Going green in Carlisle
When James and Sharon Fraser built a new four-bedroom house for their growing family, they decided it was a good opportunity to build in energy saving, 'green' technologies to future-proof their home.
"We have always liked the idea of generating our own electricity," explains James, "and we were aware of solar thermal panels and how they can be used to produce hot water.
"We carried out quite a bit of research before deciding that a domestic micro-CHP boiler and a solar thermal hot water system, along with state of the art controls and under floor heating on both the ground floor and first floor, would give us the results we wanted.
"Just as important to us as the actual installation, was to find a reputable company to advise us and carry out the work. Local company Bailey and Stott Renewable Energy came highly recommended, have all the relevant accreditations and gave us confidence that they would carry out the work to our specifications," adds James.
Being a new build, the property was very well insulated, which is perfect when planning to install underfloor heating. It also meant that the Baxi Solarflo solar panels could be incorporated neatly into the actual structure of the roof.
The Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP boiler was installed in a purpose-built plant room in the property's garage, which also houses the 300 litre Megaflo Eco solar cylinder, the solar pump and controller and the manifold for the Uponor under floor heating system.
Director Chris Stott takes up the story. "James and Sharon knew they wanted to use combined heat and power technology and solar thermal, and we were able to use our expertise to make the system work even smarter and more energy efficiently. For ultimate comfort and control, we fitted programmable room stats in every room, and added load compensation in the form of a weather compensation sensor outside and a cylinder sensor," says Chris.
"These sensors adjust the Baxi Ecogen's flow temperature according to the difference between the actual room temperature, the room's set temperature, the outdoor temperature and the temperature of the water from the solar thermal panels.
"The result is more efficient running of the boiler and more electricity and hot water generated, meaning reduced fuel bills and significantly reduced carbon emissions. And that, after all, is what renewable technologies set out to achieve!" explains Chris.
Baxi Ecogen uses a Free Piston Stirling Engine to generate up to 1kW electricity while it is providing space heating and hot water, which is usually at times of peak electrical demand. It is MCS certified so is eligible for the Government's Feed-in Tariff, and planning permission is not required.
Baxi Solarflo makes use of free energy from the sun to generate hot water which is stored in a specially designed water storage cylinder, such as the Megaflo Eco solar cylinder. In the summer it can produce practically all the home's hot water requirements, and provides approximately 55 per cent of the annual hot water demand.
On-roof or in-roof, portrait or landscape panel packages will suit installation for most roof styles, and evacuated tube collectors are also available. The package also comprises the hydraulic pump station, solar controller and fixtures and fittings, including quick fit brackets for speedy installation.
Bailey and Stott Renewable Energy, based in Carlisle, is a Gas Safe registered installation company that also specialises in low carbon technologies. Chris Stott explains: "As a business, we made the decision to embrace the new technologies, carry out the training and become MCS certified. Going through the MCS process is not easy for small installation companies like us, but we persevered and are an MCS accredited installer. Our qualifications mean that installations we carry out can claim Feed in Tariff Scheme (FiTS) payments and also the Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP) that are available.
As demand for micro-CHP, Solar PV and Solar Thermal grows, we are in a great position to take advantage of the opportunities, while maintaining our core plumbing and heating business".