Renewable energy in the home and garden

Renewable energy in the home and garden

Posted on 25. Aug, 2010 by in odd stuff, UK

A Guest article.

Renewable energy in the home and garden

If you are concerned about CO2 emissions and your household’s carbon footprint, then one of the most effective ways of reducing this pollution is by installing some renewable energy sources in your garden and home. There is now a wide variety of ways you can generate renewable energy at home, including with wind turbines, solar panels and thermal heating. This article provides a breakdown of some of the renewable energy generators available for you right now.

Solar Panels and Solar water heating systems

If you were to install a system of solar panels and solar water heaters, then the majority of your electricity and hot water needs would be met by this renewable energy resource. Solar water heating system works by pumping cold water into the system, then as the water moves through it is heated by the solar panels, producing hot water for the home. Solar energy (light and heat from the sun) is collected by solar panels and converted into electricity which can be used in the home. If you think that solar panels and/or a solar water heating system would be good for your home you don’t need to have a directly south facing roof as one which faces south-east or south-west should work just as well. Utilising things like sheds and other features in your garden as placements for solar heaters can provide you with the space you need without turning your garden into an eyesore.

Ground source heat pumps

To be able to use ground source heat pumps you need to have a garden, and one big enough to ensure that a network of pipes can be buried into the ground. Heat from the ground is used in a similar way to the Solar water system, in that cold water is pumped through the pipes, heated up (in this case by warmth in the ground) and then hot water is pumped out. This hot water can be used in heating systems as well as for general household use. This is perfect if you’re already making changes to your garden as you won’t disturb any of your previous garden design work.

Wind turbines

Wind turbines can be installed and will generate electricity for the home. As the wind makes the turbines turn, they drive a turbine and it is this turbine which generates the electricity. You can either put a small wind turbine on your roof, or it can be mounted on a mast in your garden. If you are unsure whether you roof is in a sunny enough position for Solar panels, then a wind turbine is a great alternative as it moves to face the wind so is suitable for any roof. This is also a good solution if you have a listed building and are unable to make modifications to your roof. Wind turbines can actually even be turned into a garden feature if you plan properly. Think about where you’re placing the turbine, how large it is and how you can use the space around it to best suit your garden design.

If the initial investment needed for setting up these renewable energy sources is putting you off, then be reassured, there are financial as well as environmental incentives for installing your own energy system. The energy saving trust website has a cash-back calculator so that you can calculate how much you can save by installing renewable energy. Green living and beautiful gardens don’t have to be mutually exclusive; spend time planning where you’re going to place your renewable energy systems and make them a part of your garden!

About the author: Grant works for Artscape Design and Build, garden design in surrey. He loves to use renewable energy sources in his garden design.

Other Guest writers

Veronica Davis : Veronica’s 1st article is here. And her 2nd article is here
Amanda T : Amanda’s article is here.
Roko Nastic : Roko’s article is here.
Haylee Hulme : Haylee’s 1st article is here and her 2nd article is here.

Photographs and pictures from Wikipedia

Related article Wind turbines – you either love them or hate them.

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