Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Homelands to generate its own electricity?

In between looking after our guests or working in the garden we are currently doing some research into Combined Heat and Power systems, or ‘Micro CHP’.
Basically this means we want to install a system that doesn’t just produce hot water and heat the house, but also generates electricity for our own use.  If we generate more than we need it will be fed back into the National Grid, for which we will get paid a Government guaranteed rate. Guaranteed for 25 years…tax free.  Currently there are generous Government-backed schemes available which offer a very good rate of return on investment.  This is because the UK Government has certain targets to meet and they are struggling to achieve those targets unless a lot more people buy-in to the principle that generating electricity at the point of use is the most efficient.
Some 70% of energy created by power stations is ‘lost’ in transit. The small home Micro systems have a far higher efficiency rate (only some 20% is lost) and therefore they are the logical answer to the required reduction in CO2 output to which the UK Government has committed itself.
Our current thinking is to install a Solar Photo Voltaic system (Solar panels on the roof that generate electricity) combined with a high efficiency boiler which has the Sterling engine fitted into it.
The interesting thing is that at the heart of these boiler systems is the 200 year old design of the Sterling Engine, which uses waste heat to converts into electricity- at a very efficient rate.
We are getting competitive quotations right now, will attend a Business Link workshop in a few weeks time to learn more, and hope to make a decision by the middle of September. More news soon!

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