The sun is the power source of the planet and energy from the sun is at the heart of all renewable energy, whether Solar Thermal/PV, Wind, Biomass or Hydro. It is the sun which causes the winds to blow and the rain to fall. Without the sun there would be no Biomass.
At WWS we are particularly proud of our long history with solar thermal and the many installations which we have completed over the years. Starting out as we did in 1998, when the idea that Ireland had a worthwhile solar resource was laughed at, we put huge effort into the promotion of solar thermal when it was a very difficult sell. Solar thermal is now part of the Irish landscape as it should be and we are happy to have played some part in it’s promotion.
Apart from the usual domestic hot water installations, we have successfully completed many and varied installations over the years. This includes Pool Heaters and large arrays to assist with space heating. We have used both Flat Plate and Evacuated Tube collectors over the years but we particularly promote Thermomax (now Kingspan Solar) tube collectors as the original evacuated tube solar collector and the only one manufactured on the island of Ireland.
Photo Voltaic (PV) Panels produce electricity directly from sunlight. Once considered too expensive for domestic use they have become much more affordable in recent years to the point where a grid connected PV installation is now not much more expensive than a solar thermal of equivalent power output. A 5kW grid connected PV array in Ireland will generate sufficient electricity in a year to totally offset the electricity usage of the average home. A simple step toward creating a Carbon Neutral home!
At WWS we have installed many domestic and commercial scale grid connected PV systems and there continues to be a lot of interest in this technology. But we have a particular interest in off-grid, ‘island’ electric systems and have helped a number of satisfied customers in fulfilling the dream of living off grid. Combining solar, wind and backup generator using quality solar modules from Norwegian company REC and state of the art Inverter technology from market leaders SMA, we offer a totally reliable solution for anyone wishing to ‘cut the cord’!
For anyone with a good open site there is a bountiful wind resource available here in Ireland. But wind power is not for the faint hearted! Harvesting the wind requires a robust, reliable turbine capable of withstanding everything which north Atlantic gales are capable of throwing at it i.e. powerful winds with at times turbulent, hurricane force gusts and heavy driving rain.
At WWS we have installed Proven Wind Turbines for many years. We have found these machines, designed and manufactured in Scotland for a wind regime similar to our own, to be the best available from the point of view of reliability, simplicity and value for money. Either grid connected or as part of an ‘island’ electric system in conjunction with solar PV, the power of the wind is there for the taking!
Hydro Power Generation
Hydro power is the word used to describe the energy available from falling water.
On a domestic scale, the best green field sites are high head (mountain streams). Very low head, large volume sites are more difficult to exploit, unless there is an existing mill. However any site with falling water has energy generating potential!
Larger hydro sites can be used to generate AC directly, identical to the mains. These turbines are “site specific” i.e. the turbine can not be bought off the shelf but must be built to suit the site parameters. Thanks to recent changes in the regulations these installations can be connected to the ESB Network with a minimum of ‘red tape’. WWS Ltd can supply and install a control system which complies fully with ESBN requirements.
Commercial sites (>100kW) are more complex to develop. WWS Ltd offer a complete service to guide clients through the process towards a successful conclusion
Finally, we have a range of off the shelf battery charging turbines available which will provide power from very small streams.
Hydro Generators, whether stand alone or grid connected, require a control system. In the case of Stand Alone, the controller manages the generator load in order to maintain the correct speed of rotation and hence the correct Frequency.
Grid connect controllers must firstly manage the synchronization of the generator output with the Mains for safe connection to the network. Secondly the controller must disconnect from the network if the generator output deviates, in voltage or frequency, outside strictly laid down standards. The controller must also disconnect instantly from the network and shut down the turbine in a controlled fashion if the network power disappears. During normal operation the controller automatically adjusts the flow rate through the machine to match the turbine output to the available water flow.
WWS Ltd supply complete control systems for hydro generators, either Stand Alone or Grid Connected. Our grid connect controller is type tested and certified as complying with the British G59 standard which is recognised by ESB Networks.
WWS Ltd are the sole Irish agents for IDM Energie Systeme, an Austrian company producing a range of quality heatpumps for domestic and commercial use.
Over the years we have designed and installed many different heating systems based around IDM products. With onsite training in Austria, and excellent technical back up, we have grown more and more confident with ever more sophisticated installations. These range from the smallest domestic heatpump installation to Cascade systems for large homes, swimming pools and industrial buildings.
IDM not only manufacture heatpumps, they also supply complete renewable energy management solutions based round the Hygienik buffer vessel and Navigator microprocessor control. The Navigator allows any number of heat sources, both renewable and fossil fuel, and up to seven heating zones, to be managed in the most cost effective and energy efficient way from a single keypad.
When it comes to space heating, from an energy saving standpoint, it is always best to achieve a comfortable room temperature with the lowest possible system temperature. For this reason we promote the use of underfloor heating with weather compensated control. This type of control adjusts the flow temperature in the floor to changes in the outside temperature i.e. the lower the outside temperature the higher the flow temperature in the heating circuits and vice versa.
We further advocate the use of buffer vessels to integrate several renewable energy heat sources together to supply Sanitary Hot Water and to supply space heating. We can design such systems from scratch and supply a single microprocessor controller to manage all heat sources and heating loads in the most economical and energy efficient manner.