How microgeneration is the most important potential contributor to sustainable construction. New incentives to go down the microgeneration route. Potential rewards, pitfalls to avoid. Changing government attitudes, new awareness amongst clients, tenants and energy companies.
Section 1: Systems that need no external energy supplies
Thermosyphon solar water heating
Basic principles. Flat beds vs vacuum tube. Benefits and limitations of direct and indirect systems. Most effective applications. Dealing with sub-zero temperatures. Preventing legionella. Pros and cons of microbore piping. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.
Basic principles. Location and orientation. Types of PV cells. Silicon vs cadmium – the environmental implications. Batteries and inverters. Building-integrated PV. Cooling. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.
Mini wind turbines and windpumps
Basic principles. Horizontal axis vs vertical axis. Stall regulation vs pitch regulation. Noise, bird strike. Minimising cable cost. Minigrids and backup power. Synchronous generators, load controllers. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.
Small scale hydropower
Basic principles. Mini and micro. Run of river, canal and penstock, buried penstock, barrage installations. Head and flow. Utilising historic waterpower sites. Screening. Dealing with migratory fish. Matching head to turbine type. Impulse vs reaction turbines. Power controllers. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.
Biomass fuelled combined heat and power plants
Basic principles. Potential fuels. Grates. Bubbling vs circulating fluidised beds. Internal combustion vs st