Designs for Commercial Solar Projects
Large Scale Solar Power
In the current, uncertain climate, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat and are putting great effort into finding ways to cut down on day to day running costs. This includes seeking out alternative ways in which to save on rising energy costs. In this modern age, businesses also have a responsibility for the protection of the environment. There is money to be made by generating your own energy through the government's new Feed-in Tariff initiative, whereby energy not used by your business will be fed back into the grid, which you will be paid for. In addition, companies using Carbon Trust approved installers are able to take advantage of Carbon Trust loans which ensure no upfront costs as well as monthly energy savings which outweigh monthly loan repayments.
Current Solar Options
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels are becoming increasingly popular within the commercial sector. They allow you to generate your own electricity by using energy from the sun. They don't need strong sunshine in order to work, just daylight, so you can even generate electricity on cloudy days. Solar thermal panels use the sun's energy to generate heating for the water in your building. They also do not require strong sunlight in order to function and can provide a large percentage of your hot water requirements all year round, although this will be reduced in the winter. Both of these options are easy to install with very little maintenance required, making them a wonderful commercial investment.
Heat pumps are also becoming increasingly popular and work by using the heat transferred into the ground from the sun. Underground pipes absorb this heat and circulate a mixture of water and antifreeze, which is then transferred into the building using a pump and compressor system.
Many installers now offer specialist design to fit in with the style and age of your building, so solar installations can fit right in with your company image and can be roof or ground mounted, depending on available space. Systems are designed on a project to project basis to provide you with the most appropriate system to meet your design requirements, as well as generating the largest long term income for you through the Feed-in Tariff.
Now that planning restrictions have been lifted for smaller businesses, demand for solar power has soared and many are taking full advantage of this. Solar installations under 50kWp no longer require any planning permission at all and are treated in the same manner as domestic properties.
Impressive Solar Projects
A great example of commercial solar power in action surrounds the Burnley based, Westbury Filtermation who use vast amounts of electricity during their production of air filters. 204 solar panels were installed resulting in a 50kW solar array. They will now reduced their carbon emissions by an estimated 22.5 tonnes a year and save almost £3,500 a year on electricity. They also estimate that they will see an average annual return on their investment of 27%.
A poultry farmer in the Midlands has recently had the UK's largest solar PV project installed at a cost of £1.2m. More than 2,300 solar panels were installed, stretching a distance of 210m and including a 150m long ground array of 1,200 panels and a further 60m long array of 1,100 panels spreading across three poultry shed roofs. The installation has already exceeded predicted results by reducing electricity consumption by a massive 65% and energy capture by 10%. This project was a year in planning but once permission was granted, the installations were completed within four weeks.
Suitable for All Businesses
Solar energy among the farming community is now becoming commonplace in the UK. Farms, dairies and other agricultural buildings generally use a high amount of electricity to power lightning and equipment. A number of schools are also turning to solar power as a way to generate an additional income, boost tightening budgets and meet social responsibilities. Office based businesses will typically have a high energy usage due to powering lights, computers, copiers and other office equipment. Community properties and even whole villages are increasingly requesting design ideas from commercial installers. From small shops to large factories, swimming pools, gyms, shopping centres, hospitals, supermarkets, clubs and pubs, police stations, fire stations, sporting arenas, banks, churches and even zoos, there is a design option for every business.
Many brand new buildings are today being built with environmental considerations at the forefront. No new business is built without a Green Mission Statement or Corporate Responsibility Disclosure. Yesterday's bottom line was making money. However, today it has been joined by social and environmental responsibilities. The latter is no longer financially detrimental to the former, which remains essential in the current climate. Thanks to many forward thinking individuals, new buildings are now being designed with solar installations as standard.