The Zero Carbon Solution is a complete integrated renewable system, in which three core technologies are brought together to solve the fundamental renewable energy dilemma: Seasonal imbalance.
Most existing renewable technologies work well in summer, when there is least energy demand, but perform badly in winter, when they are needed most. By collecting and storing summer time heat for use during the winter efficient running is maintained all year round.
The system out-performs all other conventional combinations of renewable technologies, finally making it practical and affordable to achieve zero carbon status for new homes and low-rise commercial developments.
The ZERO CARBON SOLUTION achieves this gold standard using only the power obtained from the sun – a fuel source that is clean, reliable and completely free of charge. The system is scalable and economical, and can meet a home’s full annual heating and hot water requirements using just solar energy.
The system consists of three core components:
HOW IT WORKS
An array of hybrid Photovoltaic Thermal (PV-T) panels, which collect both electrical and thermal energy, are installed in the roofline of the building. These are used to generate heat to warm the house and its hot water system, as well as provide electricity to run the system and for lighting.
Because solar energy is naturally in abundance when least required, the Zero Carbon Solution utilises a patented energy storage method, the Earth Energy Bank (EEB). Heated fluid is pumped from the roof through a series of pipes underneath the house, warming the surrounding earth. This heat can then be drawn upon as required via a heat pump during the coldest weeks of the year.
A sophisticated controller manages the flow of energy within the Zero Carbon Solution. Taking into account the outside and inside temperatures, the occupants’ desired temperature, the temperature of the domestic hot water and the temperature of the EEB, whilst monitoring the energy flow from the PVT panels, the system determines the best energy source to meet demand at least cost.
When employed in buildings with the appropriate building fabric, the Zero Carbon Solution can give better returns on investment that any other combination of renewable technologies.
Efficient low energy homes are a marriage between build fabric and renewable energy provision. Both are equally important. The challenge lies in finding the right level of each to give the lowest capital and lifetime running cost. Current building regulations, though much improved over the past ten years, fall short of this ideal level. At the other extreme, building to passivhaus standards places too great a cost burden on the building’s fabric, and is poorly suited to volume building.
The Zero Carbon Solution finds this heat loss balance at around 25 watts p sq m, allowing for ease of build and minimising the cost of the renewable technology. This target is best realised by the use of panelised systems like timber frame, where insulation is integrated within the structure, rather than between elements of the structure. This provides greater efficiency, also allowing for thinner external walls with a consequent increase in sellable internal floor space.