An introduction to Micro Renewables
Small domestic scale devices which generate energy from renewable sources come under the micro renewables title. Until recently, there had been little demand to encourage manufacturers to work on improving the quality and efficiencies of smaller renewable energy devices. Additional to the remote off-grid market, there is now much more interest in these smaller devices within the construction industry, especially for the grid-tied ecohome market.
Roof-mounted wind turbines
A number of companies have been developing small wind turbines for the domestic market. Both horizontal and vertical axis models are being developed that have lower noise and vibration emissions, making them more suitable for roof mounting. The new models now offer integrated grid-tied inverter systems which will provide opportunities for Renewable Energy certificates to be earned.
Roof mounted solar technologies
Solar technologies are becoming standard components of house design in many areas. The increased use of solar water heaters, PV and solar lighting systems means that this area is often the first point of entry level for many consumers on their path to reducing their individual carbon footprint. Experts in such domestic solar technology are in increasing demand.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Heat pump technology is being increasingly exploited in cooler areas, such as Canada and Scandinavia. In Sweden, ground source heat pumps are now being installed as standard in 94% of new buildings. This area of micro renewables is due for continued expansion.
The development of much improved domestic biomass burners, such as wood chip or pellet stoves and local fuel supply chains is allowing individuals to swap from fossil fuel derived heating systems to those that operate on sustainable principles such as short coppice rotation.
There is a range of small domestic hydro-electric generators on the market. Turbine outputs range from a few hundred watts up to several kilowatts. There is much room for further R&D, improved production methods, quality control and installation methods.
Getting a Job in Micro Renewables
If you have design or installation experience in any of these emerging micro renewables, there is an increasing demand for you. Consumers require advice and assistance making choices, either for retro fit or new build scenarios. Qualified engineers and installers are required to specify, install and maintain such systems. Please let us know your aspirations, qualifications and experience in order that we can match you up with a current or future position.
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