MICROGENERATION TECHNOLOGIES

 

 

 

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A brief introduction to microgeneration, what it is and what it can do for you and the planet

MICROGENERATION TECHNOLOGIES

An overview of different electricity and heat producing microgeneration technologies with links to further details on each

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Before you look for ways to produce your own energy, it makes sense to minimise your energy needs.  An outline of some energy efficiency measures you can take.

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SOLAR HOT WATER SOLAR PV HEAT PUMPS MICRO CHP
Solar Thermal systems use solar radiation  to produce hot water mainly used for showers, washing etc., but sometimes additionally for space heating and swimming pools.  Solar PV (Photo Voltaic) systems use solar radiation (sunlight) to produce electricity for use in homes or other buildings. Heat Pumps extract low grade heat from the air or ground, rather like a fridge in reverse.  For every unit of electricity input,  around 3 units of useful heat is delivered to the home. Micro CHP  replaces the gas boiler in a central heating system.  It burns gas to produce heating, whilst simultaneously generating electricity.
BIOMASS MICRO WIND MINI WIND MICRO HYDRO
Biomass boilers burn wood pellets, chips or logs to produce heat in a central heating system.  Biomass is effectively zero carbon over its life cycle; a typical system in a family home can save around 6 tonnes of CO2 annually. Micro wind turbines generate electricity from the energy in the wind striking the turbine.  They are only effective when located in windy areas remote from buildings or other obstructions; current products have failed to perform well. Mini wind turbines generate electricity from the energy in the wind striking the turbine.  Free-standing mini turbines are most effective when located in windy areas remote from buildings or other obstructions.
Small hydro systems produce power from the flow of water.
The continuous power output resulting from this flow is a valuable resource where available.

 

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Jeremy Harrison 2008  Last update 20th November 2008