Sunstone Energy is an Approved Installer for a broad range of technologies and manufacturers which means we are well placed to help you find the most appropriate system for your property.
Here is an overview of the different technologies but we recommend discussing your project with us so we can provide the information relevant to your property and circumstances.
Ground and water source heat pumps work in a similar way but where they collect the renewable energy from nature is different. The illustration below shows different means of collecting heat energy through a ‘closed loop’ but it can also be harnessed from a reservoir of underground water, a lake or a river by pumping water, known as ‘open loop’.
This consistent source of ‘heat energy’ reaches the heat pump where it heats a refrigerant with a very low boiling point, causing it to evaporate and turn into a gas so it can be pumped through a compressor. In line with the second law of thermodynamics, this increases the temperature dramatically creating usable heat that can then be run off at the hot water tap or pumped around radiators or underfloor heating to heat the house.
The advantage of ground & water source heat pumps is that they are housed inside out of the way and protected from the elements. They are very quiet in operation and when effectively designed and installed have a high efficiency.
Air source heat pumps operate in a similar way to ground source with the same refrigeration cycle but the difference is that the heat energy comes from the ambient outdoor air. An outdoor heat pump unit is located outside, adjacent to the property, with a fan that draws large amounts of air in over the evaporator heat exchanger. Once the heat energy has been taken the cooler air is expelled from the unit. A hot water or refrigerant connection is made with an indoor unit incorporating hot water cylinder, controls and pumps etc.
Underfloor heating is an alternative to radiators for delivering heat from the heat source into each individual room. The advantage of underfloor heating is that it transmits heat through the floor meaning that the heat is where you want it, at the feet and body rather than in the top half of the room which can happen with convection from radiators. As there is no need for radiators, the walls are uncluttered which makes positioning furniture much more flexible. Design is important to ensure the appropriate amount of pipe is installed to be able to deliver the necessary heat for the room.
Underfloor heating is easiest to install in newbuild properties and when carrying out a renovation but can even be installed in existing homes.
Sunstone Energy designs, installs and commissions underfloor heating and other heating distribution systems from leading manufacturers.
Solar thermal panels heat water when the sun is shining and are normally designed to deliver approximately 60% of a household’s annual hot water demand and in some cases central heating as well. For a 3-4 bedroom home this means an installation of 2-3 solar panels mounted on a south facing roof elevation and connecting to a solar hot water tank. Solar thermal can be designed to integrate with gas, oil and renewable energy heating systems.
Solar PV panels on your roof generate electricity which reduces the amount of electricity you need to buy from the grid. The government’s Feed-in Tariff incentive pays you for every kWh (kilowatt hour) your system generates and also for an assumed amount that you will export to the grid.
There is an increasing choice of systems available including on-roof and in-roof, all black panels and the output per panel continues to increase.
The payback for high electricity usage commercial premises can be as short as 6 years. We carry out full design and payback calculations as part of out proposals.
Sunstone Energy designs, installs and commissions solar PV systems from leading manufacturers including Viridian Solar and other leading manufacturers.
In older, traditional properties where the heat loss is high and it can be difficult to reduce this with insulation, a high temperature heating system is required and this is the type of application where a biomass boiler is a good renewable heating solution. Biomass comes in different forms with the most common being pellets made from forest industry waste. Also common for larger properties is woodchip which requires more volume for fuel storage. Both these fuel types can be fed into the boiler using automated feed systems. Logs is also a fairly common fuel type for biomass boilers and makes sense where there is a plentiful supply of wood on site but this is a labour intensive option.
Sunstone Energy designs, installs and commissions biomass boilers and associated fuel storage systems from ETA and other leading manufacturers.
MVHR stands for Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery and is the process of collecting warm, damp air from the wet rooms of the house and transferring the heat to new fresh air coming in from outside. This is achieved by installing a heat exchanger and ducting and means that there is more control over the fresh air coming into the house and less energy required to bring it to the desired room temperature compared to fresh air supplied through trickle vents. This solution is ideal for new homes where the levels of air tightness and insulation mean it it is vital to extract the warm, damp air to avoid condensation, mould and consequential allergies and illness and even sick building syndrome.
Sunstone Energy designs, installs and commissions MVHR and ventilation solutions from Nuaire and other leading manufacturers.