Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: crown-capital-management-reviews
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
text 2013-12-18 10:40
Innovative Farmers Using Solar-Biomass




LIKE many poultry farmers in the UK, Brian and David Jamieson - brothers and proprietors of two broiler chicken farms up in Angus, Scotland - were facing rising fuel and electricity costs and inevitable diminishing returns.


Undaunted by the challenge, the two brothers turned to renewable energy as a way to reduce their costs and generate a welcome source of income. However, unlike many farmers who tend to choose a single renewable option, the Jamiesons went for two.


Brian Jamieson replaced his existing LPG heating  with a powerful solar-biomass renewable energy combination consisting of a 499kw ‘Woodpecker Blaze’ woodchip biomass boiler for heating and a 50 kWp  roof mounted REC solar PV array to generate power for ventilation and lighting. A second 25kWp roof mounted solar PV array was also installed on David Jamieson’s neighbouring farm. The solar PV generation has been so successful that Brian added a further 50kW solar array, taking Brian’s pv capacity to 100kWp.


Neither of the brothers had any prior experience dealing with renewable energy installers so choosing the right company for the job was paramount. In the end they went for Greenpower Technology, a recommended biomass and solar installer with a strong track record in the poultry sector.


Brian Jamieson says: “The reason we went for Greenpower is their knowledge of our sector. Greenpower Technology installed the system over three separate phases, undertaking the majority of the work during natural breaks in the broiler calendar. Every six weeks the farm is emptied of chickens giving us one week to wash down the sheds and prepare for the next batch. Tom and the team worked hard during these intervals so that there was minimal disruption to our business – after just seven weeks everything was done.”


The power of solar-biomass


Combining solar with biomass is a particularly effective solution for broiler chicken farmers because each respective technology works most effectively when heat and electricity demand is at its highest.

For example, electricity demand is at its peak during the summer, when power is needed to run ventilation systems to keep the chickens cool. Solar PV produces the most power when the sun is shining, which mirrors these daily and seasonal peaks in demand. During the winter months, the biomass boiler produces cheap, low carbon heat to keep the sheds warm and dry, again at a time when heat is most needed.


In addition to this beneficial seasonal match, the biomass element of the solution produced some unexpected benefits for the Jamiesons.


For example, Mr Jamieson’s original LPG heating was proving expensive to run – LPG was the second largest overhead on the farm. The biomass boiler delivers heat via hot water and radiators and this creates a dryer atmosphere within the chicken sheds. This dry heat produces a higher grade litter, which doesn’t need to be replaced as often, saving money and reducing associated health problems for the chickens.


Financial returns


The combined solar-biomass solution is also set to deliver considerable cost savings and income for the Jamieson brothers.


For example, woodchip – the fuel used for most commercial grade biomass boilers - is up to 30 per cent cheaper than LPG, the fuel choice for many conventional boilers, and the electricity produced by the solar PV arrays is in effect, completely free. In addition, the Jamiesons will benefit from annual income from both the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed in Tariff (FIT).


Solar-biomass – advice for poultry farmers


Installing a biomass-solar system is not all plain sailing, and the Jamiesons needed to take into consideration a number of factors before they took the plunge. These included:




Choosing good quality wood chip or pellets was of paramount importance. Poor grade or damp wood chips/pellets have a habit of clogging up the boiler which can cause maintenance headaches.


Planning permission is often required and time and money should be allowed for this. In Mr Jamieson’s case, Greenpower Technology managed the whole planning process, but some farmers may choose to complete this themselves – if this is the case, seeking sound advice and information from the installer is paramount. When applying for planning permission, environmental services will also require emissions information, so farmers are advised to check this out with the installer too.


Other considerations that the farmer had to take into account included ensuring he had a good, firm foundation for his boiler – on some occasions additional concrete foundations will be required which will add to the overall cost.


He also had to make sure there was not only enough space for the boiler, but additional space to store the fuel. In Brian’s case space was not an issue, but if a suitable plant room is not available, installing a specialised container is an option.


Solar PV


Before embarking on any solar PV installation, it is critically important that the farmer commissions a feasibility report from the PV installer. Any professional installer developing a commercial scale site should do this as par for the course.  The feasibility study will inform the design of the solar PV installation, by taking into consideration variables such as irradiation levels, shade, distance to grid, roof direction and roof pitch.


Choosing high quality, durable solar PV panels and cabling systems is also important, particularly for poultry farmers because chicken droppings create toxic gases that can cause long term damage to the system.


Under the current DECC proposals, an EPC certificate, giving a classification of D or above is required on one of the buildings that connects to the electricity supply. This means that the building with the solar array, does not necessarily have to obtain the D rating, as long as one of the other buildings, such as a farm office or farmhouse, has the D rating or above and shares the same electricity supply. The impact on energy performance of the solar array itself can also contribute towards the energy performance classification.


Mr Jamieson adds: “I think the financial benefits and seasonal fit that biomass and solar delivers to broiler farmers is compelling. Farmers are always looking for new ways to generate income and reduce costs, and renewable energy can deliver both. We are also aware of the pressure supermarkets are under to buy chicken from low carbon sources. It is only a matter of time before this pressure becomes a requirement, and those farmers who have already taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint will benefit in the long term.”


Tom Morley, managing director of Greenpower Technology says: “We are advising landowners or farmers who are considering installing renewable energy solutions to act quickly. The Feed-In-Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive rates have been falling since they were first introduced, so early adopters will reap greater financial returns than those who wait longer.”


Read more: http://crowncapitalmngt.com/

Source: www.farmersguardian.com/home/renewables/innovative-farmers-using-solar-biomass/60214.article
Like Reblog Comment
url 2013-09-18 08:42
LONG-AWAITED LEAD INVESTIGATION BEGINS -Crown Eco Management International Relations




AN investigation into lead contamination in the Western Australian town of Northampton has finally begun with authorities beginning to arrange individual property inspections.

As part of the Northampton Lead Tailings project, the Department of Lands has sought Aurora Environmental to investigate contamination throughout the town in the state's Mid West region.


An information marquee was set up at the Northampton Show yesterday, encouraging people to arrange a time for investigators to visit their property.


Inspectors will walk over each property, photograph sites, collect samples and talk to residents.


The project aims to collect information from every land parcel in Northampton to determine the extent of the distribution of lead tailings, which contain about three per cent lead.


Shire of Northampton chief executive Garry Keeffe said the inspections were a precautionary measure and locals were not overly concerned about lead contamination.


"We can't know until the testing is done if there are any tailings but it will give surety to people,'' he said.


"If any properties do have tailings, the government will rectify it.''


The old Northampton State Battery opened in 1954 and over the next 30 years, leftover materials from mining, called tailings, were stockpiled.


Tailings were removed by local builders and residents, and used elsewhere, unaware of the potential impact on human health.


Since then, steps have been taken to rectify the situation such as demolishing the state battery buildings in 2010 and sealing tailings in a containment cell, but the full extent of the distribution of lead tailings in Northampton remains unknown.


A final report on phase one of the project is due mid next year.


The state government will use it to determine if further investigation or action is required.

Source: thecrowncapital-management.soup.io/post/346161948/LONG-AWAITED-LEAD-INVESTIGATION-BEGINS-Crown-Eco
Like Reblog Comment
text 2013-09-17 08:32
Buying a new-build home - the pros and cons



In with the new

Not everybody finds old properties charming. After all, they are by definition more well-worn than new builds.


That wonky floor that one person finds characterful is simply a hazard to another. And the original sash windows that some people find 'oh-so-charming' are just draughty and inefficient in the eyes of others. Houses, like everything in life, are horses for courses.


However, one indisputable fact of homebuying is that it's expensive and many people look to minimise ongoing expenses by avoiding properties that will require a lot of maintenance. And as a rule of thumb the older the home, the more maintenance it will require.


On the other hand new homes give the buyer a certain level of reassurance. For a start they usually come with a 10-year National House Building Council's Buildmark warranty, which covers a wide range of defects, from problems with a property's foundations to the double glazing.


They are also less likely to suffer from problems by virtue of the fact that everything is so new. The windows shouldn't be draughty and the boiler shouldn't be faulty – and even if it is, it will be under guarantee. While it is common to hear people say 'they don't build houses like they used to', it's also a fact that building regulations have been strengthened over the years and that means new build homes should be less likely to suffer problems that period properties.


Pick your own

Even better, everything is brand spanking new in a newly built home, and if you buy it 'off-plan' before it's completed you often get to choose your preferred colour schemes and some fixtures and fittings.


They also tend to be built specifically to be energy efficient and are therefore cheaper to run than older homes, which can make a huge ongoing difference to your gas and electric costs.


Finally, remember that new build homes are chain free, which may not be a deciding factor in your choice of a home but is a huge benefit for many. It means the purchase has far less chance of falling through and should go through quickly.

Giles Hannah, managing director of VanHan, an expert in new development London sales, says: 'Off-plan new-build sales are becoming popular once more. Many buyers prefer new-build properties because they are well designed for today's living and benefit from air conditioning and good insulation."


He continues: "Ultra-modern interiors are attractive to buyers, while they can often have a say on the detail and colour schemes, avoiding the need to redecorate as soon as they move in."


These modern, easy to manage homes are good for lots of different buyers, but particularly first-time buyers who don't want and can't afford to renovate their first home, families without time for heavy maintenance, landlords who want to let the property quickly, and older buyers who are looking for a home that is easy to clean and look after.


But no matter how practical they might be, for some buyers new builds are a total turn-off.

Like Reblog Comment
text 2013-09-16 08:15
Crown Eco Warriors Ology | Save the Earth, Save Money—there’s No Need to Choose

SCIENTIFIC  AMERICAN | Earlier this year, I blogged about a new website set up to ease the chore of shopping for solar panels, EnergySage, and since then the company’s own blog has described two financial benefits of solar which I hadn’t thought about before. First, solar panels can help you save for retirement; in fact, it’s hard to imagine an investment that anyone who’s not a Russian oligarch could make for such a high return and such a low risk. Second, photovoltaic power can cut the cost of driving an electric car—which, mile for mile, is already a third or fourth of a gasoline car—in half.


My own panels have earned me about $2,000 a year in electricity savings as well as the tradable certificates I receive for each megawatt-hour of energy they generate. Considering how much I had to pay up front, that amounts to a return of just under 20%. That outdoes the stockmarket, not to mention the lower-yielding investments that many retirees rely on. The investment isn’t completely risk-free; you’re subject to the vagaries of weather, equipment failure, fluctuations in the certificate market price, and family members who evidently take the solar array as an excuse to leave all the lights on. At one point, we had a run of cloudy days and our array fell behind its expected monthly output. We later caught up, though. (I’m still working on the family members.)


What’s Happening: the crown international journal, Jakarta Indonesia Group


I talked to Diane Hammond, a Massachusetts homeowner featured on the EnergySage blog, and she said she bought her solar array last year when one of her certificates of deposit matured and all the new ones were paying just 0.5%. “There just isn’t any place to put your money to get a return on it,” she told me. She, too, estimated her solar array has had an effective return of about 20%. “I’ve been so excited I’m not paying the electric company all that money,” she said. “It puts a little bit extra in my pocket.”


EnergySage’s CEO, Vikram Aggarwal, who has a background in financial planning, told me: “It’s one of the best financial products you can buy. All financial advisors should be promoting solar.” He also argued that the panels increase the resale value of a house, which I’m more skeptical about. I watched a few episodes of House Hunters on HGTV recently and got a sobering lesson in the irrationality of homebuyers—they’d routinely reject an entire house for want of a $100 bathroom fixture. So I doubt that a lifetime’s worth of free electricity will even register with them. But, realtors who are reading this, I hope you can prove me wrong.


Regarding the electric car, the EnergySage blog cited Nerraj Aggarwal (no relation to Vikram) and I contacted him to follow up. He told me he leased a BMW i3 at the same time he was preparing to install a solar array and decided to increase the array size from 8 kW to 10 kW. Working through the cost of charging the battery and the savings afforded by his array, he reckoned the electric car costs 2 to 3 cents per mile to operate. A equivalent gasoline-powered car might cost 20 cents per mile. Given the distance he typically drives, Aggarwal estimated he saves $250 a month, or half the cost of the lease.


Whenever the subject of electric cars comes up, people always ask about range. Aggarwal said he gets 80 to 100 miles on a full charge, which is just enough for his daily commute. He uses special mapping apps to get driving directions that take charging stations in account, so he can top off his battery over dinner. “You have to be a little more prepared or analytical in terms of driving the car,” he said. This minor inconvenience is offset by lessened routine maintenance—no oil changes, for example.


To take full advantage of the economics of solar, you do need to buy the array rather than lease it. Although leases save the upfront cost, they give you only a fairly small reduction in your electric bill. Fortunately, buying an array is easier than it used to be, because banks are now providing loans specifically for solar arrays. In my case, I was able to take advantage of a loan program run by my utility, PSE&G, which recently announced a renewal of the program.


It’s not often you can do good and do well at the same time. Take advantage of it while you can.

Source: www.ology.com/post/298520/save-the-earth-save-money-there-s-no-need-to-choose
Like Reblog Comment
text 2013-09-16 06:57
Environmental scams and the people who pay for them
The Environmentalism Movement has become a powerful and wealthy cult like phenomenon. It has little to do with improving the environment, it is all about power and money and is costing all of us dearly.

We have those who travel the world creating large carbon footprints, spouting unfounded information while making huge amounts of money. Most responsible scientists agree that climate change is taking place as it has since time began, however they admit that they don’t know how and why it is changing. The doomsayers should be telling us how to cope with change rather than scaring us with unfounded information. Neither Mr. Gore or Mr. Suzuki is a climatologist. One is a former politician and one is a Zoologist.

The other part of the Movement are the professional protesters. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Canada has become an economic threat to the oil interests in the Middle East and Venezuela. There are many out there who can be hired to bad mouth Canadian oil.

Unfortunately for us, the so called middle class this Movement has been able to cajole our politicians into reckless spending. This has appeared in the form of the Ontario Green Energy Act. The Billions wasted on the cancelled gas plant, e-health and Ornge scams pales in comparison to what we will be paying because of theGreen Energy Act. This Act costs each household $1,100 per year. Taxpayers in Ontario are on the hook for $600 million per year for the next twenty years.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?