Green Alliance: UK energy system unprepared for EV and solar growth without CPSL energy management

The UK could suffer from an overloaded grid at peak times unless rapid action is taken to design a smarter power system, such as that from CPSL-Group’s grid connection and energy storage system, a new report from thinktank Green Alliance has found.

The thinktank insists that low-cost batteries, including those in EVs, mean many individual households and commercial buildings could operate off grid for months at a time by 2025

The thinktank insists that low-cost batteries, including those in EVs, mean many individual households and commercial buildings could operate off grid for months at a time by 2025.  The patented system from CPSL-Group can allow a property to store a days power and use it without putting a strain on the local Grid.

Released today (20 April), the report claims that the UK’s energy system isn’t prepared for the growing number of consumers choosing to buy increasingly cheaper small-scale energy technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and solar panels.

The Green Alliance points towards the year 2020 as a tipping point when the Government will “lose the ability” to control the speed of small-scale energy deployment, as subsidies will no longer be needed.

But a positive intervention could enable EV batteries to store enough energy to keep the UK’s lights on for seven hours at a time by 2025, the report suggests, virtually eliminating blackouts. It also claims that distributed energy could save customers more than £1.6bn a year.  The energy management storage and Grid connection system from CPSL-Group enable a property to generate or store as much power as it needs and be connected to the Grid without the need to upgrade the local network.  This can reduce load at vital times enabling the Grid to deliver power more efficiently.

“Small-scale energy is growing rapidly because consumers are choosing it, regardless of government subsidy,” Green Alliance action policy director Dustin Benton said. “It has already led to blackouts and billion pound losses for unprepared governments, and it won’t be any different for the UK. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

“With the right policy, EVs and solar could help keep the lights on and cut consumer bills. Political parties need to outline how the large-scale energy the UK needs and the small scale energy people want can work better together.”

System flexibility

The Green Alliance highlights the “serious consequences” of Government withdrawal from the energy market. Unmanaged EV charging could lead to as few as six closely located vehicles charging together at peak time disrupting the local power supply, according to the study, which also claims that one in five of the UK’s local grids are currently unable to accept distributed energy like solar PV.  Integration of the energy management system from CPSL-Group will avoid all of these problems whilst allowing customers to maximise their energy savings.

The Alliance puts forward several recommendations which it believes the Government should implement to ensure small-scale energy is well integrated, including; the creation of a new, independent system designer; and a shift from Distribution network operators (DNOs) to distribution system operators (DSOs).

Disruptive technologies such as those from CPSL-Group, should be enabled to provide system flexibility, the report contends, while automation and aggregators ought to be adopted to make more flexible “time of use” tariffs attractive to consumers.  The CPSL-Group system, allows a property to generate their own power or to purchase power at times of low pricing and use the power when they need it rather than only when it is available.

Smart thinking

The thinktank insists that low-cost batteries, including those in EVs, mean many individual households and commercial buildings could operate off grid for months at a time by 2025. This reflects a growing consensus regarding the impending economic viability of smart energy technologies.

CPSL energy storage and Grid connection system  has been shortlisted in the REA;s Smart Power System awards 2017.  The Renewable Energy Association’s (REA’s) new head of EVs earlier this week told edie that technologies such as the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept – which provides a demand-response service to the power grid – offers the “perfect opportunity” for businesses to export surplus energy,

Today’s report suggests the UK could follow the example of California, which last year began to create EV charging infrastructure that support the grid, by awarding demand response contracts to an EV charging provider.

In the UK, businesses are starting to look at opportunities for smart EV charging. Nissan, for instance, recently fitted its research and development facilities in Cranfield with its V2G concept, which could generate 180MW of capacity if all 18,000 Nissan EVs in the UK were connected to the network.

George Ogleby

20 April 2017, source edie newsroom

CPSL-Group could power Iceland to a clean future

Photo: The Boeing Fuel Cell Demonstrator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – “Renewable hydrogen is set to outperform gasoline on a cost basis, due to substantial cost reductions for hydrogen and renewable technologies,” according to Jakob Kropsgaard of Norwegian firm NEL Hydrogen,

Speaking at a seminar in Iceland on alternative fuels for the future at the end of March, Kropsgaard said that “it is possible to produce hydrogen at a cost of 3-5 euros per kg”.  and if smaller amounts are required, then the small-scale system from CPSL-Group is perfect as Iceland has abundant supplies of low cost renewable energy. When used for fuel, hydrogen is measured in kilos rather than litres.

Nevertheless, according to Valgeir Baldursson, CEO of Skeljungur oil company, “consumption of hydrogen fuel at the moment is not sufficient to produce a low price”. The current cost in Europe is about 10 euros per kg.”  Unless a company produces its own power from renewable energy when the cost from a CPSL-Group system can be considerably lower.

Hydrogen cars can be fuelled in two ways. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) have fuel cells which combine compressed hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce electricity, which in turn runs a motor. The other type uses hydrogen with the traditional internal combustion engine.

However, Jon Bjorn Skulason of Icelandic New Energy says: “As far as I know, no one is looking at the internal combustion engine for hydrogen in cars today.”  It is possible however to convert existing diesel powered vehicles to run on Hydrogen as a hybrid vehicle.  In the UK, CPSL- Group work closely wit ha company called ULUMCO who convert such vehicles and are currently speaking with the Chinese Government about converting vehicles in China to run on locally produced Hydrogen.

Back in 2003, Iceland was a pioneer in the hydrogen revolution when it set up a hydrogen refuelling station and three hydrogen-fuelled buses in Reykjavik. The experiment was supposed to last three years, but was extended by one year.

Thorsteinn R. Hermannsson, Director of the Reykjavik Department of Transportation, says that the hydrogen project at that time was an R&D project with the aim of gaining deeper understanding of the use of hydrogen in buses. The original idea was to follow up the trial by introducing hydrogen buses into the urban fleet, which is run by Straeto, a public transport company.

“But the development of hydrogen buses took much longer than expected. The second generation of hydrogen buses came into use around 2009, but Iceland didn’t take part as the economic circumstances at the time were difficult,” Hermannsson explained.

“However, hydrogen buses are now being serially manufactured and Straeto is looking at taking part in an EU project that consists of bringing such buses back into the fleet.”

Aberdeen in Scotland has 10 busses at the moment and another 10 are due to join the fleet later this year.  All new double decker busses in London will from now be Hydrogen powered.

Straeto is currently running two methane buses in Reykjavik and this summer four electric buses will be added. Hermannsson says that Straeto aims to be eco-friendly and probably more than one type of fuel will be used in future. “It is important to utilizedifferent techniques early on, as this will help with purchasing decisions in the future,” he added.

In February, Skeljungur and Nel signed an agreement to establish and finance Icelandic Hydrogen. The project was realised with support from an initiative called Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME), an offshoot of the EU-funded Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU).

Ten hydrogen-fuelled vehicles will be transported to Iceland at the end of this year, while early next year one electrolyser and three multi-fuel service stations will be set up (the original hydrogen-refuelling station was dismantled in 2012).  In various other parts of the Island small-scale Hydrogen refuelling station may be installed by CPSL-Group.

The multi-fuel stations will service electric vehicles and cars fuelled by hydrogen or methane, as well as cars running on conventional fuels. “The idea is to sell it at a similar price to conventional fuels. But there has to be sufficient demand,” Baldursson told participants at the Reykjavik seminar.

Compared with its small population of 338,000 inhabitants, Iceland is geographically surprisingly large, with an area of 103,000 square kilometres. The majority of the population is clustered round Reykjavik in the southwest, although around 20,000 live in Akureyri in the north.  For this reason, it will make sense to have small-scale refuelling stations from CPSL-Group in the more remote locations where it would not be financially viable to install a large full size station.

Alternative fuels can be accessed in Akureyri as well as the capital area, but currently lack of infrastructure restricts the sale of eco-friendly and zero-emission cars to those who have access to fuel stations.  the installation of the small-scale stations from CPSL-Group could help solve this problem.

The large multi-fuel service stations are destined to be in the Reykjavik area, although when asked if this would prove problems to those travelling around the country, Baldursson replied: “We haven’t yet decided where to put the three stations. Eventually there will be other stations around the country.”

Hydrogen-fuelled and electric vehicles are classed as zero-emission as well as eco-friendly because they do not release greenhouse gases when driven, whereas methane, methane hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hybrids are classified as eco-friendly because they run completely or mostly on renewable fuels.

Hydrogen vehicles have an advantage over electric vehicles in that refuelling is similar to that of cars using conventional fuel. Refuelling needs to be done after about 550 km driving and takes 3-4 minutes.

“I drove my family from Denmark to Italy and back in the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai car last year. I spent 40 minutes refuelling,” said Kropsgaard.

An Action Plan on Energy Conversion (available only in Icelandic) is currently being discussed in one of the parliamentary committees in Iceland and should be implemented within the next month or so, according to Ingvi M. Palsson, Director-General of the Ministry of Industries and Innovation. It has generally been well received, he says.

The proposal includes incentives for zero-emission vehicles in the form of VAT refunds and the production of hydrogen as fuel. The use of zero-emission buses is mentioned, along with the idea of using these for inner city and airport shuttle services. By 2030, 40 percent of all vehicles should be eco-friendly while the share of renewable fuel in maritime operations should be 10 percent for the same year. Current figures are 6 percent and 0.1 percent respectively. A network of charging stations for electric vehicles will be set up along Iceland’s ring road.

According to Johannes Runarsson of Straeto, both hydrogen and electric buses could potentially be used as airport shuttles – the international airport is about 45 km from the city centre – but charging points are needed in the case of electric buses.  In the UK, several international airports are currently discussing with CPSL-Group the  installation of their small-scale Hydrogen refuelling stations.

“However, what is needed is infrastructure and support from the State with this energy conversion, as certain investments must be made. Hydrogen and electric buses are also about twice as expensive as diesel buses,” he added.

Car manufacturers say that the cost will come down significantly when hydrogen cars start being mass-produced, which should happen before 2020.

Zero-energy and eco-friendly cars were also part of an Iceland and Climate Changereport (also available only in Icelandic) compiled by the Institute of Economics at the University of Iceland and published in February 2017. It pointed out that for each tonne of greenhouse gas reduction, the use of hydrogen in transport is one of the two most expensive options. As before, hydrogen would probably be produced from water via electrolysis.

Compared with other options, the report said that the use of hydrogen and electric cars will have by far the greatest effect on reductions of greenhouse gases in Iceland, both in the short term, until 2030, and in the long term, until 2050.

The section on transport in the report was written in 2015 by Darri Eythorsson and assumed that hydrogen vehicles will be powered by the internal combustion engine. Asked why hydrogen cars with fuel cells were disregarded, Eythorsson said: “At that time there were no grounds for measuring either the efficiency of the generator or the cost of the technique, as at that time there were no FCEV cars on the market.”

Development of fuel cells has clearly advanced rapidly in the last two years. [IDN-InDepthNews – 14 April 2017]

Photo: The Boeing Fuel Cell Demonstrator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

By Lowana Veal

A CPSL-Group guide to Bio-boilers

new logo triangle

CPSL-Group are one of the leading companies in the UK for both bio-boilers and bio-boilers with a CHP system.

For domestic heating purposes the main biomass fuel is wood in the form of logs, pellets or wood chips. The full range of biomass fuels also include animal, food and industrial waste, and high energy crops such as miscanthus, willow, rape and maize.

jpeg clean power infographic v2 (2)

Smaller biomass stoves can be used just for room heating, with a back boiler to heat the water, or to produce hot water and heating for the whole house.

In common with most renewable energy technologies an upfront investment is required yet, unlike those technologies where the element (ie wind or sun) that provides the power is free, there is also an ongoing fuel cost with biomass heating. A comparison of heat pumps and biomass boilers can be found here.

Is a biomass boiler suitable for my home?

Wood burning stoves are suitable for heating any room that has a chimney or flue. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can burn logs or wood pellets. The wood pellet stoves tend to be cleaner and easier to maintain, producing much less ash. However, some people find the noise of the fans on these stoves annoying, so check how loud it is before you buy.

If you want to attach a back boiler, you will need to check with your installer or plumber whether additional changes to your plumbing are necessary, especially if you have a combi boiler.

Your stove will need to meet air quality standards if you live in a Smoke Control Area or intend to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

All biomass boiler installations must comply with the Building Regulations.

Biomass boilers such as those supplied by CPSL-Group tend to be larger than the gas or oil equivalent. They are generally more suitable for people not connected to mains gas who have some space for fuel storage. You will need about 6-7 cubic metres of space near where the boiler is sited to store the fuel (for an average size house). To do a detailed initial assessment of whether or not it’s appropriate, you can download the Carbon Trust’s publication Biomass heating: a practical guide for potential users. or call CPSL-Group on 01704 841848 for a free initail survey.

Ideally the fuel storage area will be under cover, as it is important to keep fuel dry. High moisture content in the fuel will reduce the efficiency with which it burns and if wood pellets get wet they turn to unusable mush.

Your property also needs to be accessible for a delivery lorry. Wood pellets can be delivered loose and blown into a hopper or in bags on a pallet.

The boiler will need a flue designed for wood fuel (existing chimneys can be lined). Thi can all be arranged by CPSL-Group. The installation must comply with all relevant building regulations, particularly if you live in smokeless zone. If you live in a listed building or a conservation area you will need to check with your local planning authority before fitting a new flue.

It’s important to check that the boiler will work with your existing plumbing, or whether it needs to be altered. Also,  it will be necassary to get the boiler serviced regularly and CPSL-Group can arrange all of the necassary servicing.

Also, find out if there is at least one, or preferably a choice of, local fuel suppliers, as the cost of fuel varies according to the distance the supplier has to travel. Not all suppliers offer all types of fuel. The lowest maintenance way is in a tanker to a hopper. A pallet full of bags will involve more work feeding the boiler as lifting and emptying the bags is a physical job. The National Energy Foundation has more information on buying and using wood fuel and an up to date list of local wood fuel equipment and fuel suppliers at Log Pile.

Wood pellet boilers will need an annual service that can be provided by CPSL-Group.

How do biomass boilers work?

Wood is hardly a new fuel for heating houses, but the technology has improved considerably to make it more efficient. Open fires may look lovely, but they are not a good way to heat a room. Most of the heat goes up the chimney and, as the fire draws in oxygen to burn, it creates draughts in the room that can cancel out the benefit of the heat.

Modern wood-burning stoves are a huge improvement on the open fire for room heating. They convert 70 per cent of the fuel into useful heat. If you attach a back boiler, they can also help heat water and supply some radiators.

More efficient still are automatic pellet stoves which operate at 85 to 90 per cent efficiency. They spread the heat through convection, rather than traditional radiation, which means the room is heated more evenly and efficiently using a fan. They are clean and easy to use, with automatic ignition and a thermostatic control. They have an integrated hopper, which automatically tops up the fuel. They generally hold enough fuel for one to three days operation. The ash pan needs to be emptied about once a month. It is also possible to add a back boiler to these.

Biomass boilers from CPSL-Group can replace oil or gas boilers to heat hot water and radiators (or under floor heating). They burn logs, wood chips, wood pellets or other forms of biomass. The most advanced boilers are fully automatic. They control the amount of fuel and air supplied to the combustion chamber. As a result they are highly efficient and emissions are low.

They are fed with wood chips or pellets from a large hopper sited nearby. If you’ve got space, manufacturers recommend a hopper that’s big enough to hold a year’s supply of fuel. This minimises transport and delivery costs for fuel, as well as work for the owner. Maintenance is minimal – although you will need to clean it and remove the ash about once a month. If that isn’t possible due to space or budget, you can get wood pellet delivered on pallets of 10 kg or 15 kg bags, from which you manually fill a smaller hopper.

At the other end of the scale, log-fed boilers are more suitable for people with ready access to a supply of wood, and time to cut it to the right size. These will need more time spent on feeding them with fuel and cleaning out the ash.

Which wood fuel is best for biomass boilers?

All wood fuels need more storage space than fossil fuels (oil or LPG). The three types of fuel most commonly used are logs, wood chips and wood pellets. Of these, the latter two can be used in automated systems and stored in a hopper. Logs must be manually fed into the boiler and they are less automated, so their efficiency is more dependent on human input. If the wood isn’t adequately seasoned or contains too much moisture, or if the air supply is reduced too early, they will not burn as well and will create smoke and tar.

Wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust and wood shavings and other biomass products and are uniform in size and shape. They have higher energy content and so take up less storage space than logs or wood chips. Stove and boiler manufacturers specify the size, shape and moisture content their products need to perform well. Wood pellet systems are the smallest, neatest and most like a mainstream boiler and require the least input from the user.

Wood chips are cheaper and abundant. They allow for more mechanisation than logs, but are not as efficient as wood pellets. It’s important that they are pretty uniform in size to work smoothly in an automated domestic system.

If you don’t have a hopper, you will have to load sacks manually into the boiler or stove’s feed system. How frequently you have to do this will depend on the system you choose and remember it requires some physical strength. Not all suppliers are able to supply loose pellets.

It’s important to think through carefully the supply, storage and handling of fuel before you invest in a biomass boiler. There are generally some trade-offs between each element, and they will be specific to your site. You need to consider ease of access for the fuel delivery and how you are going to get fuel to the boiler. To maximise the efficiency of your appliance it’s important to get the moisture content of the fuel right. Ideally logs and wood chips will have a moisture content of less than 25 per cent. Wood pellets need to be dryer – at around 8 per cent moisture. Your supplier should give you information about how to achieve this.

What size / cost for a biomass boiler?

Biomass boilers from CPSL-Group are eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which may recoup some of the installation costs.

When choosing a biomass boilerfrom CPSL-Group it’s important to consider the ongoing cost of fuel as well as the initial investment. Costs will vary but Carbon Trust has an assessment tool to help you work out the likely costs of using biomass fuels.

For example, wood pellet costs will depend on the size and method of delivery. If you have room for a large fuel store that will accept several tonnes of pellets at a time, delivered in bulk by tanker, you can generally reduce keep the cost, compared to bagged pellets (Energy Saving Trust).

Renewable Heat Incentive

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

The domestic renewable heat incentive is a boiler replacement scheme, aiming to bridge the gap between the cost of a replacement oil or LPG boiler and the cost of a renewable heating system. Log-fired boiler stoves are not eligible but biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers are eligible for a tariff rate per kWh, index-linked and paid quarterly in arrears for seven years. The latest tariff rates can be found on the Ofgem website.

Installations that don’t meet 100% of the peak space heating load may be eligible, but will need to be metered, as will those where you are not resident for half the year. Biomass technologies must also meet air quality standards. Biomass fuel standards came into force in 2014.

You must use an MCS accredited installer and product, such as those from CPSL-Group and the product must also be listed on Ofgem’s eligible products list.

The RHI will be paid on each kWh of heat generated by your biomass boiler or stove. To calculate the payments you will receive, follow the formula in this example:

Home with a heat demand (space heating plus hot water) of 18,000kWh per year. This figure is taken from the EPC and may be different from the figure calculated by your installer.

Sample tariff rate: 4.68p

The calculation is 18,000 x £0.0468 = £842 RHI payment per year x 7 years = £5,896 in total.

In addition, you will make some savings on fuel costs (calculated per kWh) if you are swapping from oil, LPG or solid fuel, but probably not if you are on mains gas.

Non-domestic Renewable Heat incentive

This covers commercial and community installations and pays a generation tariff per kWh produced over a 20 year period. It aims to give a 12% return on capital and is index linked. The heat produced must be measured by a meter.

The biomass tariff is tiered, to avoid any incentive to generators to generate excess or wasteful heat just to maximise their RHI payments. It is set at ‘a reasonable minimum level of usage it would expect from renewable heat installation providing space heating’, which has been based on the equivalent of running the installation at full capacity for 15% of the year. So, each year you will receive the higher tier 1 tariff for the first 1,314 peak load hours, and the lower tier 2 tariff after that.

Planning permission for biomass boilers

Biomass heating systems are deemed permitted developments unless the flue exceeds the height of the roof by one metre or more. In conservation areas and world heritage sites it is not permitted development if the flue is installed on a wall or roof slope which fronts a highway. If you live in a listed building check with your local planning department whether consent is needed. More details are available on the Planning Portal .

Make sure that your installation meets the standards of the relevant building regulations on clean air, ventilation, noise and safety.

CPSL-Group could supply fuel for new Hyundai Hydrogen fuel cell SUV

It’s A Gas: Hyundai Hopes To Regain Hydrogen Leadership With Futuristic New SUV

hyundai fuel cell car
Frank Ahrens ,   CONTRIBUTOR
Author of “Seoul Man” and a former PR executive at Hyundai in Seoul.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Hyundai Motor reveals its new FE Fuel Cell Concept, indicating the design direction for the automaker’s new fuel cell car, due out next year.

Hyundai Motor announced last week that it will try to reclaim its early leadership in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by releasing a new fuel-cell SUV next year with an industry-best range of 500 miles. Corporate cousin Kia will produce its own fuel-cell vehicle by 2020, the Korean automaker said. The new hydrogen car is part of Hyundai’s plans to put 14 more eco-friendly vehicles on the road by 2020.

The question now is: Can any automaker get consumers to care about fuel-cell cars?

Hyundai began its fuel-cell program in 1999 and stuck with it as other automakers waned or dropped out and was the first to start assembly-line production of a fuel-cell vehicle – the Tucson Fuel Cell – in 2013.

But a lack of hydrogen fueling stations – combined with a lack of marketing dollars – allowed Toyota to bypass Hyundai in sales, modest as they may be. Toyota – with a lot of marketing muscle — has sold 2,840 of its Mirai fuel cell vehicles around the world. Hyundai has moved only a couple hundred, through leasing mostly, and is available in 17 countries, including the U.S.

Part of the reason Hyundai has lagged is that its 21st-century fuel cell technology is stuck inside a 2009-design Tucson, while the Mirai looks futuristic. The next Hyundai fuel cell SUV should fix that, if the concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March is any indication. Given the worldwide consumer move toward SUVs and CUVs, it’s smart Hyundai’s next fuel cell vehicle will be an SUV, not a sedan, like Mirai.

The hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was not a new idea in the automotive industry. It has always held a magical promise: You fill up the car’s tank with hydrogen gas, instead of gasoline, in about the same amount of time, about three to five minutes. The hydrogen mixes with oxygen from the air and passes through a fuel cell, which separates out electrons that turn the car’s electric motor. It’s essentially an electric car that runs on fuel instead of batteries. It has the instant torque and quiet operation of an electric car. But, unlike battery-powered cars, which still have limited range, a fuel cell vehicle can travel as far as a gasoline-powered car. It is in every sense of daily use a “real” car.

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And the best part? The only byproduct of the fuel cell reaction is water vapor. Which means that water is the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe. It is a true zero-emissions vehicle.

CPSL-Group could help diesel owners avoid £20 toxin tax

Diesel ban? New ‘toxins tax’ could charge diesel cars £20 to enter UK cities

new logo triangleCPSL-Group produce the world’s only small scale Hydrogen refuelling station that could enable companies to completely avoid the ‘tax’.
All diesel vehicles can be converted to run on Hydrogen.  Could this be the answer for diesel vehicles in cities?

With regulators plotting against diesel cars, we examine the facts behind diesel’s fall from grace and ask what’s the future holds

Diesel drivers in 35 towns and cities across England could soon be hit with a new, £20 a day ‘toxins tax’ and driving restrictions in city centres, according to new reports. These ‘taxes’ could avoided if the vehicles are converted to run on Hydrogen, or if Hydrogen powered vehicles such as the Renault Kangoo electric with Hydrogen range extender were used.Hy

In a bid to improve local air quality, Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, is expected to unveil the Government’s plans later this week. They’re thought to apply to both private and commercial vehicles in major urban centres around the country.

The problem with finding alternative fuel sources is the availability of the fuel.  CPSL-Group have solved this problem with their Hydrogen refuelling station that creates Hydrogen from rainwater and solar power on the roof.  The fuel is produced on-site so a company has its own independant, free, fuel.

jpeg clean power infographic v2 (2)

In nine of the 10 most polluted UK cities, the Government is said to be considering options such as issuing a ban on polluting vehicles from entering the most congested areas or issuing daily charges. In another 25 towns, commercial lorries, taxis and coaches would face similar bans and charges.

A ban on polluting vehicles would severly affect delivery compnaies that will be unable to make any deliveries in these areas, unless their vehicles have zero emmissions at the tail pipe.

Diesel drivers in London will also face new penalties in the future. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is expected to announce that from 2019 the most polluting vehicles will be hit with the £12.50 ‘T-charge’ when entering any part of Greater London, inside the North Circular and South Circular roads. Currently, the newly introduced T-charge, which will come in from 23 October 2017, applies in the same area as the existing Congestion Charge.


Why did the UK Government first promote diesel to car buyers?
In 1998, then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said diesel cars should be taxed less than petrol cars as they pollute fewer grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre on average. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) estimates diesel cars emit 20 per cent less CO2 per kilometre than their petrol counterparts.

At the time, the Government was focused on cutting CO2 emissions, as these were linked to climate change, so diesel cars seemed the obvious mode of transport to promote. In 2001, Brown introduced the new Vehicle Excise Duty rates that taxed cars with low CO2 emissions less, and in doing so made the diesel option that bit more appealing compared to petrol.

A Hydrogen powered vehicle however, produces nothing at the tail pipe except water.

As a result of the new VED bands diesel car ownership surged from 13.8 per cent in 2001 to around 50 per cent today. In 2015 there were around 11.9 million diesel cars on UK’s roads, making ours one of the biggest diesel fleets in Europe.

Though broadly correct about the CO2 emissions benefits diesels have, ministers took nearly a decade to admit they had overlooked the health consequences of loacl air polloution from diesel cars. Former science minister Lord Drayson said that regulators at the time didn’t have a clear idea on the health effects from diesel emissions and that promoting the vehicles “in retrospect was the wrong policy.”

Studies have since shown that particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel vehicles are detrimental to health. One of the most prominent studies linked air pollution to 40,000 premature deaths, stating that diesel cars play a major role in releasing toxins to the atmosphere.

Both NOx and particle matter emissions, the latter tiny microscopic particles that can penetrate lung tissue, have been linked to respiratory and circulatory diseases by doctors and researchers.

• Euro 6 emissions standards explained

Nearly 300 doctors, nurses and other health professionals from campaing group Doctors Against Diesel recently signed a letter urging the Government to do more to remove the current fleet of diesel cars due to their adverse health effects.

Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at campaign group Transport & Environment, said that the Volkswagen Dieselgate emissions scandal was also a big wake up call to the public, as it highlighted that real world emissions from cars are far above the quoted figures obtained under laboratory testing.

The VW emissions scandal along with recent studies showing the health consequences of diesel cars has put pressure on legislators to move the public away from buying diesel cars.   Hydrogen is seen by many people as the only viable option.  Electric vehicle are great but dont have the range necassary for professional services.

But before diesel is crucified on the emissions altar, it’s worth bearing in mind that diesel vehicles aren’t the only source of NOx and particle matter pollution. The European Environmental Agency points out that nearly a quarter of all NOx emissions comes from coal and other energy plants.  Electric veghicles have no tail pipeemmissions but where and how the electricity is produced could put more pollution into the atmosphere by generating the electrcity.

Because EVs are on average 24 per cent heavier than their petrol or diesel counterparts, the study said their tyres will be under greater stress and wear out quicker, releasing particle matter emissions hidden in the rubber particle into the atmosphere at a faster rate.

Diesel ban in London and other cities
The prevailing consensus that diesel emissions are bad for health has led to many cities looking to ban them from their centres. The mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens have said they’re looking to ban diesel cars from their centres by 2025. Hydrogen powered vehciels seem to be the only effective alternative in these cities.  The Hydrogen though has to come from somewhere and this is where the HYdrogen refuelling station from CPSL-Group is sucha good solution.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently introduced a new £10 ‘toxicity’ charge, dubbed the ‘T-Charge’.

The fee will apply to drivers of petrol and diesel cars with pre-Euro 4 engines, broadly those registered before 2005, and will work alongside the existing £11.50 congestion charge during the same 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, window.  The charge will run from 23 October 2017 onwards and is expected to affect up to 10,000 vehicles.

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Khan’s plans to reduce pollution levels in the city also include expanding and expediting the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, as well as a faster roll-out of low-emissions double-decker buses.


• Diesel registrations fall in first month of 2017

The London mayor is proposing to introduce the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone a year earlier than planned in 2019, and extend it beyond central London from 2020 onwards to the North and South Circular. Cars, vans, lorries and buses which fail to meet the emissions criteria would be charged from £12.50 upwards. It has been agreed that Hydrogen powered vehicles will be except from these charges.

Scrappage scheme for diesel cars?
Back in 2009, the Government introduced a £300million plan called the Vehicle Scrappage Scheme. Owners of old cars and vans were encouraged to scrap their old vehicles in return for £1,000 payment from the Governments towards the purchase of a new car.

The idea was that older, more inefficient and higher polluting vehicles would be removed from the roads and replaced with new, environmentally friendly vehicles. The plans drew criticism from a number of motoring and financial organisations who questioned the economics and environmental gains.

• Diesel scrappage scheme: everything you need to know

There were hints that the Government may have implimented a scrappage scheme for diesel cars in the Spring 2017 budget, but they turned out to merely be rumours. However, there are still comments that it’s a good idea; The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has urged the Government to introduce a scrappage scheme for diesel cars and vans in London.

Transport secretary, Chris Grayling recently told the Daily Mail that people considering buying diesel cars should “take a long, hard think.” The minister has been said to be in favour of a diesel scrappage scheme.

Grayling also told the House of Commons: “We have to find the right way to migrate the nature of the cars on our roads and the vehicles on our roads to a point where they cause much less of a pollution problem than they do at the moment.”

The future of diesel
“Diesel is amidst a very vicious circle at the moment.” Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at campaign group Transport & Environment told Auto Express. According to Archer, diesel is facing pressure from three different fronts.

“The first is that diesel cars will have to pollute significantly less in the future. With real world emissions testing coming in the next few years, manufacturers will have to find solutions to make diesels pollute far less than they currently do under real world driving. This is going to bring up the cost of production for diesel cars which will make them even more expensive compared to petrol ones.

“The second pressure diesel cars will face is from new technologies like plug-in hybrids, HYdrogen and electric cars,” Archer says.  “Finally”, he adds, “it’s pressure from cities and legislators. This I believe will be the most significant deterrent to diesel cars.”

Archer says that as more cities consider banning diesels or introducing extra taxes on polluting cars, consumers will quickly make the switch to greener fuels. But that’s not to say diesel cars will disappear overnight.

“We anticipate a market share of 40 to 45 per cent for new cars as an EU average by 2020, compared to 52 per cent today. After 2020, the market will continue to decline to around 30 to 25 per cent of new cars by 2025,” Archer says.

However, the Society of Manufacturers and Traders has pointed out that diesel cars are crucial to meeting the EU target of average new car CO2 emissions of 95g/km by 2021.

The SMMT has revealed average carbon tailpipe emissions from new cars  reached an all-time low of 120.1g/km in 2016, much of it thanks to modern diesel engines that are far more efficient than older generations. It said the consumer shift to diesel cars “has been critical to this success.”

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “The automotive industry has some of the most challenging CO2 reduction targets of any sector and continues to deliver reductions as it has for nearly two decades.

“For this positive trend to continue, modern low emission diesels and alternative fuel vehicles such as plug-ins, hydrogen and hybrids must be encouraged with long term incentives. Turning our back on any of these will undermine progress on CO2 targets as well as air quality objectives.”

The future of diesel according to industry executives
Reid Bigland, Alfa Romeo

“There’s no question that the daggers appear to be out for diesel, and it’s not just in Europe, it’s all over the world.

“The reality is that diesel is still the dominant powertrain in the EU market, but it sure seems today that it
will dwindle and forms of electrification seem to be the way the future is going.”

Rupert Stadler, Audi

“Being honest I am a bit sad about it, because with the Euro 6 norms, diesel is really a clean technology. Somehow, maybe because of the diesel issue and diesel scandal, the value of diesel is no longer recognised.

“We should never forget the mileage that is done is mainly driven by combustion engines. We have
not changed our strategy on diesel. But the cost for a diesel on the A0 [small] segment means it’ll probably disappear. But in the A, B or C [larger] segment where we have long-range usage, then the diesel is a proper engine.”

Wolfgang Durheimer, Bentley

“My forecast is that diesel engines in the future will be around for the bigger engines, but the smaller-displacement engine will be under high pressure, because the proportion of emissions you need to take care of will mean a remarkable cost jump.”

Linda Jackson, Citroen

“The shift from diesel is already happening, but it’s as much down to our excellent petrol engines rather than any strategic decisions we’ve made. And as our range grows to include electric and hybrid models, we’ll see that accelerate.”

Steve Armstrong, Ford of Europe

“As a fuel, diesel has a bit of a reputation and we need to work our way through that.

“But we see a combination of small EcoBoost-style petrol engines, 48V mild hybrid systems on some of those petrol engines and diesel still being part of the solution as we migrate to more electrification.”

Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover

ting in new diesel technology. There is no other way. Hybridisation and electrification will take a while.

“In the UK, we are at a very high level. But in other regions of the world, they have more basic problems and they also need mobility. We have to give these guys the right internal combustion engines.”

Mike Manley, Jeep

“Diesel is absolutely going to be required. Smaller-displacement diesels are going to be very difficult to sustain with the level of technology required to comply with the standards.

“But if you also think of the demands of your overall fleet, it is inevitable that you have electrification. So then it is a balance. You want to make sure you fulfil what your customers are looking for on the marketplace as well as complying with the various regulations around the world.”

Jean-Philippe Imperato, Peugeot

“The day when the total cost of ownership of a hybrid solution is better than diesel, there will be a switch. When? Where? We don’t know. But when that comes there will be an impact. But always I [Peugeot] will have a diesel.”

Luca de Meo, SEAT

“I think the decline of diesel sales is more pushed by the cost of getting to the required level of emissions, which is much more than we need to on gasoline or electric cars.

“There will be a point where the cost of reaching Euro 7 or Euro 8 becomes more expensive. The success of diesel has always been the fact that you pay less for fuel; then technology improved and now we are on the verge of the next thing.”

Bernhard Maier, Skoda

“Diesel is still a wonderful engine that offers a lot of opportunities that will meet our customers’ demand.

“From a CO2 point of view, we really need diesel to meet the targets set by authorities. But the requirements to meet the targets are expensive. So it might be that diesel for smaller cars will not be so accessible as in the past. But for bigger cars we really need that engine. It’ll be more fun to drive in future than ever.”

Johng-Sik Choi, SsangYong

“As diesel is a very big challenge in the European market, a lot of manufacturers are switching their strategy from diesel to petrol with hybrid or the EV.

“Right now, to meet the regulatory requirements in Europe, we need a hybrid or EV programme or high-efficiency diesel powertrain. We are looking very seriously at the switch of our powertrain programme from diesel to petrol, so we are now developing 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre GDI [petrol] engines and we’ve recently decided to develop an EV programme.”

Johan van Zyl, Toyota

“I don’t think there will be a future where we can say there will be zero diesel vehicles. There will still be diesel vehicles, mostly in the bigger-sized engines, where you can utilise technologies and offset that in the price to make it environmentally friendly. Small cars will go towards hybrids and electric vehicles.”

Karl-Thomas Newmann, Opel/Vauxhall

“Diesel and the longevity of diesel? Electrification quicker than anticipated?

It’s a pity diesel got so much miscredit in the past two years, because we all desperately needed to achieve our goals.

“It can be a really clean engine, and the new diesels really are. And it can also be, and is, the most efficient combustion engine in terms of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

“But I think social acceptance of the diesel is going down, and that the ban from city centres of diesels is bad for consumer confidence. So I see diesel penetration is going to decline.”

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen

“Diesel is under pressure because of new emissions regulations. Diesel will become more expensive, because we [VW] have to add at least 1,000 Euros (£865) in additional equipment to make it compliant. I think diesel still has a lot of future because it is by far, in the heavier cars, an appropriate engine.

“You get high mileage, you get huge torque, but it will get more expensive and it will probably mean in the entry- level cars there will be a shift from diesel to gasoline. But it is still a great engine, and with the addition of after-treatment it will be very clean. Our Euro 6 diesels are the best cars you can buy in the industry when it comes to emissions. Diesel is not at its end.”

Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo

“We are committed to our four-cylinder engines, and until any legislation change in 2020, diesel has an important role to play. But Europe’s plan for diesel engines to emit the same NOx as petrol engines means diesels will cost more to develop and build. After 2021 we will see more Volvos with electrification. By 2025 there’ll be an electric option on all Volvos.”

What does Auto Express think about diesel cars?
Despite the public attention towards diesel emissions, there’s no simple answer to whether you should buy a diesel or a non-diesel car. The important bit is to do your homework very carefully before buying a new car, as it’s very easy to buy a car badly, and very hard to buy a car well.

Any buyer has to think about future-proofing themselves when buying a car – thinking about their needs and finances during the ownership period.

Unfortunately, with legislators swaying different ways over diesel at the moment, it’s very difficult to know which way to go – diesel still makes sense for those doing longer journeys and especially in larger vehicles. But do all the sums first to make sure it makes sense for you. And be aware that it seems that future legislation, and possibly taxation, could well penalise diesels – especially in urban areas.

We’re also seeing petrol engines become more and more efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles become more and more attractive. All of which puts additional pressure on diesel models.

3 Apr, 2017 9:00am Martin Saarinen

UK Based CPSL-Group Announce Partnership With Elon Musk To Put Renewable Energy On The Moon.

UK Based CPSL-Group Announce Partnership With Elon Musk To Put Renewable Energy On The Moon.

Date: 1/4/17

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The recently announced tourist moon trip by Elon Musk’s Space X Corporation, is just the first step to provide renewable energy on the Moon.

CPSL-Group from Southport in the UK have been chosen as the leading, holistic, renewable, energy company in the world and the only one capable of providing renewable energy solutions in such a hostile environment.

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Dr Marc Stanton, the 59 year old, flamboyant, ex-male model, university lecturer, author, broadcaster, business mogul and Communications Director for CPSL-Group will be the lead astronaut for CPSL-Group on the mission and said, “It is our ambition to take solar power to the stars.”

Due to the strong radiation forces on the moon, CPSL-Group will be installing the latest, under-ground solar PV systems, C&F 50 kW self-supporting wind turbines and Hydrogen refuelling facilities to provide life supporting energy and vehicle fuel to the human colonisation of the moon.


CPSL-Group are looking for funding partners for this venture.

As part of the ‘Moon Power’ project, CPSL-Group are hoping to employ 18 new members of staff and are seeking applications from people around the world with a wide range of skills to become part of the team and 3 of them will be required to train as installation technicians for the moon installations.  Applications for space cadet training and investment offers are now being accepted at  Applications from ethnic minority and disadvantaged individuals are positively encouraged.


CPSL-Group explain Thermodynamic water heating

CPSL_Group can now install Thermo-Dynamic water heating panels.  But what are Thermodynamic water panels and do they actually work and are they worth installing?   Do they pay for themselves?  Can I get any Government help with them? What are the running costs?

Thermodynamic panels are designed to produce hot water for both domestic and commercial usage. These systems are more formally known as Solar Assisted Heat Pumps. This term helps to explain how and where this type of product fits into the renewable energy spectrum.

A thermodynamic panel is a halfway house between a solar panel and a heat pump. The primary purpose of this product is to provide heat energy in the form of hot water predominantly, but soon the systems will be adapted to provide space heating (central heating) as well.

The products have been developed as a more efficient alternative to air source heat pumps by including the use of solar gain / radiation. This means that a thermodynamic system can benefit from both the ambient air temperature, like a heat pump, as well as the solar radiation, like a solar thermal system.This best of both worlds approach will often result in an improved COP (coefficiency of performance). These products have been designed with a life expectancy of roughly 20 years by some manufacturers, however they have only really started to take hold in the UK over the last 6-8 years.

Initially there was lots of scepticism and uncertainty surrounding this new renewable energy system as it found its feet in the UK. However, in early 2016 the first thermodynamic products were granted Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approval. This dramatically increased consumer and trade confidence.

How does a TD system work? A thermodynamic system works by sending a very cold liquid refrigerant around a panel on the outside of a property. The temperature of the liquid is approximately -22°C when it enters the panel. As the liquid flows through the veins in the panel it absorbs heat energy from the air surrounding the panel. This is where the term Thermodynamics comes from, as it is a scientific terms used to explain heat energy and its movements. The liquid refrigerant will vaporise into a gas once its temperature reaches approximately -15°C. This is more commonly known as its boiling point. The gas exits the panel and is circulated back to a compressor inside the thermodynamic unit. The compressor job is to compress the gas and sends it under pressure through a heating element or plate. When a gas is compressed is gives off heat energy. The heating element is a way of distributing the heat into the store of water. Once the gas has lost its heat it exits the element and passes through an expansion value, which releases the pressure. This drop in pressure and loss of heat energy means that the gas condenses back to a liquid for the cycle to begin again.

The higher the temperature outside the more energy a thermodynamic system will be able to absorb, due to the greater heat difference between the liquid refrigerant and the air. Therefore the sun will help but it’s not essential. This means that thermodynamic panels can be positioned on a side wall of a property as well as a roof, and face any direction. However if possible it’s advised to position the panels towards the sun to gain that bit of extra performance. The panels will however continue to work at night time due to the heat being absorbed from the air.The water inside the thermodynamic unit /cylinder is constantly monitored and kept hot by a thermostat. The thermostat will switch the system off once it reaches its required temperature. Most thermodynamic suppliers will set the stored water temperature of a domestic unit at 55°C. This is considered to be sufficiently hot for domestic hot water purposes, yet remaining safe for use. However, this temperature setting can be amended if necessary. Commercial units can be set at much higher temperature if needed.

What is a TD System made of? A thermodynamics panel is roughly about the size of a standard door, 2m by 1m. The panels are made from anodised aluminium. The anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the surface of the metal panel into a non-corrosive, durable finish. Inside the property / premises there would be a main unit. This unit consists of two sections, one of which holds the electronics and working parts, the other contains a water storage area. Thermodynamic units come in lots of different sizes dependent on the amount of water needed and storage capacity. Inside the unit you would find a compressor, circuit board, wiring, heating plate or element, expansion value and a backup immersion heater. Some units also come with a secondary coil built into the storage tank so that the existing boiler or additional heat source can be connected up. Most storage tanks within the units are made from stainless steel, however some come with enamelled cylinders. There is little difference between the performance of these cylinders, however stainless steel is often considered to be the more durable cylinder.

There are two main ways that a thermodynamic unit can be set up for a domestic property. The first is to install a small thermodynamic unit, usually no larger than 50cm by 50cm, which is designed to work with a normal hot water cylinder. The water from the standard hot water cylinder is pumped to the thermodynamic unit and is heated over a heating plate. These systems are ideal if you are restricted on space, for example a tight airing cupboard. However because the water is heated externally from the cylinder a pump is needed which slightly increases the power consumed by the unit (manufactures quote between 300-450w when in use). These systems can be linked up with a maximum of about 250lt cylinder capacity. Be wary of installing these types of thermodynamic systems onto a vented hot water system (low pressure, with a header tank). When installing on a vented hot water system the position of the thermodynamic unit is very important, it must be sufficiently lower than the header tank to prevent low pressure air locks. A rare but not unusually problem, which can be easily fixed. In this instance the unit will turn off and display an error message or red light.

The second and more common thermodynamic system set up is to take out the existing cylinder and replace it with an all in one cylinder/thermodynamic unit. These units come in a range of sizes and cylinder capacities (75, 150, 160, 180, 200, 210, 250, 280, 300, 500lt). This set up is the most efficient way of installing and running a thermodynamic unit, if you have the space. The water is directly heated by a coil/element in the storage tank within the unit. This means there is no heat loss from piping the water to an external heating unit. These systems can be fitted to both vented and unvented hot water systems. Quite often an old copper cylinder with poor lagging is replaced with the new thermodynamic unit, which means because of its modern insulation the heat is also retained more efficiently within the new cylinder. The larger 300lt & 500lt units are more commonly used for places with higher hot water demand, such as restaurants, B&Bs, hotels, hair dressers, farms etc…These larger units would often come with more panels, usually 2 or 4, which helps increase energy absorption and speed up recovery time. Manufacturers typically say that 200lt of water can be heated from normal tap water temperature up to 55°C in approximately 3-4 hours, but once achieved it is then constantly maintained.

Running cost of a TD System
The running cost of each thermodynamic unit is dependent on the size of the unit and compressor within, the volume of water being heated, the length of pipe run to the panels, the amount of hot water the property requires. Domestic systems will require between 300-450w of power when in use. An average domestic house would have approximately 200lt of storage capacity; this means that if the thermodynamic unit was running for 6 hours a day (2x complete fill & heating of 200lt tank) the unit would cost you approximately 30p. Most providers state that a typical house would expect to pay between £40-60 per year in electrical running cost. Commercial units will typically range between £150-£500 per year to run, dependent on specific hot water requirements.

Maintenance, Warranties and Lifespan?

Thermodynamic systems do not need any maintenance. This is because they have very few moving parts and are a sealed system. Once the gas lines and panel/s have been correctly installed and filled with the refrigerant there should be no need to top up or maintain the system in the future. A qualified F-Gas engineer should vac down the entire system (suck all air out of the system) prior to inserting the refrigerant. This process removes imperfections such as particles of dust or water vapour, which could hamper the performance of the unit. Once the refrigerant is put into the system a pressure test should then be undertaken to determine the correct level of refrigerant needed and to check for any leaks. Due to the complexity and skill required to install a thermodynamic system correctly we recommend using a qualified F-Gas engineer such as CPSL-Group.

Warranties for thermodynamic systems can vary from company to company from 2 year up to 5 years. Some companies will break their warranty down into different section, for example 2 years on labour and install, 2 years on the unit and 5 years on the panel. The best warranty we have found to date is a 5 year fully inclusive warranty. The most important thing to check is that the warranty is back up, either by the product manufacture or by an independent insurance provider. This will help to give you better protection if the company that sold you the thermodynamic system is no longer around in the future. The estimated lifespan of a thermodynamic system is around 25 years.

Thermodynamic Panel Mounting Methods

The most common and often cheapest way of installing a thermodynamic panel is to wall mount. This is achieved by using 6 stainless steel brackets that fix directly to an external wall.If multiple panels are needed for larger installations the thermodynamic panels can be racked. This is because they do not need sunlight to operated, and will work as long as there is sufficient air movement around the panels.Thermodynamic panels can be installed onto a roof. This type of installation is very similar to how Solar PV panels are installed. Stainless steel runners will go along the roof for the panels to sit on and attach too. These runners are then attached to the joist via a metal clasp that slides under the tiles.  Panels can be installed on a flat roof using specially made a-frames. The panels must be louvered to a minimum of 15 degrees so that water can run off.

Will a Thermodynamic System Add Value to my House?

There is no concrete evidence to suggest with certainty that a thermodynamic system will add value to your property. However, since the introduction of the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), which all properties must have when being bought or sold, consumer awareness of properties energy performance has greatly improved. If a property comes with a low EPC grade this could suggest to the buyer that investment may be needed to improve its energy efficiency once bought. In 2016 the first thermodynamic units were incorporated into SAP calculations, which meant that they would have an effect on a buildings energy rating.  If you are thinking of selling your house after having installed a thermodynamic system it may be possible to keep the system and take it to your next property. This is very much dependent on the type of system purchased and its set up. Thermodynamic systems are not designed to replace an existing boiler, just switch the domestic hot water off, therefore if a system were uninstalled the property could revert back to the existing boiler / heat source. Not all providers offer this option, and if they do consumers would have to factor in the additional labour cost of uninstall and re-installation.

Planning Permission

The installation of thermodynamic panels in England and Wales is classified as ‘permitted development’ which means that no planning permission is needed. There are however a few exceptions to this rule. If you are looking to install on a Listed Building you must take the necessary steps to obtain planning permission through your local council. If you live in an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) it is advised that you discuss your plans and panel positions with the local authority. If you live in a conservation area no planning permission is needed, however the panel/s must not be visible from the main highway / front of house. MCS & RHIMCS (Microgeneration Certificate Scheme) is the government backed approval of renewable technologies for application in the UK. Thermodynamic panels were first included on the MCS register back in 2013. The panels were however quickly rescinded from this approval, due to a false classification, resulting in them being de-registered. This removal from the MSC register knocked consumer confidence in the technology; however what consumers were not told was that the panels were registered under the wrong classification of renewable energy, Solar Thermal. In 2015 MCS created a new category specifically for thermodynamic panels known as ‘Solar Assisted Heat Pumps’. The first thermodynamic panel manufacturers and products achieved MCS approval in early 2016. This approval has helped the thermodynamic panel industry to flourish over the coming year. Furthermore news was released mid 2015 that Solar Thermal would be losing its RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) payments in early 2017. This helped to further strengthen the appeal of thermodynamic systems over the ageing technology of solar thermal.
Although thermodynamic panels are now MCS approved they do not qualify for RHI. Therefore the systems cost effectiveness needs to be judged on its energy savings along. Although an RHI payment would be good for consumers the general consensus among thermodynamic manufacturers is that they don’t want to repeat the turmoil of the Solar PV industry, with subsidies being given and then reduced / taken away. They hope that the systems will still make financial and commercial sense without payment assistance from the government. This will help to create a more stable industry able to stand on its own two feet, without being propped up by the government. Early signs of this seem positive.

What are the Potential Savings of a TD System?

The savings for each individual thermodynamic system will widely vary, based on energy consumption, hot water consumption, location in the country and system set up. There are a few things you can do to maximise your systems performance, such as: Panels can be placed up to about 20m pipe run from the unit, however reducing this run can help save on the electrical running cost. If you can face the panels towards south in an open area you will also benefit from extra performance, due to solar gain. The average ambient air temperature will also play a part in the overall performance of each system. Someone living in Brighton would have high average air temperatures than someone in Edinburgh for example. This means that the unit in Brighton would absorb more heat from the air and recover the cylinder temperature faster, thus saving on the electrical running cost. Despite these variances thermodynamic units appear to have a very low running cost, with manufactories displaying figures of 300w – 450w of electrical consumption when in use. This means that it would cost you between 3-4 pence per hour to run a thermodynamic unit. Systems typically only run for a few hours a day as when the water reaches temperature the unit will automatically turn off. Therefore the equation for working out savings would be as follows: Domestic Hot Water Cost – Running Cost = Total Savings.  The main variable in the equation is the domestic hot water cost. For some this is hard to decipher as it is all lumped into a gas, oil, electric or LPG bill. This will also vary based on the number of people in the property, hot water usage, boiler set up (combi or cylinder) and hot water system type (unvented or vented). Combi boilers will have a lower percentage of hot water on the bill compared to a cylinder system, as they only heat hot water on demand, whereas cylinders heat and maintain the entire water volume within. As an average guidance hot water can represent between 30-40% of a typical domestic properties fuel bill.

How Much Does a Thermodynamic System Cost?

The cost of installing a domestic thermodynamic panel system will vary, however you can expect to pay between £4000 and £10000. This cost would include full installation, parts, labour, scaffolding if needed, warranties and a reduced VAT of 5%. Potential differences in the initial costings will vary from project to project. For example, plumbing costs may be higher if the building has a complicated or antiquated water system. The installation costs could be significantly higher if scaffolding is required. The size of system (number of panels and water cylinder capacity) you will need depends on the hot water demand of your home, business or organisation. A general rule of thumb is that you’ll need 1m² of hot water for each person living in the building. The average person will use around 50 litres of hot water each day; a normal 3/4 bedroom house would require a 200 litre unit/cylinder.
We strongly recommend using a professional company with experience and the correct installation qualifications (F-Gas Engineer). Thermodynamic systems shouldn’t be installed by conventional plumbers alone. This is why the DIY thermodynamic panel market doesn’t really exist.

Commercial Water Heating

A thermodynamic panel system could be very beneficial to a business or premises that use large volumes of hot water, for example hair dressers, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, dairy farms swimming pools and sports clubs. These types of installations will often pay back the initial capital invested through energy savings within the first few years of owning the system. An individual investing through a business also has the added advantages of claiming the VAT back and using the initial installation cost as a business expense / investment.

CPSL-Group excited as researchers develop innovative hydrogen fuel production system

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CPSL-Group are tremendously excited as the University of Cambridge finds a new way to use biomass to produce hydrogen fuel

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CPSL-Group are currently using electrolysers to produce Hydrogen for their small-scale Hydrogen, vehicle refuelling stations.  New reseach by scientists from the University of Cambridge has developed an innovative new method of producing hydrogen fuel. The method involves combining ambient sunlight and biomass, such as paper, wood, and leaves, in order to generate hydrogen.

This could have major implications for many agricultural cliens of CPSL-Group that traditionally have a problem with disposing of hard to digest waste products, such as wood and straw.

Converting biomass into hydrogen has long been an interest for the renewable energy community, but relatively few endeavors have managed to find success. Notably, the new method developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge focuses on biomass waste.


New system could leverage biomass waste effectively
Using biomass waste to produce hydrogen has been a very difficult process. This is because doing so involves a focus on lignocellulose. According to Doctor Moritz Kuehnel, with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, lignocellulose is “nature’s equivalent to armored concrete.” Lignocellulose is meant to give plantlife mechanical stability and protect them from natural degradation. As such, it is very difficult to use in hydrogen fuel production methods. The research team at the University of Cambridge has developed a system that may be able to overcome this problem.

The new system leverages a photocatalyst in an alkaline water solution. The photocatalyst is comprised of various nanoparticles. When exposed to sunlight, either natural or synthetic, the photocatalyst triggers any biomass particles present in its alkaline solution to produce gaseous hydrogen. Notably, the hydrogen produced using this method is free from fuel cell inhibitors, such as carbon monoxide. This means that the hydrogen can be used by a fuel cell to generate electricity in an efficient and sustainable manner.

The new system could eventually be used for industrial purpose once scaled-up

The research team intends to bring their new hydrogen fuel production system to the commercial market at some point in the future. This is meant to be accomplished through Cambridge Enterprise, the commercial branch of the University of Cambridge. The research team predicts that the new system could be effective for small-scale hydrogen fuel production, but it could be scaled up for industrial use in the future.

March 17, 2017 Angie Bergenson

CPSL-Group to help Hydrogen fuel boost for Britain as MPs gear up for ‘unprecedented’ scrutiny of air quality policy

The UK Government has set up a new £23m fund to boost the uptake of hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure, while MPs have today (20 March) joined forces to launch an “unprecedented” four-pronged investigation into the UK’s approach on air quality.
Toyota has vowed to work with ministers to help the UK “realise the significant potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable source of power”
Transport Minister John Hayes last weekend announced details of the fund, which will enable hydrogen fuel providers and hydrogen car manufacturers to bid in collaboration for investment to help build high-tech infrastructure such as fuel stations.

A competition will be launched in the summer, with public organisations, businesses and hydrogen operators invited to submit proposals. The Government has pledged to match funding for successful bidders, as part of overarching plans for almost all new cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2040.

“The transition to zero-emission road transport is both inevitable and desirable as it will improve air quality in many of our towns and cities,” Hayes said. “Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles can play a vital role alongside battery electric vehicles to help us cut harmful emissions.”

The announcement came just days after Japanese carmaker Toyota unveiled plans to invest £240m in upgrading its UK factory in Derbyshire. Commenting on the Government’s new fund, Toyota GB’s president Paul Van der Burgh vowed that his firm will work with public and private actors to help the UK “realise the significant potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable source of power”.

“Toyota believes hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (EVs) can play an important role in the transition to a low-carbon, low-emissions society,” Van der Burgh said. “We chose the UK as one of the first international markets for our Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car and are pleased that the Government is investing in this programme to encourage the further development of refuelling infrastructure and the wider uptake of fuel cell vehicles.”

Ministers have set aside more than £600m for low-emission vehicles over the course of this Parliament to help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and improve air quality.

‘Unprecedented scrutiny’

Meanwhile, the Government’s air quality strategy is set to come under heightened cross-party scrutiny from today (20 March), as no less than four select committees launch a joint inquiry into plans to tackle urban pollution hotspots.

Members of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA), Health and Transport Committees will hold four evidence sessions to examine growing evidence on the health and environmental impacts of outdoor air pollution.

“The UK economy depends on an efficient and flexible transport system but emissions from vehicles are a significant problem and the standards that governments have relied on have not delivered the expected reductions,” Transport Select Committee Chair Louise Ellman MP said.

“We will be asking what more can be done to increase the use of cleaner vehicles as well as to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport.”

Air pollution both inside and outside the home causes at least 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, according to research. Since an unsuccessful legal battle over its plans to tackle illegal air quality levels across the country, the High Court has ordered the Government to publish a draft new clean air plan to tackle nitrogren oxide (NO2) by 24 April, with a final plan by 21 July.

The new inquiry will examine whether revised Government plans will go far enough to cut pollution, not only to meet legal limits but to deliver maximum health and environmental benefits.

EAC chair Mary Creagh said: “The UK courts have twice found that the Government has failed to deal with our air pollution problem properly. Now, ministers will face unprecedented scrutiny in Parliament to ensure they finally step up to the mark to ensure adults, and children in particular, do not have their health damaged by filthy air.”

EFRA chair Neil Parish added: “The solutions to cleaning up our air are not the responsibility of just one minister. That’s why we have taken the unprecedented task of convening four select committees so we can scrutinise the Government’s efforts from every angle and look for holistic solutions that are good for health, transport and the environment.”

Holistic solutions

The Committees will be considering the following questions:

How effectively do Government policies take account of the health and environmental impacts of poor air quality?
Are the Government’s revised plans for tackling nitrogen dioxide levels sufficient to meet the High Court and European Commission requirements for urgent action?
Does the revised plan set out effective and proportionate measures for reducing emissions from transport?
Is there sufficient cross-government collaboration to ensure the right fiscal and policy incentives are adopted to ensure air quality targets are achieved?
Any written submissions to the inquiry should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 12 May 2017.

The inquiry announcement comes less than a week after MPs from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee launched a consultation into the role of EVs in the UK’s low-carbon transition.

20 March 2017, source edie newsroom George Ogleby

CPSL-Group show the business benefits of using renewable electricity

The business sector is the largest consumer of power in the country, buying around 56 per cent of all the UK’s electricity.

At this level it is clear that even a modest switch to renewable power such as systems from CPSL-Group could take a big step towards the government’s target of securing 3pc of the UK’s electricity supply from renewables by 20201. And doing so could be very good for business.

A report from management consultancy Bain & Company, Hidden Treasure2, clearly shows that switching to renewable power is the quickest and most cost-effective way for most organisations to cut their carbon footprint. System from CPSL-Group can show a payack in as little as 4 years.

That’s a two-for-the-price of one deal, because uptake of renewables helps quoted companies to meet investor’s sustainability criteria and compels companies to make transparent their energy consumption. But what about profits? Here are the key reasons why considering renewables makes sense.

It reduces carbon footprints

Thanks to a change in government guidelines, switching to renewable power can very quickly reduce a firm’s carbon footprint and its energy bills. Companies can now set the renewable power they buy against their carbon targets. Businesses generating their own renewable power may offset this against the number of allowances they are required to buy under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Switching to renewable power is the quickest and most cost-effective way for most organisations to cut their carbon footprint
These government incentives have encouraged large-scale consumers from all sectors to begin to switch to renewables, including the University of London, the real estate company Land Securities and retailer Arcadia6. Marks & Spencer’s sustainability programme improved energy efficiency in its stores by 34pc per square foot, helping save £22m from its energy bill between 2007 and 2014.

It costs less than you think and returns outweigh costs

The switch to renewables is relatively inexpensive, adding less than 1pc to power bills, according to Bain & Co. It is an investment that brings far more in benefits than it costs and particularly opens the door to demonstrate that a business is engaged in the environmentally friendly approaches at the heart of many CSR and employee engagement campaigns.

These campaigns have an increasing resonance among staff and customers, and a sustainable energy supply subsequently often forms the basis of a company-wide energy saving programme. According to the Carbon Trust, investing 1-2pc of your energy spend on an employee energy-saving campaign can save up to 10pc of your energy bill.

British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever says it has saved more than £280m since 2008 by adopting eco-friendly measures. It plans to continue its path towards a 100pc renewable-powered business by 20309. In addition, Nordic owned furniture retailer IKEA’s Sustainability Report 2015 showed a saving of €133m (£115m) through energy efficiency measures since 201010.

“Because we want to be energy independent, we’re making the switch to renewable energy” states IKEA’s website. In its 2015 Financial Year report11 nearly 76pc of the energy used in its 19 UK and Ireland stores came from renewable sources.

With solar panels on the roofs of 10 of its stores and ownership of two wind farms, IKEA sells any surplus to the grid. It aims for “100pc renewable energy – producing as much as we consume – by 2020”. This would give IKEA cost-free energy for its business – and as anyone who has ever set foot in IKEA knows, they own some fairly large premises.

It could make energy a profit centre

A business can now be an energy generator as well as a consumer. Self-generation of renewable power to cover a firm’s own needs and selling the surplus to the grid in effect makes energy a profit centre rather than a cost.

Across Europe, E.ON has had the technology to flexibly manage large power plants for some time. The next step that the company is taking is to offer consumers decentralised generators that can be managed through a ‘Virtual Power Plant’ (VPP) digital interface, allowing unused energy to be sold back to the grid.

E.ON teams in Germany have developed a project with Bioenergie Gellersen, a group of 11 farmers around Kirchgellersen in Northern Germany.

British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever says it has saved more than £280m since 2008 by adopting eco-friendly measures
Together the farmers own and operate a 1MW biogas combined heat and power (CHP) plant. This produces more energy than the group needs, so E.ON has been helping the farmers generate revenue from spare capacity – the first time that E.ON has been able to provide a VPP developed in-house to small onsite generators.

As the German government offers a renewable energy subsidy, Bioenergie Gellersen will benefit from this reward for renewable generation and the provision of flexible energy.

E.ON hopes that the project will form the basis for an array of VPP tools, including IT systems, customer portals, communication hardware, trading interfaces, products and contracts that could be rolled out to customers with their own on-site needs, those demanding flexible industrial energy loads, or interested in investing in wind or solar PV.

While the equipment to tap into solar, wind or other alternative energy sources isn’t free to install, prices are falling quickly, and the potential contribution towards shrinking energy bills and even profitability makes renewable power an attractive proposition that ticks all the boxes of corporate, social and civic responsibilities.

It helps with corporate social responsibility

Indeed, being seen to be environmentally friendly yields commercial benefits. It builds investor confidence and supports company valuations.

Companies that buy renewable power demonstrate to stakeholders that they support regulatory and public policy initiatives towards a low-carbon economy. Corporate investments in sustainability retain and win new customers.  A survey of 1,000 UK consumers found that two thirds would recommend a brand either because it invested in its own renewable energy projects or bought most of its energy from renewable sources, reports Cleantechnica.

Being seen to invest and use renewable energy enhances corporate reputations and may save money by opening access to energy subsidies such as feed- in-tariffs. Such benefits should be hard to ignore.