Solutions Inspired Ltd

Creative solutions with over 25 years of experience

0191 417 45 77

What systems can I install to recieve Feed in Tariffs (FITS)

Solar photovoltaics (PV)

Known commonly as solar panels, or just PV in the industry, they are the large flat, black glass panels that are usually put on roofs to convert sunlight into electricity. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and colours, from roof and wall mounting panels to grey "solar tiles" that can look like roof slates. There are even panels available with the solar cells spaced apart to allow some sunshine through for conservatory roofing, for example. The technology behind them is improving at an impressive rate, allowing them to become more and more efficient and effective at generating electricity regardless of what you might think about the UK weather!

Wind turbines

Wind turbines work through the wind turning the blades which are linked to an internal generator which produces electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity is produced. The most effective domestic-sized wind turbines are mast mounted units. These are free standing machines, typically 2.5kW to 6kW, which are usually erected on 10 to 25-metre masts in suitably exposed positions. Roof mounted designs around 1kW to 2kW have also been developed to be installed on the roof of a home where there is a suitable wind resource. Please note that wind turbines are generally only effective in exposed rural locations.

Hydro power

Basically, hydro power is any system that generates electricity from water. On a commercial scale, the UK has had hydro dams in Scotland and Wales for many, many years. For the purposes of the tariffs, the most common technology will involve turbines placed in running water to generate electricity. Recently the Environment Agency identified 26,000 sites in England and Wales that are suitable for small-scale hydro power schemes that are suitable for the Feed-In Tariffs. Collectively these sites would generate 1% of the UK’s energy.

Solar heating

Solar thermal systems are large, flat, black panels that you stick on your roof and at first glance look quite similar to solar PV panels – indeed, you can buy designs that lookidentical aesthetically. Their job is to provide a property with hot water by using the sun’s rays to heat water flowing through pipes on the panel. This is then passed through a coilin the household hot water cylinder or heat store, where it heats the domestic hot water supply. A back-up conventional boiler, heat pump or immersion heater is normally used to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.

Heat pumps

Ground source, air source and water source heat pumps are three different ways of extracting ambient temperature and using that heat in your property. Think of them as working like fridges, only in reverse. In other words, the heat pumps take heat from a source (the ground, the air or the water) and pump it into the hot water system in your house. The heat pump uses electricity to extract the heat, but delivers typically 2½ to 4 kW of heat for every kW of electricity used. They also work effectively when the outside temperature is freezing.

Biomass heating

Simply put, biomass boilers are just big boilers that burn wood rather than gas or oil. Biomass heating systems generally burn wood pellets, chips or logs to power central heating and hot water boilers. As such, you can install a boiler and connect it to your existing central heating and hot water system. For a wood fuelled system, you will need a large dry area close to the boiler to store your fuel. Ideally this should be close to where the fuel arrives to simplify delivery - both pellets and wood chips can be piped directly into the store. Many boilers also have mechanisms to refuel chips and pellets automatically. If you are heating the whole house with a biomass boiler, the internal space you needed is typically rather larger than a domestic boiler, and should be close to the fuel store which can be housed internally or externally.

CHP (Combined Heat & Power)

The Feed-In Tariffs provide for a ‘pilot’ of up to 30,000 installations of micro-CHP installations up to 2kW each. This will be reviewed after the first 12,000 have been installed. The Renewable Heat Incentive will fully support CHP. These will include the newer biomass boilers that generate electricity from the heat of the boiler, as well as boilers that burn biogas. However, the gas comes from anaerobic digesters and are really only suitable for farms as you need a constant and steady supply of food or animal waste.

Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a way of producing biogas from various biomass sources, such as energy crops, farmyard residues or food waste. In addition to producing biogas, the process also leaves a solid residue, which is a form of bio-fertiliser. It can be used for combined heat and power or even be fed into the natural gas grid as biomethane. This technology is particularly suitable for users with access to a suitable biomass resource, such as farms and the food-processing or retail industries.

Heat systems for the Renewable Heat Incentive

Systems that generate both heat and power and can be used for both tariffs

Contact us directly by clicking here.