Hillingdon Friends of the Earth

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Power & Energy

 

This group concentrates on introducing the London Borough of Hillingdon Council and its residents to the potential, in the borough, for using more sustainable energy.

The areas on which we are focussing  are:-

SOLAR PANELS

HEAT PUMPS

MICRO-HYDRO

MICRO-WINDMILLS

PAVEGEN

 

All these provide free energy after the initial installation costs.  A win-win for all concerned.

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Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels

There are now a number of organisations who will provide loans for the installation to schools and community groups for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels as these can be fitted without planning permission since they are considered to be temporary structures.  Because no planning permission is required the progress to completion is much quicker than for projects requiring planning permission.

This group is currently contacting local school to see if they would be interested in having Solar (PV) Panels on their roof. The funding, if their application for a grant is approved, comes in the form of a loan.  Initially this is paid back from the saving on their electricity bill.  Once the loan is repaid the ownership of the Solar (PV) Panels is transferred to them and they save on electricity bills for ever more.

Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pump.

Ground Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps

Water Source Heat pumps

Most people are agreed that Ground Source Heat Pumps are the most efficient.  An organisation called “Possible” have set up to approach local councils to have ground source heat pumps installed in their parks to provide electricity for lighting.  As yet they have not approached the London Borough of Hillingdon but it is believed some London Boroughs are interested in this concept as in the long term it would not only be good for the climate but also save them money.

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Micro-hydro power

Water powered micro-hydro turbines can be a very efficient and conveninet form of small scale renewable energy. Suitable sites are not that common, but Denham Country Park has been identified as a possible place where this could work.  It is thought that the waterfall may have sufficient energy to power the Café.  This has not been followed up due to lack of volunteers.

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Micro Wind Power

Wind energy is infinite.  Wind energy is an indigenous source of power. One 33MW Wind turbine produces sufficient energy to power about 500 homes.

This group has not been so ambitious as to consider a wind farm in Hillingdon. But, we have considered a Micro-wind-turbine producing approximately 15kW of energy.  The proposal is to build a windmill on Hillingdon House Farm.  This was envisaged as a viewpoint, local information centre about Climate Action and Café.  One of our members   has now found an electricity company who may sponsor the idea, if they could get publicity from the project.  Planning permission would need to be obtained from Hillingdon Council to proceed.

PAVEGEN

Pavegen is Turning Kinetic Energy into renewable electricity, or “Walk to light the way”. By stepping on special  pavement slabs, each footstep creates responsive LED lighting. If councils were to install in their High Streets and/or Shopping Centres with high footfall the installation costs would quickly be re-couped then they would save on electricity costs in these areas.