Guernsey renewable energy heaven

February 17th, 2011 by Richard Lord

In 2010 Sarnian Roofing Ltd. linked up with Solar UK to be able to install solar thermal and photovoltaic panels in Guernsey.

Deputy Mike Hadley wanted to make his new home as energy efficient as possible.  He specified high levels of thermal insulation and asked Sarnian Roofing Ltd. and Solar UK to install micro-renewable energy equipment.

Solar thermal panels (for hot water) and photovoltaic panels (for electricity generation) have been installed on the roof of his new home in the last few days.

The solar hot water panels are fixed over Renolit Alkorbright waterproof roofing material.  This reflective roofing membrane increases the efficiency of the solar thermal panels.  The solar thermal panels will heat hot water for the home and for a pool that is yet to be built.

The plumbing for the solar thermal panels and the wiring for the photovoltaic panels still has to be completed.

The 45 photovoltaic panels are arranged in three series of 15 panels each so the power from each series is balanced.  The photovoltaic panels produce direct current.  The current goes through a three phase platinum inverter to produce 240 volts alternating current that matches the grid supply.

Two Calorex air source heat pumps (ASHP) have been installed to heat Deputy Mike Hadley’s home.  Heat pumps work like refrigerators or air conditioners in reverse.   They work by moving heat from a colder place to a warmer place.

The air source heat pumps, which are less expensive to install than ground source heat pumps, use the latent heat of the air to turn the refrigerant in the system from a liquid to a gas.  This process absorbs heat.  When the gas is compressed back into a liquid it releases heat, which is used to heat water, which is used to heat the home. For every kilowatt of electricity used by the compressor about three kilowatts of heat is released.  The Calorex air source heat pumps have a rated coefficency of performance (COP) of 3.70.

Deputy Hadley’s home is well-insulated and air tight so he has installed a heat exchange system to ventilate the rooms with fresh air.  The air exhausted from his home goes through the heat exchange system to warm-up the incoming cooler air.

On a sunny day the 45 photovoltaic panels should go some way to powering the air source heat pumps and other electrical loads in Deputy Hadley’s home.

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