Sunday, October 09, 2011

Heat Pumps It Up

You’ve all got at least one of these. A Fridge or a Freezer. But did you know that the technology can be used to harness free renewable energy for heating your home, office or factory? Redbridge Lakes has one for Ground Source Heating, as well as Solar Panels on the roof.

Heat pumps capture free energy from the environment, from the air, ground or water, and harness it to provide low-cost, low-carbon heating for homes, commercial premises and industry. Heat pumps are many times more efficient than conventional gas or electric appliances, dramatically cutting running costs and safeguarding the environment.

After the successful launch of the National Heat Pump Awards earlier this year it is now set to become an established annual event to reward and celebrate the rapid progress being made in the adoption of heat pump technology, one of the most promising areas of renewable energy.

Among the first winners were a four-bedroom family home in Berkhamstead that harnesses free energy from the air, a modern farmhouse that taps heat from the ground, an estate of 180 council flats and bungalows that uses earth energy, and Castle Howard, location of the celebrated television series Brideshead Revisited, which captures energy from a lake.

Uniting these diverse projects is the use of the latest heat pump technology, which extracts low-grade energy from the environment and upgrades it for use in heating and cooling buildings.

Karen Trewick of Dimplex Renewables said: “Although only in its first year, we already view the National Heat Pump Awards as a key event in the UK renewables calendar. The range of projects being showcased highlights the vast potential for applications of heat pump technology. We firmly believe the awards will help develop the industry.”
Sounds like precisely the sort of thing proposed in the Green New Deal, except it is not "government lead". Mind you that could be a good thing given their track record ...

Meanwhile in Paris they are using exactly the same technology to extract and use heat from their sewers.

In other energy news:

Labour warns that that soaring gas and electricity prices are a 'national scandal' - warns big six energy companies their stranglehold will be broken.

Nearly half of Welsh councils have switched off street lights in residential areas to save money, BBC Wales has found.

British Gas has begun rolling out smart meters to its UK customers. The energy provider plans to install the devices in 10 million homes. But there is some doubt over how effective this will be in changing consumer behaviour.

And on the road drivers have cut their petrol consumption by more than 15% since the credit crunch and the recession, costing the Treasury nearly £1billion in the 6 months to June.

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