Energy Solutions

Part of Nexus BS

Contact Us: 01926 886611

FAQ

Are GSHP systems environmentally friendly?

Yes. In the UK, there is now a strong move towards alternative technologies that are sustainable and environmentally much more acceptable. 40% of CO2 emissions are derived from the heating of buildings. By using renewable sources of energy to heat your property you can help to reduce these carbon emissions, particularly when compared to burning fossil fuels such as oil. Most electricity suppliers are now offering 'clean green' electricity from a renewable energy source and, if you use this to power your heat pump, your property will be totally heated from renewable energy with zero carbon emissions.

How big are the trenches?

A typical heating-only installation for a medium sized, new build detached house would need two narrow trenches, each 300 mm wide and 40 to 50 metres long and 1.8 metres deep. The trenches can be straight or curved and laid in any direction to suit your site, providing they are five metres apart. A standard excavator can dig the trenches and backfill them after the ground loops have been installed. Your installer would be able to do this work and plan it to ensure the minimum of disruption to your site. Once the ground loops are installed, pressure tested and buried, your renewable energy collection system should need no further attention. However, its location needs to be recorded to avoid it being accidentally disturbed!

Can radiators be used inside my house instead of underfloor heating?

Yes, but you will need larger radiators, sized for the typical 45°C to 50°C water temperatures obtained from efficient GSHP systems. If your house is well insulated they may be suitable. Your installer will need to check how big they would have to be and the space they would take up. Modern die cast aluminium radiators are very efficient and smaller than conventional radiators. Upstairs is usually less of a problem as bedrooms are normally kept at lower temperatures.

I have an older property. Can a ground source heat pump be installed?

Yes, but your building must be well insulated for you to gain most benefit. The cost of a system is directly related to the heat losses, which will generally be higher in older buildings. Money spent on upgrading insulation levels can save a considerable amount on the capital cost of a ground source heat pump system. Some older buildings may not be sufficiently energy efficient to use a modern heating distribution system such as warm temperature underfloor heating, or warm temperature radiators.

My architect suggests I install underfloor heating in my new house. Is this a good idea?

Yes. Ground source heat pump systems are ideally matched to modern warm temperature underfloor heating.

Would a ground source heat pump system be suitable for a well-insulated house?

Yes. Almost all new houses in the UK are designed to meet Building Regulations and should be able to benefit from a ground source heat pump. Building Regulations have been designed to conserve fuel, reduce heat losses and ensure greater energy efficiency, in order to ensure that all modern properties need less heating. For a well-insulated building the size of heat pump will be smaller, will need smaller ground loops and will therefore be less expensive. You should take advice from an installer with experience.

Can a standard domestic electricity supply be used?

Yes. Heat pumps are designed to run on a standard UK single phase supply. However, a three-phase supply is a preferable option, and will be essential for larger installations.

Can GSHPs provide cooling?

Yes. Reverse-cycle heat pumps can deliver both heating and cooling very effectively.

Can a GSHP supply hot water for a house?

Yes. Some domestic systems are able to heat domestic hot water via a modern high efficiency indirect water cylinder.

How large are ground source heat pumps?

A heat pump for a house is about the size of a large fridge.

Are ground source heat pumps new?

GSHP systems are common, particularly in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. The principles of ground source heat pumps were first described by Lord Kelvin in the 1850s and continuous development since they were first used commercially more than 50 years ago has greatly improved their efficiency and reliability. They now provide a proven, cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

How efficient is a ground source heat pump system?

Modern systems can be very efficient. For each kilowatt of electricity used to run the heat pump, three to four kilowatts of heat can be delivered to the building. The efficiency of a GSHP installation is very dependent on the quality of the design and installation.

What energy savings can I make?

With an annual mean wind speed of 6m/s will generate an annual energy yield of 13,186kWh. This can be used to reduce energy bills and in the UK any surplus can be sold back to the grid. MCS Approved Product owners are eligible to receive Feed-in Tariff - income for generating renewable energy.

Is the nexus turbine noisy?

All small wind turbines generate some noise. Customers and prospective customers are often surprised at the low noise levels. A great deal of work has been undertaken to provide standards and consistent methods of measuring noise levels for small wind turbines. This is part of the MCS certification.

Will the turbine impact wildlife?

Small wind turbine is unlikely to have a significant impact on surrounding livestock and wildlife. There is considerable evidence to suggest that sheep, cows and horses are able to graze in the same field as a small wind turbine undisturbed.

Can I mount my turbine on the roof of one of my buildings?

Yes.

Why install a small wind turbine?

Nexus small wind turbine will reduce your energy bills and can sell surplus back to the grid. You can reduce your carbon footprint, contribute to the drive towards renewable energy and make an investment for the future.

Can I claim the feed in tariff if a non-certified installer performs the installation?

No, the installation must use MCS approved Solar PV Panels and be carried out by a MCS certified installer in order to be eligible for the feed in tariff.

Who Qualifies for Feed-in Tariffs?

Homeowners in the UK who have a PV Solar Panel System fitted on or after July 2009 will qualify for the feed-in tariff. Ofgem (electricity regulators) will administer the scheme and electricity suppliers will be responsible for paying the reward to their customers.

Do I need planning permission to install a roof mounted system?

Solar panels are considered a 'permitted development' in England and Wales as long as they are not installed above the ridge line of your home. However, if you live in a listed building or in a conservation area, restrictions may apply. Up-to-date advice is available on the government's planning portal.

Is solar electricity suitable for my home?

To tell if solar electricity is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider: Do you have a sunny place to put it? You'll need a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south, and isn't overshadowed by trees or buildings. If the surface is in shadow for parts of the day, your system will generate less energy. Is your roof strong enough? It is important that your roof is structurally sound before fitting solar panels. If in doubt, ask a construction expert or an installer. We will always conduct a site survey before every installation and will give you advice accordingly. Do you need planning permission? In England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland, you don't need planning permission for most home solar electricity systems, as long as they're below a certain size - but you should check with your local planning officer, especially if your home is a listed building, or is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site.

How can I see how much electricity I am producing?

The system incorporates a generation meter that records the amount of electricity that you are generating. Portable display monitors are also available as an optional extra.

What is the payback time on the system?

Based on current average electricity costs, and assuming modest inflation of energy prices, the payback period should be between 7 and 10 years. This figure could significantly reduce if electricity prices undoubtedly continue to soar. Another plus is the added value the system brings to the price of your property.

What is the feed-in tariff?

The feed-in tariff is a fixed rate per unit of electricity produced by your Solar PV system. The Government backed scheme introduced on the 1st April 2010 will pay you a sum (tax free for domestic installations only) of 21p for each unit (kWh) of electricity generated and is guaranteed for 25 years. It's applicable to all systems under 4kW installed before 31st March 2012. Any surplus energy that is not used is automatically exported to the national grid for a minimum rate of 3p per kWh. Feed In Tariff payments are linked to inflation and from the 1st April 2011 the payments have increased to 21p and 3.1p respectively.

Shall I switch off the Solar System when I go away on holiday?

No – it is better to keep it on. The system has adequate temperature sensoring and control in order to deal effectively with very hot conditions in order to effectively deal with solar gain from your system.

I have noticed some bird droppings or dust or other dirt on the collector and pv; shall I wash them off?

There is no need to. They will not significantly impair performance and when it next rains they will be washed off.

What should I do if it snows?

Nothing. If snow collects on the glass surface of the collector it will rapidly melt. In fact the design is such that it will melt more rapidly from the collector surface than it will melt for other parts of your roof.

Will the system still work in very cold weather?

Yes, the system will work in much colder temperatures than we experience in this country. However, it will not work if the panel is covered by snow as this will prevent light striking the absorber plate. Some of our collectors have been fitted in the Alps where really cold weather is experienced and they work perfectly in conditions of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius.

Will the system work at night?

No, the system only works in daylight.

It is not very sunny today. Will the solar thermal system work?

Although they work best in direct sunlight, very good performance will be given in the indirect light (or diffuse radiation) of a cloudy day.

Where Can Solar Hot Water Heating Systems Be Used?

Ideally the collectors should be mounted on a south-facing roof, although south-east/south-west will also function successfully, at an elevation of between 20 and 50°. The panels can be bolted onto the roof or integrated into the roof with lead flashings. They look similar to roof lights. Solar water heating systems are suitable for any building type that has sufficient year round hot water needs and a suitable south-facing roof of sufficient size. Where possible, solar water heating systems should be placed on roof areas not visible to the road or sight line of other buildings. Some systems can be integrated flush to the roof. The systems are no more intrusive than a roof light (window in the roof) when roof integrated.  Nexus advisors will tell you.

Can I market or rent the property before I receive the EPC?

Yes, you can put your property on the market or advertise it to rent as long as you have ordered and paid for an EPC, we will provide confirmation of your order immediately after booking the EPC.

Who Needs an Energy Performance Certificate – EPC?

From the 21st May 2010 any property that is marketed for sale or put up for rent in England and Wales will need an EPC.

Why do you need a SAP Calculation?

With Governmental and Public focus on C02 emissions, Architects and Developers need to consider the impact that their designs are having on the environment like never before. Part L1a of the Building Regulations requires that SAP calculations are carried out on all new build developments to prove that they are not contributing excessively to carbon emissions. Each dwelling must demonstrate that it meets the Target Emission Rate as stipulated within the SAP calculation.