Posts Tagged ‘solar photo voltaic’


Lets Get Energized says:
ACE Energy installs PV System onto Community Centre in Bath

Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , ,




Dorset Energized are very excited to be in partnership with ACE Energy – Award Winning Plumbing, Heating & Renewable Energy Specialists who design, install and commission Combined Heat & Power systems including; Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Solar ThermalHeat Pumps and Biomass (Wood Energy).

Their Renewable Energy arm based in North Dorset have recently installed a 22 kW solar PV system on the roof of the Percy Centre.

The Percy Community Centre was opened in 1991 to provide community facilities for the diverse communities of Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES). The aims of the organisation are to provide a well-maintained, accessible community resource for other voluntary sector and community groups and to support the economic activities of individuals with a range of services. The Centre now has over 50,000 users a year and hosts a regular schedule of around 25 different activities each week, including dancing, creative writing, parenting advice, welfare to work programmes, play groups and a wide range of sports and martial arts.

The Photovoltaic system has already generated 5,000 kWh of power and their last electricity bill for the whole of the centre was only £100 leaving more money for their community activities.

Lee Smith – Director of ACE Energy says:

“We are very proud of this installation – not only is it an excellent sized system generating renewable energy for Bath – it is also saving money being positioned on a very worthwhile community project in the City. The system will generate around £2,000 worth of zero carbon electricity and raise the green credentials of The Percy Centre. We would love to do more of these types of schemes and encourage Village Halls and other Community buildings to get in touch with Dorset Energized and learn more about the benefits from renewable energy installations”.

Find out more about Solar Energy here:


Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset & the South West Going Solar Powered with NGPS

Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , , , ,

Dorset Energized are very excited to be in partnership with the “Best Renewables Installers in the South” – NGPS Ltd – Award Winning Electrical and Renewable Energy Contractors experienced in the design, supply and installation of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Thermal, as well as Ground & Air Source Heat Pumps which are the perfect renewable energy partner for Solar Power.

They have been busy getting the people of Dorset and surrounding counties energized with solar power! Check out some examples of their solar installations below:

Solar Powered Home in Bridport
In 2013 NGPS fitted 16 Canadian 250 watt Mono modules with Enphase micro inverters on a home in Bridport, Dorset. These inverters are guaranteed for 25 years.

As of 1st July 2013, NGPS have actually completed 50 Enphase PV systems and are the first Dorset company to do so. Enphase is described as “The future of Solar” as its proven microinverter technology maximizes production of each module, enabling flexible designs and cost-effective installations. Enphase delivers more kilowatt-hours daily, monthly and yearly – even through the partial shade of clouds, trees, or structural obstructions. Plus, it increases uptime by eliminating the single point of failure common to traditional inverters.


Solar Powered Adventure Park in Swanage
In June 2013 NGPS installed solar panels for a specialist adventure park builders, JM Adventure of Swanage, Dorset. They had 10kW of solar PV installed onto its business premises, adding to the growing list of companies who are going green and reducing their carbon footprint here in Dorset and the UK.


Solar Powered Garages in Wimborne
The owners of a thatched cottage near Wimborne, Dorset wanted solar PV so NGPS installed 4kW onto the South facing garage back in February 2012. This system is producing over 3900 kW hours a year, providing the owners a return on investment above 12% per year, tax free and index linked for 20 years. The electricity generated is fed back into the cottage, reducing the import bill.


Solar Powered Home in Poole
In May 2013, a 3 kW PV system was installed by NGPS in Creekmoor, Poole, Dorset. This is 12 Canadian 250 MONO modules with Enphase individual inverters. All this equipment has a 25 year warranty. All installed including energy performance certificate and VAT for under £6,000. This system will pay for itself in under 7 years, will provide a tax free index linked income and reduce the electrical import cost.


Solar Powered Business Unit in the New Forest
Freestyle Signs near Cadnam in the New Forest, Hampshire/Dorset have reduced their company’s carbon footprint and installed a 2.25kW solar PV system onto the business unit, installed by NGPS in June 2013. This will provide them with a feed in tariff income which is tax free and index linked, and will also reduce the electrical import costs. All guaranteed for 20 years.


Solar Farm in Worth Matravers
NPGS installed solar panels on a farm at the Renscombe Estate, Worth Matravers, Dorset.


Solar Power Bowling Club in Honiton
In July 2013, NGPS fitted Honiton Bowling Club in Devon with 7.9 kW of solar PV to reduce its running costs and reduce its carbon footprint. This £15K system with 260 watt ELPS modules and Enphase micro inverters will pay for itself in less than 6 years. All the equipment is guaranteed for 25 years and the feed in contract is 20 years. On 4th July this system started generating at 5.10 am and stopped at 9.20pm.


Solar Powered Offices in Poole
And of course, the NGPS offices in Poole, Dorset, are also solar powered!


NGPS offer a FREE Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Energy Survey to establish your energy usage and tailor your renewable installations to suit. They are not tied to any manufacturer or supplier and can therefore supply and install the best solution to each application. As Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) members they have built their business on quality installations using quality tradesmen. The ECA represents the best in electrical engineering and building services and only associate themselves with the top few percent of electrical contractors. Their quality and customer care is second to none, as Dorset Energized’s own founding member Vince Adams can testify after being particularly impressed with his recent solar PV installation by NGPS.

They are accredited by MSC, Green Deal, REAL Assurance, BPVA, ECA, NAPIT and Trust Mark.

Their company mission statement is: NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM (Nothing But The Best)! They believe that Renewable Energy systems add value to your property and significantly improve your homes Energy Performance Certificate. Their founder Nick Good, who also runs the Sustainability Roadshow and Green Deal Dorset in association with the Dorset Green Knowledge Network, says: “We may be beaten on price by others using fixed price sub contractors using cheap low quality equipment, but we are never beaten on quality.”

Find out more about Solar Energy here:


Wendy Pillar says:
90% of North Dorset want to generate renewable energy

Category: Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Energize Stur Valley recently carried out a survey of North Dorset residents on their views on renewable energy. Enthusiasts on the subject that we are, even we were surprised at just how positive they all are about renewable energy.

Some 90% of people questioned felt positive towards renewable energy projects, and 90% also felt that Dorset should generate more if its own electricity, since it currently generates a tiny 0.0001% of the electricity that it uses.

The most popular idea for generating renewable energy was photovoltaic panels on industrial and agricultural buildings, with 93% of those questioned in favour. These are frequently very suitable for PV owing to their large roof areas that are not overshadowed, as long as they face south.

Also extremely popular was the idea of putting PV panels on the roofs of public buildings, such as schools, with 90% in favour. Again, these buildings tend to have large, accessible roof areas. PV panels at ground level were far less popular, with only 52% in favour, it being often remarked that it is better to grow food in fields where possible.

The latest large wind turbines are by far the most efficient way to generate electricity in our climate. However, they do have a significant impact on the landscape, and not everyone considers them things of beauty. This was reflected in the survey, with 48% in favour of the large wind turbines and 59% in favour of the smaller 20-metre-high models.

Both hydropower and anaerobic digesters were highly popular, both with 86% in favour. Anaerobic digesters can be a good option on farms producing animal waste, such as indoor poultry and pig units. They can also use collected food waste from catering outlets and food processing businesses.

Finally, 65% of those questioned thought that it was a good idea to set up community investment funds, whereby local people can invest in local renewable energy projects with a relatively small investment, thereby keeping the income generated within the community. We have taken this on board, and are looking into how this can be done.

The survey gave a fascinating insight into what North Dorset people really think about renewable energy, and we plan to repeat it in the future to see how views change as renewable energy projects come into production. Watch this space!

There is still just about time to get new PV projects installed before the Feed in Tariff goes down in October 2012 – find out more on our webpage:

3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Caz comments:
    "Dont think the locals would complain if you put quiet, low PV panels in the Milborne area.
    What I want to know is if this is a survey of North Dorset residents where and how was it carried out because as a North Dorset resident no one has asked me to fill out a survey? And how many surveys were returned as unless you had a return rate of 75% of North Dorset residents it’s not a true reflection of the area! This site needs to clarify the data it uses! Otherwise its just a sales pitch. May be trading standards should look in to it! "

    October 13, 2012 a 11:19 am

  • Richard Howman comments:
    "Regarding the “Survey” of North Dorset Residents to which Ms Pillar refers, can she, in the interests of transparency, please advise:- a. The total sample size
    b. The sampling methodology (Nb ‘Internet’ is not a valid sampling technique)
    c. The sample demographic Thank you
    Richard Howman "

    October 12, 2012 a 6:39 pm

  • HJL comments:
    "There is no doubt that sources of renewable energy should be a primary consideration for all. But lessons should be learned about the impact of wind turbine sites from those areas with insight and knowledge. A review of the literature (and Court settlements) reveals that dwellings DO suffer noise disturbance (planning councils in Scotland are advised not to grant planning permission within 2 km of residential dwellings), ‘flicker’ causes distraction to drivers on nearby roads and tourism is detrimentally affected. These three issues convince me that the proposed Milborne Wind Farm (sited close to dwellings, adjacent to A35 and in an area where many residents run B&B businesses) must be strongly opposed. "
    October 2, 2012 a 9:05 pm


Lets Get Energized says:
How Efficient Are Solar Panels?

Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

How efficient are solar panels and how much energy do they need to be made?

Tim Evans from Ace Energy for Plumbing, Heating and Renewables – – has sent us some PDFs on Solar Energy produced by a Norwegian company called REC –

REC state that “Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency with cost-effective renewable energy sources are now more important than ever. Solar energy is an increasingly competitive solution able to meet this global challenge. With control of the complete value chain, and an uncompromising focus on quality, efficiency and operational excellence, alongside strict adherence to environmental standards, REC is leading the way towards this goal. Through continuous innovation REC maintains a leading position in the industry, working to ensure solar solutions deliver sustainable value.”

The information sheets are clearly manufacturer produced, but very interesting and positive if you compare their payback time with the payback time for Nuclear, at best 50 years, and with waste being active for centuries.

The REC downloads include information on:

  • The Solar Value Chain
  • Lifecycle Analysis
  • Energy Payback Time of One Year
  • Reducing Waste in Product Design
  • Reducing Energy Payback Time

Download the REC Sustainability sheet >>
Download the REC Reducing Energy Payback Time sheet >>
Download the REC Commitment to the Production of Clean Energy sheet >>

1Comments | Post your own comment


Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Wood I lie to you?

Category: Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , , , ,

We live in and off mains gas like a lot of people in rural areas and have a large propane tank that had been costing us around £1200 a year to keep filled. There have been price rises most years and sometimes more than one a year. I have asked Centrica if our village is ever likely to be connected to mains gas and was told “No, very unlikely.” So we will be stuck with having to heat our house with expensive oil or – in our case – propane gas. Or so I thought until recently (more on that later)…

We needed to reduce our reliance on this expensive fuel. Our first action was to replace the gas fire in the living room with a log burner. OK its not quite so convenient but I have learnt to enjoy acquiring wood for free from a variety of sources and the healthy exertions of sawing and chopping. Our garden actually supplies a lot of the wood. Ash trees grow here like weeds and I have allowed about 15 of them to become small trees. I cut one down every year and reckon that the stump will have produced another useful crop by the time I get back to it (15 years later) to chop again. It’s also surprising how much wood I get from friends and neighbour’s rubbish piles and my own DIY. Basically, in the 10 years we have had the log burner, I’ve only ever bought one load of wood, and that was as a favour to the seller because he was in urgent need of money.

Then earlier in 2012 we replaced the gas hob with an efficient electric induction hob. These are amazing! They heat up so quickly, controllably and safely using surprisingly little electricity. A lot of the electricity comes from our recently installed photovoltaic panels. When possible, we cook during daylight hours to use the free electricity. The propane gas tank has only been filled once this year so far and it is still 60% full. So it seems the change of hob will have reduced our energy bills significantly.

But we still need the propane for hot water and central heating and the high cost means we don’t keep the house as warm and cosy as we’d like. We get mildew in the top corners of the bedrooms because we only turn the central heating on when it’s really cold.

So I was very interested to discover – through a presentation at our village hall – that there is a company willing and able to replace our boiler with a heat exchanger, install a district heat main under the road and connect it to a wood chip boiler that will serve me and my neighbours. This is providing enough of my neighbours agree to get connected to make the scheme viable. The company will do all this at no cost to me and will then bill me for the heat we use, which will apparently cost about 65% of what we currently pay. The company reckon that – unlike oil and propane – the cost will not need to rise any more than general inflation. I suppose they might be right. (Maybe I’ll keep the boiler in the garage just in case!)

I’m going to a Residents Association meeting tonight to attempt to persuade as many of my neighbours as possible to agree to connect to a district heat main. If everything goes well I can look forward to a sustainable, warmer, cheaper future…


Keith Wheaton-Green says:
My Solar PV Installation

Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , , , , ,

Even when we moved into our house in Hazelbury Bryan in 1989 I knew I would one day put some photovoltaic panels on the roof. It’s a nice simple roof and near perfect south facing. In fact is southerly orientation is one of the main reasons we like the house. It always feels light and sunny (weather permitting.) However, my wife is very pragmatic, we’ve never been rich and the cost of the panels has been just too high. When I checked the first time in 1999 they had a 50 year pay back! So it was a no.

Then during a pleasant drunken session at my local pub one evening during 2010, I persuaded a fellow village mate that he could benefit from a career change to become a PV salesman because I reckoned (beware of people who reckon something!) that the new feed in tariff that the government were introducing would lead to massive growth of that industry. I have to admit to being very surprised to discover a few months later, that he had taken me seriously and had become very busy with what he described as “consultative salesmanship” at a series of home visits and surveys.

I felt obliged to allow him to quote for a 4 kW PV array on our roof. He told me he’d give me a good deal (as they do.) I got a couple of other quotes and “negotiated” a bit. Even my wife now thought the financials looked good. £15,000 for a 4 kW 16 panel top of the range (18% efficient) Sanyo system. The returns were estimated to be a total of £1.870 from the feed in tariff, lower electricity bills and electrical export to our electricity supplier from the 3,700 kWh our system was expected to generate. That’s an eight year payback and a 12.4% return in the first year!

We had various bits of savings, none of them earning more than 3.5 % after tax (and some a lot less!). So we bit the bullet and had the panels installed on 22nd June 2011. As of 18th April 2012 we have generated 3,240 kWh and received 2 cheques from our electricity supply company for the first 6 months totalling £943. We still have a bit of April, May and most of June to go before it will have been in for a year so I think we will comfortably exceed the predicted generation. I reckon (I do a lot of reckoning) that our end of year generation will be around 4,100 kWh. That will be worth £2,120 giving us a 14% return and a 7 year payback.

However, I was miffed to discover that if I purchased the same system today it would cost us just £8,000! But then you have probably heard that the government have dropped the tariff rate by half to 21p/kWh. That would be giving me a 14.9% return. So not much change. The good news for us is that once you have installed, your tariff rate goes up by inflation each year (for us it is 45.4p/kWh from 1st April 2012), so up goes the rate of return and down comes the payback period. Any increases in electricity prices make it even better (sort of!)

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • James McKenzy comments:
    "Hello I think that your blog is very nice! "
    August 29, 2012 a 7:12 am


Lets Get Energized says:
Solar PV Installation at Thornford Primary School

Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Solar panels installation at Thornford Primary School, Dorset.

Nature of Project
Thornford CE VA Primary School is a “green flag” eco school and has been involved with the Eco Schools programme since 2007. The school has a dedicated eco committee who carry out, amongst other things, yearly environmental assessments of the school including the building and grounds. From these assessments action plans are drawn up on ways to save electricity, raise pupil, staff and carer awareness and ways of improving sustainability within the school.

A number of green initiatives have been implemented since 2007 including; recycling paper, cardboard, tin cans, ink cartridges, clothing, planting hedgerows, creating wildlife areas, installation of an outdoor classroom and raising a greater understanding of the wildlife upon whom share school facilities.

Pupils, staff and governors at Thornford CE VA Primary School are continually looking for ways of improving sustainability within the school community. It was a natural progression to undertake a large scale project such as Project PV. It was felt that the installation of PV panels would not only help the school to reduce its carbon emissions and save money on electricity but it would also act as a useful teaching tool for the school and the wider community.

A grant-funded feasibility study was commissioned by Encraft. The company’s service extended to advising on grants, installers and planning approval, which the school found invaluable.

The school found the planning process relatively straightforward and planning permission was granted swiftly. Part of the application was to trim the neighbouring walnut tree allowing more sunlight onto the panels, but unfortunately this was rejected due to a tree preservation order. After consultation with the installers it was decided it would not significantly impact the efficiency of the panels.

EcoFirst, a local installation company, was commissioned to install the panels during the October half-term 2010. An electricity monitor was placed in the school hall so all pupils, staff, governors, carers and visitors can see first hand the electricity being produced and the carbon emissions being saved. It is early days for Project PV but to date 280 kWh of electricity has been produced. It is anticipated that the panels will reduce the school’s annual electricity bill by around £850.

The school found the grant process challenging and time consuming with many hours spent filling in grant applications and waiting delayed decisions. The school was grateful to receive grants of £8,615 from LCBP2 and £4,500 from Dorset County Council, however this left a shortfall of approximately £5,000 which needed to be found. The timeframe from first notification of the LCBP2 grant to implementation and completion of the project was also challenging in that it did not give enough time to find the shortfall of monies. After a number of unsuccessful grant applications to utilities, the school had no option but to make up the shortfall itself to ensure Project PV went ahead.

Community Involvement
A questionnaire was sent to all 358 households in Thornford to gauge their level of support /feeling towards Project PV. 71 households returned their questionnaire. 96% supported the idea of solar panels whilst 69% felt it was important that Thornford community attempted to reduce its carbon emissions. 80% said if the school could show significant savings on energy and cash from PV panels, it would inspire them to see how they could save energy at home.

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21:

Lets Get Energized with Renewable Energy!

Lets Get Energized is your online guide to renewable energy and sustainable living with the latest news, views and tips plus exclusive special offers to help you save energy and money, beat rising energy prices, combat climate change and be more self sufficient – right now, and for your future...




*This competition is now closed but you can still enter for the chance to win future competitions!

No Thanks - Hide This Pop-up