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The Utilisation of Solar Thermal Energy in the UK (2012)

Ref: build0031

Renewable technologies are becoming more common place with the UK Government signing up to legally-binding targets concerning climate change. These include the EU Renewable Energy Directive where 15% of our energy is to be provided from renewable sources by 2020. With 12% of heat to be generated from renewables and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to be introduced in the summer of 2011, a closer look into solar thermal systems and their effectiveness in the UK is drastically required. The purpose of this work is to investigate a number of methods of utilising solar thermal energy and whether such technologies are suitable for use in the UK's climate. A closer look into the RHI is also required to establish whether it can help the Government meet its 2020 heat target. A number of papers are reviewed and an assessment model has been produced to analyse the outputs, paybacks and carbon dioxide offset by different solar thermal technologies. The main findings of this paper are that solar thermal technologies can be effective if there is a large enough area of collectors and the RHI can help reduce payback times of the different systems very slightly. There is still a lot more research required in this field. This dissertation shall examine the different methods of utilising solar thermal energy in the UK. Solar thermal energy is not very popular in the UK, so a closer investigation into how effective solar thermal collectors can be will be researched. There are a range of uses when it comes to solar thermal energy which can make it confusing for clients, a number of these uses shall be touched upon to provide more understanding on the opportunities out there. There are a number of Government schemes which are trying to promote the use of renewable technologies, the Renewable Heat Incentive shall be evaluated to ascertain whether it is beneficial for solar thermal technologies. Dissertation objectives:
  1. To gain a higher level of knowledge of renewable technologies relating to solar thermal energy.
  2. To investigate the effectiveness of solar thermal energy in the UK
  3. To research the Renewable Heat Incentive and determine to what extent it is likely to help the Government meet its 2020 energy target
  4. To review a number of methods of utilising solar thermal energy and compare their effectiveness in the UK along with their costs

  • 15,000 words - 80 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Good analysis of the subject area
  • Ideal for building studies students


1. Introduction
General
Justification for Work
Aims & Objectives
Research Outline

2. Literature Review
Sun as a Source of Energy
Basic Theory of Solar Thermal Collectors
Flat Plate Collectors
Evacuated Tube Collectors
Concentrating Collectors
Effectiveness of Solar Thermal Energy in the UK
Current Solar Thermal Installations in the UK

3. Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
Case Study

4. Technologies Using Solar Thermal Energy
Solar Energy Storage Systems
Background
Sensible Heat
Latent Heat
Total Energy Stored
Hybrid Photovoltaic and Thermal Collector
Background
Geothermal Heat Pumps with Thermal Solar Collectors
Background

5. Assessing Viability
Assessment Model
Scenarios
Results
Cost of Systems
Evaluation of System Performance (Domestic)
Evaluation of System Performance (Commercial)
Evaluation of Cost Benefit (Domestic)
Evaluation of Cost Benefit (Commercial)
Evaluation of CO 2 Offset (Domestic)
Evaluation of CO 2 Offset (Commercial)

6. Discussion
Introduction
Results
Evaluation of System Performance
Evaluation of Cost Benefit
Evaluation of CO 2 Offset
Summary

7. Conclusion

Bibliography

Appendix Section



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