Renewable Energy Consultancy Services
OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY EXPERIENCE
We are a unique Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) Consultants practice with Regional Offices in Edinburgh & Newcastle, providing bespoke MEP Design Solutions, Energy Performance Certificates and Building Physics. Our M&E design engineers started this practice to give our Clients a unique service, looking for value engineered solutions where possible, dedicated to our clients needs.
Our Team are self-managed, reliable and deliver on time. We have successfully carried out multiple Renewable Energy schemes from London to Scotland, for schools, commercial properties and other public sector properties.
OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY DESIGN SERVICES
Our projects normally start with M&E Condition Reports, identifying areas of concern in the plant room, and in the heating system throughout. From here we would generate Schematics and Stage 4 working drawings for the contractor to price from, inclusive of all tender documentation.
We will analyze MEP Tender returns on behalf of the client and compare them to provide you with the most economical outcome.
AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Heat pumps extract thermal energy from a variety of renewable sources, including the air, earth or water, and upgrade it to a higher, more useful temperature. If the heat source for the system is the air then it is known as an air source heat pump. The use of heat pumps can lead to savings on fossil fuels and a subsequent reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases.
Air source heat pumps supply more useful energy than they consume. By extracting heat from the surrounding air, the heat energy released can be up to 5 times, the energy required to power the equipment.
An air source heat pump system consists of a compressor and a carefully matched evaporator coil and heat exchanger. A refrigerant liquid which circulates within the system has a boiling point as low as minus 40°C and evaporates when absorbing heat from the outside air. It is possible to extract considerable heat from the air at temperatures as low as minus 15°C. The resulting refrigerant gas is then compressed adding more heat energy and raising its temperature to around 75°C.
The cycle is reversible for the provision of cooling into the space, i.e. the refrigerant liquid which circulates within the system evaporates when absorbing heat from the air within the space. The resulting refrigerant gas is then compressed adding more heat energy and raising its temperature to around 75°C and heat is exhausted to the atmosphere via the air-cooled condensers.
This system process can be used to provide space heating through underfloor heating utilising heat pump boilers located internally or by heating the air using fan coil systems. Consideration would have to be given to noise generation from the externally mounted condensing units and the final plant and equipment selection will need to incorporate noise attenuation where necessary to ensure any planning conditions stipulating external noise levels are not exceeded and the system operation does not cause nuisance to adjacent buildings (including nearby residential properties).
Key considerations for ASHPs:
- There must be a suitable location to mount the external unit to the building and planning permission may be required.
- The noise generated by the external unit must be considered as part of the design.
- Like GSHPs, ASHPs are most effective when providing space heating via under-floor heating systems designed to operate at temperatures of around 30°C-40°C.
- ASHPs are easier and cheaper to install than GSHPs however GHSPs are more efficient. The heat pump technology proposed is 3 pipe Variable Refrigerant Flow [VRF] and the design and apportionment of load allows very efficient transfer of heating and cooling between zone of variable heating and cooling demand providing high SCoP’s and SEER’s.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP
GSHPs transfer heat from the ground into a building to provide space heating and/or hot water. Under the surface, the ground tends to be at a constant temperature of around 12°C throughout the year. Through the use of a refrigerant cycle this constant low grade heat can be harnessed to provide a useful level of heat for a building.
A closed loop GSHP installation consists of plastic piping which is buried in the ground and connected to a pump. This can either be a vertical system where pipes are laid in boreholes, or a horizontal system where pipes are laid in trenches. A mixture of water and antifreeze is passed through the looped pipes where it absorbs heat from the ground. This fluid then flows in to an electrically powered heat pump, comprising a compressor and heat exchangers. The generated heat is then transferred to low temperature heating systems such as underfloor circuits. GSHPs can also provide low carbon cooling by reversing the refrigerant cycle.
GSHPs are a low carbon technology rather than a renewable system, as they require electricity to run the pumps and extract the energy from the ground. The Coefficient of Performance (CoP) varies depending on the system but a typical GSHP is likely to achieve a CoP of approximately 4, i.e. 4 units of heat energy is obtained for every 1 unit of electrical energy consumed.
Key considerations for GSHPs:
- The feasibility of using a GSHP is dependent on whether there is sufficient space for the piping circuit and whether the geology is suitable for either boreholes or trenches.
- Heat pumps deliver heat most efficiently at around 30°C which makes them most suitable for low temperature heating systems such as underfloor heating.
- The capital cost of GSHPs are significantly higher that fossil-fuel boiler.
- Greatest carbon saving is achieved when combined with renewable electricity-generating technologies.
PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS (PV)
Photovoltaics (PVs) generate electricity from daylight using semiconductors. PV’s are also a simple technology requiring little in the way of maintenance and offer a proven way of generating zero Carbon, renewable electricity. Photovoltaics generate electricity which displaces that which would otherwise be provided by the national grid. Grid supplied electricity is very polluting when compared to other conventional fuels producing more than 2.5 times more CO2/kWh than natural gas.
Key considerations of PV:
- PV panels may require regular cleaning to avoid a reduction in efficiency, although if the array is tilted by more than 15° the panel should be able to ‘self-clean’ with rain.
- The position of the PV array will affect the energy generation and, consequently the carbon and financial savings.
- The location of the panels should be free from shading from adjacent buildings/trees.
- It is common for the PV array to be connected to the grid so that an export tariff from the Feed in Tariff scheme can be received. To do this permission is required from the DNO (Distribution Network Operator) and the cost of this grid connection is dependent on the size of the array and its location on the grid.
Solar thermal panels generate hot water from the sun’s energy through the use of solar collectors. A mixture of water and anti-freeze is circulated through the solar collectors and a heat exchanger within the water storage cylinder to heat the water in the tank.
There are two main types of solar thermal panels: flat panel and evacuated tubes. Flat panels consist of a flat “radiator” absorber, covered by glass and backed with an insulator. Their efficiency depends on the insulation properties and type of construction.
Double-glazed units have better efficiency so a smaller area of panels are required. Evacuated tubes have been developed into units that are now up to 90% efficient. Water is passed through an evacuated tube, which contains a black absorber plate. Evacuated tubes are more efficient and therefore a smaller area of collector is required to give the same output as that of a flat plate collector. The vacuum provides insulation, and this allows the water to be heated to higher temperatures and remain very effective even on cloudy days.
Key considerations for solar thermal:
- Solar collectors are most effective if they are in a south-facing position on an incline between 30-40 degrees, however panels orientated between south-east and south-west and an elevation of 10-60 degrees will still function successfully. Panel locations should be clear of obstructions and over shading.
- Solar thermal systems require space for a hot water cylinder close to the collectors.
- The most economically viable solar thermal systems are large systems suppling buildings with a high hot water demand. The best paybacks are achieved where systems are used to offset relatively high fossil fuel prices when a building is not on the national gas grid.
WHY WORK WITH US
OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS
See some examples of Renewable Energy Consultancy services provided in the United Kingdom below.
OUR M&E CONSULTANCY SERVICES
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES (EPC)
Energy Performance Certificates are required for both commercial and domestic applications for sale or rent. Energy Performance Certificates can only be produced by Qualified Energy Assessors. Our in house assessors can turn EPCs round in quick fashion, with next day delivery service available at an extra cost.
We have strategic remote offices and building services teams throughout the United Kingdom. This strategy ensures that we can cover all regions nationwide with our building services consultancy and service. Please see our regional pages and projects below for some detailed examples of our MEP Design Services local to your project.