Posts Tagged ‘solar thermal’


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

Category: Solar Energy
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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:


Lets Get Energized says:
How Efficient Are Solar Panels?

Category: Solar Energy
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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 >>

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Lets Get Energized says:
Award-Winning Renewables Roadshow starts September 2012

Category: Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy
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The award-winning Renewables Roadshow returns this September and has been designed to deliver the essential day in your year!

Whether you’re looking for information, innovation or inspiration you will find it there. So if you need to get up to speed or if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the rapidly evolving renewables marketplace, make sure you visit the Renewables Roadshow.

The nearest venue to Dorset is Exeter, so if you can travel it should be well worth the effort!

2012 Dates & Venues:

  • Ricoh Arena, Coventry – 13 September
  • Westpoint Arena, Exeter – 18 September
  • International Centre, Harrogate – 20 September
  • SECC, Glasgow – 26 September
  • Event City, Manchester – 28 September
  • Wembley Stadium, London – 03 October

You will also have the opportunity to attend a succession of key demonstrations & presentations delivered by real industry experts FREE of charge.

Energy Efficient Technologies on display will include:
Air Source, Biomass, Commercial, Controls, Domestic, Electric Efficient Technologies, Energy Management, Greywater Recycling, Ground Source, Hydro, Industrial, Insulation, Low Energy Lighting, MHVR, Micro CHP, Micro Wind, Rainwater Harvesting, Smart Metering, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Underfloor Heating, Ventilation, Water Efficient Technologies.

Demonstration & Presentation areas include:
Green Deal Theatre, Commercial Theatre (CPD Points), Domestic Theatre, Solar Theatre, Training Theatre, Water Efficiency Theatre, Installer Theatre.

BOOK YOUR FREE TICKETS via the website at:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
New Eco Holiday Cottage in Wool, Dorset

Category: Biomass Energy, Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living
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Fresh from the excitement of launching the Dorset Energized website, I am also very excited about another renewable energy website I have just created for the new Railway Eco Cottage in Dorset…

Catherine Fisher from Swanage (who now lives in Scotland but frequently visits Dorset) has lovingly renovated her old family terraced cottage in Wool, in an eco-conscious way, and I am very impressed by her commitment to making it as green as possible simply because she feels it is the right thing to do!

Here’s how she has made this 100 year old end of terrace into a practical, contemporary and beautifully presented eco-home:

SOLAR THERMAL PANELS on the roof heat all the water, of which there is always an abundant supply (but of course she encourages her guests to be mindful of their water usage).

All appliances are electric (no gas) and powered by Good Energy’s 100% RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY upon Dorset Energized’s recommendation (and she respectfully asks visitors to be mindful of their energy usage and to switch off appliances and lights when not in use).

UNDERFLOOR HEATING is more energy efficient. The WOODEN FLOORS are also an eco-friendly product designed to retain heat and are also very hardwearing so shouldn’t need to be replaced.

A WOODBURNER is more energy efficient and uses carefully sourced wood logs as fuel.

ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTBULBS are used on all light fittings throughout the whole cottage.

The kitchen table was made from RECLAIMED WOOD and both beds and mattresses made from SUSTAINABLE SOURCES.

ECOVER products are provided for her guests convenience and the cleaners Dust & Shine also use ECO-FRIENDLY products. There is deliberately no tumble dryer to encourage guests to use the WASHING LINE to save energy.

She encourages her guests to take advantage of PUBLIC TRANSPORT especially with Wool train station situated next door, or to explore Dorset by walking or cycling. Guests can keep their bikes in the undercover porch or shed but she is also currently building a special area just for bikes.

The garden shed has a WOOD STORAGE area and she makes RECYCLING and COMPOSTING easy with specially fitted bins in the kitchen cupboard doors.

Even during the renovation, Catherine was very careful not to waste any materials that could be RECYCLED and used ECO-FRIENDLY PAINTS.

The cottage is a perfect base to explore Dorset for anyone who loves simple holidays and nature, especially with it being right by the River Frome, and is ideal for eco-conscious travellers.

Catherine would be delighted to offer you advice on your own eco home renovations, or installing solar thermal panels or woodburners – email her on

Check out the website for photos and more inspiration, and make sure you recommend your friends!


Lets Get Energized says:
DIY Solar Water Heater for Treewise Toddlers in Symondsbury

Category: Solar Energy
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The Bridport Renewable Energy Group (BREG) helped Treewise Toddlers in Symondsbury to get a DIY Solar Water Heater.

Nature of Project
The purpose of the project was to provide warm water for health and hygiene reasons, alongside the activities which take place in Willy Tuck’s Orchard, Symondsbury. A key one of these was the Treewise Toddlers playgroup who were based in a permanent yurt in the orchard, and whose activities involved both mud and food. The scope was later expanded to include separate hand washing facilities in support of the composting toilet.

The design of the solar water heater drew heavily from the booklet published by the Centre for Alternative Technology: Solar Water Heating a DIY Guide by Paul Trimby. Costs were kept to a minimum by maximising the use of recycled material, and adopting a DIY approach.

The site is considered difficult as it is on a North facing slope, is shaded by orchard trees and experiences heavy frost in Winter. This led to careful choice of position, and timely draining down and refilling (not always achieved!).

The project started with the Mark 1 solar panel based on the use of old central heating radiators, glass from a double glazed french window, scrap timber and a recycled hot water cylinder. Some of the construction work was carried out by a CooS student (Children out of School). The finished unit was rather ungainly (see photo) and some adverse comments were heard about its impact on the Area of Outstanding Beauty in which it was situated.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your disposition) within a year the steel radiators had rusted through and system drained itself. This was not altogether a disappointment, as the large volume of water within the radiators had meant that they were slow to warm, particularly in intermittent sunlight. They are also very heavy.

The replacement Mark 2 model addressed these issues by taking a more elegant form (see photo), and by turning to a ‘clip fin’ design. The clip fins are those used as for spreading heat in underfloor heating systems, and are available from BES Ltd. All pipework is in copper, and although more expensive, corrosion is eliminated. The system is also quick to heat up, and from temperature measurements about twice as efficient as that based on radiators.

The heating in both models made use of the thermosyphon principle – hot water rises. The Mark 1 was indirect ie with a coil in the cylinder, and unfortunately antifreeze had not been included and so the system suffered rust. In the Mark 2 system, direct heating has been employed – there is no coil and the heat is fed directly to the cylinder contents. The cylinder itself is a standard domestic vertical unit laid on its side to reduce the overall height. The framework and cladding is in Western Red Cedar available Barnaby Gower at Toller Porcorum. It has natural resistance to decay and has avoided the use of preservatives.

Community Involvement
Bridport Renewable Energy Group carried out the project with support from Treewise Cooperative, CooS, Dan Williams, Honiton recycling centre, Bridport South Street recycling centre, Barnaby Gower, and many individuals. BREG were at the time an unconstituted community group run by volunteers.

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

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