CO2 emissions produced by up to 30-35%.Reduced fuel heating costs as you no longer have to use oil or gas to heat your home.How does it work?
Heat is taken from underground, which circulates in a vertical borehole or horizontal pipes. This extracted heat is generally used to warm water for under floor heating. Electricity is required to run the heat pump.
When installing a Ground Source Heat Pump NIE Energy require as much information as soon as possible. Click to view a Sample Application form for a Ground Source Heat Pump and a Sample Application form for getting a new supply.

Biomass

Wood pellet stoves/Heaters
Wood is a versatile fuel that has been used for centuries to cook and produce heat. One of the most common biomass resources in Northern Ireland is wood. Wood pellets can be burned in specially designed appliances to produce heat.
Why Biomass?
It is a carbon neutral fuel.Wood pellets are convenient and very controllable.They can be used in stoves or boilers.How does it work?

The main types of wood fuel are wood pellets, logs and wood chips. Stoves have high efficiencies of around 75% and can be used to heat a room. Wood pellet stoves are normally located within a living room and a range of modern designs are available. Boilers can be used to heat the entire home or building. They are usually located in a boiler house or garage with the fuel store.

Hydro

Hydroelectricity is one of the oldest methods of generating renewable energy. In Northern Ireland today there are nearly 30 small-scale sites in operation.

How does it work?
Hydro works by converting energy stored in water into kinetic energy, which then turns a turbine and produces electricity. Turbines are available from 2.5kW upwards.

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