Tag Archives: SEAI

‘Deep Retrofit’ Breakfast Briefing at Architecture Expo

Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment withJim Gannon, Chief Executive, SEAI and Ms Victoria Burrows, Project Manager, World Green
Building Council.

With an estimated one million homes in Ireland considered to be significantly energy inefficient, SEAI is undertaking a Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme to identify the depth of the problem, and to highlight the large-scale opportunities it presents to those engaged in the sector. It will also inform the nature of SEAI’s grant support for deep retrofit going forward.

Deep retrofit means just that … a holistic approach to retrofit that involves a whole-house solution, based on a fabric-first approach, twinned with the deployment of renewables and a move away from fossil fuels.

As part of its engagement with industry SEAI has teamed with CIBSE Ireland and ASHRAE to present a Deep Retrofit Breakfast Briefing at Architecture Expo, the RIAI show held in conjunction with the RIAI Annual Conference. Date is Friday, 6 October and the venue the Main Hall, RDS. It will commence at 10.30am and conclude at 12noon. Teas/coffees/croissants etc served from 9.45am. Participation is free.

The event will be “hosted” by a select panel of industry experts. After very brief introductions, 90% of the proceedings will comprise panel members fielding questions from the floor, and inter-acting with one another, to share their respective views and opinions. The open forum format is designed so that all participants — panel members and audience alike — contribute to the learning curve.

SEAI is currently looking for pilot projects to kick off the initiative and will provide 50% funding of the total capital costs, and project management costs (including design fees), of the projects selected. Consequently, the Pilot Programme in itself is also a major opportunity for industry to engage with SEAI in this process.

Log on to www: form.jotformeu.com/AGHF/deep-retrofit-breakfast-briefing to pre-register your attendance.

 

 

Building Services Engineering Graduate Builds Career from Level 6 Start

Paul Martin, SEAI Programme Manager and CIBSE Ireland Chairman

Looking back to his Leaving Cert subjects — accounting, geography and business studies — Paul comments that they weren’t “traditional” engineering subjects but his interest in engineering was evident from an interest in how things worked … much to the detriment of his sister’s CD player. From his Level 6 Higher Cert, Paul progressed onto a level 7 add-on and, from there, he went to the UK to do further studies.

“Now that that the economy and construction are picking up“, notes Paul, “and there is a huge demand for building service engineering graduates and says that, compared with traditional engineering qualifications, building services engineers are paid more.”

Paul is now a Chartered Engineer and Programme Manager for Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and in charge of Technical Standards Development. “My day to day job is developing standards that will insure that we will live in a more sustainable country, and in influencing other EU countries to follow our lead,” he explains.

In 2017 he was elected Chairperson of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Ireland Region. “This position will allow me to help influence our members (and beyond) in the latest and greatest engineering developments.”

“I am a very proud graduate of WIT and I was delighted to see the standard of the course held high (20 years on) when I judged the Building Services Student Awards last year in WIT. The lecturers always had time for their students and in particular were always helpful when I couldn’t get my head around some of the aspects of the course.

“I couldn’t recommend the Building Services course in WIT more. I know talking to employers that graduates from WIT are held in high esteem”, concluded.

Related Courses in WIT

Higher Certificate in Engineering in  Building Services Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Building Services Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Sustainable Energy Engineering

 

Home Heating Heroes Do It Best!

Joe Durkan, EEOS Programme Manager, SEAI

Plumbers and installers are the “go-to” guys in these situations. Whether it is emergency repairs, upgrades or a completely new installation, homeowners rely on their knowledge and expertise to advise them on the right approach. They represent the interface between  the home owner and the wider world of energy efficiency. They have become, in a sense, energy ambassadors.

This is because, in order to ensure that the heating system is correctly specified, the plumber first needs to be able to accurately determine the actual heating demand of the home based on the details of the property and the needs of the occupant. This is where a great opportunity lies, because in order to calculate the heating load, the specifier needs to assess the building fabric, ventilation system and existing distribution system in the dwelling.

In the case of new or yet to be built dwellings, all of the information to determine this data should be readily to hand. Details of the construction, such as the levels of insulation, build type, ventilation systems etc, should all be known and these, in conjunction with the Building Energy Rating (BER) heat loss calculations, will help accurately determine what the heating requirement will be.

However, the majority of heating system installations are more likely to fall into replacements or upgrades. In these cases, especially when a BER isn’t readily available, the specifier has to determine the heating demand the old fashioned way. CIBSE’s Domestic Heating Design Guide (www. cibse.org/knowledge/knowledge-items/ detail?id=a0q20000008I7odAAC) is the key tool in these situations. The guide shows how to identify the principle heat loss areas in the dwelling, and how to calculate the relevant u-values, ventilation rates and distribution losses necessary to determine the heating requirements of each room and the overall hot water and space heating demand.

Minimising this overall heat demand is the key to an economical and efficient heating solution. Ultimately, the type of heat source is secondary to the more important considerations of ensuring that the heat demand can be met efficiently and economically, and that all elements are installed to the proper standards.

The information gleaned in the initial the homeowner could carry out, such as insulation or controls upgrades, that will reduce the overall heating demand. This is the opportune time to consider these works, and carrying them out in conjunction with the heating system upgrade will be more economical. The overall result will be greatly-improved levels of comfort and reduced heating bills (courtesy of the appropriately-sized heating system).

Almost certainly, the new heat supply (whether it’s a boiler, stove or heat pump) will require a lower rated heat output than the unit it is replacing. This is because the overall efficiency of heating appliances has improved dramatically over the last number of years. Therefore, it is vital that the installer accurately determines  the heat load required to ensure that  the replacement unit is correctly sized to operate at maximum efficiency.

Click on the image right and see full article on Pages 14 and 15.

Paul Martin elected Chairman of CIBSE Ireland

Paul Martin (left), newly-elected Chairman of CIBSE Ireland being congratulated by outgoing Chairman Brian West

The annual general meeting of CIBSE Ireland was held recently in the Sandymount Hotel in Dublin. Outgoing Chairman Brian West reported on the successful year and summarised events held throughout the latter end of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

These included 24 CPD events at various locations throughout the country, along with the Irish Lighter Awards, the membership briefing, WIT and DIT student awards, the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering student awards, the SDAR Awards, the Pat Benson lecture and the Annual Christmas Lunch.

New Chairman Paul Martin and Vice Chairman Damien Flynn were elected, along with a new committee for 2016/17, including some fresh faces. The formalities concluded with a meal, networking and social interaction.

The new committee will work on the forthcoming programme of events over the summer months but the season will kick off with the CIBSE Ireland annual golf outing at Castlewarden Golf & Country Club on Friday, 1 September next. Main sponsor is Heat Merchants Group but there are also other sponsorship opportunities.

For details, and to enter a team, log on to http://www.cibseireland.org/

Welcome new approach to heat pumps in DEAP

HPA SQUARE logoIn a move that has been wholeheartedly welcomed by the sector, SEAI has updated the methodology for heat pumps in the Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP).

The approach to heat pumps now applicable in DEAP is based on mandatory performance requirements for heat pumps across Europe under the Ecodesign (2009/125/EC) and Labelling (2010/30/EU) European directives.

This update uses test data to standards IS EN 14825-2013 for space heating and IS EN 16147- 2011 for water heating and derives seasonal performance data for entry in DEAP based on IS EN 15316-4-2-2008.

These directives are a legal requirement for heat pumps placed on the market from 26th September 2015. Where heat pumps are not required to comply with and do not comply with those directives, then the methodology uses the current approach in DEAP V3.2.

Triple E Register boost for product suppliers

Conor Hanniffy, SEAI ACA Project Manager

Conor Hanniffy, SEAI ACA Project Manager

With the Accelerated Capital Allowance, when money is spent on energy efficient equipment products listed on the SEAI Triple E Register, a company can deduct the full cost of this equipment from its profits in the year of purchase.

The ACA benefits                                                                                                                  — Reduced tax bill

— Increased cash flow

— Reduced energy costs

— Clear market differentiation

The scheme was first introduced in 2008 under the Finance Act. It was extended in 2011 and, more recently in 2014, for a further three years. The scheme now supports 52 technologies across 10 categories and has successfully grown to close on 14,000 products listed.

SEAI’s technical advisors work with industry in developing the product eligibility criteria in considering market developments and standards in support of equipment efficiency performance. SEAI provides two submission periods in considering new products for inclusion each year and SEAI personnel are available to assist product providers in clarifying requirements.

Key beneficiaries                                                                                                                                                   Key beneficiaries of the ACA scheme include product providers such as manufacturers, distributors and agents. Product providers submit products to the ACA Triple E Register for registration to help provide confidence and clear differentiation of product performance to the marketplace.

Products listed on the ACA Triple E Register demonstrate to the market that the product is high-performing energy efficient equipment. It also provides the financial benefits offered through the ACA to clients installing the products concerned.

End-user benefits                                                                                                                                   Organisations paying corporation tax benefit from the tax relief in year one of the purchase of the equipment. They also benefit financially from the energy efficiency of the equipment because of lower energy running costs.

Public sector procurement                                                                                                                               Under Public Procurement Regulations introduced in 2011 (European Union Energy Efficient Public Procurement Regulations, SI 151 of 2011), public bodies, in fulfilling an exemplary role with regard to energy efficiency, are obliged to procure only equipment which is (a) listed on the Register or (b) satisfies the published SEAI energy efficiency criteria for the equipment.

Accountants/finance                                                                                                                                 Accountants managing and advising the their clients can identify the financial benefits of investing in energy efficiency equipment listed on the ACA Triple E Register in term of the tax rebate, and also the financial return on investing in energy efficiency equipment.

Architects/engineers                                                                                                                                   Engineers and other specifiers who select equipment listed on the ACA Triple E Register provide clear market differentiation of the higher energy performance and greater financial benefits such products offer, together with providing an energy efficient design.

For more information and an example of how the ACA scheme works for the benefit of all log on to www.seai.ie/aca

More renewable energy technologies to get support

Alex White, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources

Alex White, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources

Two public consultation documents recently published by Minister for Energy Alex White seek views on the renewable energy technologies that currently receive financial support from the State, and whether the Government should broaden the range of technologies it supports. One consultation focuses on renewable electricity technologies, while the other focuses on renewable heat systems.

The Consultation of Renewable Electricity Support says that, while wind energy will continue to make an important contribution to meeting Ireland’s renewable energy targets, it should be complemented by other technologies to meet the country’s renewable energy ambitions.

It says these could include bioenergy, solar, offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies if they are both technically feasible and cost effective. The consultation will help determine whether supports are necessary to develop these technologies.

The consultation will also explore the potential and value of providing supports to micro-generation and smaller community-based projects.

The Renewable Heat Incentive consultation document proposes a renewable heat incentive (RHI) to encourage larger industrial and commercial heat users to switch to systems that produce heat from renewable sources, including biomass. It will inform an assessment of the feasibility of various technologies deployed to produce heat from renewables and tariffs “at a level that represents the most cost-effective transition to the levels of renewable heat required.”

Heat pumps poised for lift off!

Richard Sherlock, Chairman, Heat Pump Association

Richard Sherlock, Chairman, Heat Pump Association

The HPA is now very often the first port of call for these bodies when seeking information on the sector, be it market size, technical data, energy performance criteria, etc. Current Chairman is Richard Sherlock, Field Sales Manager for the Air-conditioning and Heating Divisions, Mitsubishi Electric. Here Richard gives a brief resume of progress and developments over the years, and highlights some of the challenges facing the sector as it looks to the future.

Brands represented by the current membership include Danfoss, Hitachi, Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric,  Waterfurnace, Thermia, Panasonic, Toshiba, Alpha Innotec/Origen, Baxi Potterton Myson, Nibe, CTC Enertec, Joule/ Samsung and Stiebel Eltron.

Membership is growing at a rapid rate, perhaps not surprisingly as the market is poised for dramatic expansion. Latest HPA industry figures show heat pumps sales up over 50% from 2013 to 2014. Estimated sales figures for the first half of 2015 show that pattern continuing.

Heat pumps are an extremely efficient method of heating with primary energy efficiencies unrivalled by any other technology. The current level of  energy credits available on the SEAI energy credit list demonstrates this clearly and, with the recent addition of air to air heat pump credits, the opportunities for heat pumps is set to rise further.

Heat pumps should no longer be viewed as an emerging technology. They are now a very proven technology with volumes of evidence-based data collated from controlled monitoring now available from all the major manufacturers.

This includes both test room and living-environment settings. All demonstrate and confirm the energy reductions that accrue from installing heat pumps, and also the significant related running cost reductions.

The major impediment to development of the heat pump market has been the assumptions made in SEAI’s DEAP software and the penal factor applied to heat pumps for hot water production.

Surveys conducted by HPA have shown that, among HPA members, there is not a single heat pump which has these limitations, demonstrating that the current rules are outdated and in no way reflective of current heat pump products.

Discussions regarding some elements of the software in relation to heat pumps are at an advanced stage. SEAI recently invited comments on a set of proposals and, with this public consultation process now completed, the industry awaits the outcome of these deliberations. This is expected shortly.

Another very important issue is the imminent implementation of the section of the Erp Directive dealing with heat generators. Lot 10 of the Directive dealing with air conditioners with a cooling capacity of <12KW was implemented as far back as 2013. The next major change is the enactment of LOT 1 for heat generators, which includes heat pumps. This is scheduled to be take effect on 26 September next.

The Erp Directive (2009/125/EC: Eco Design) will change the heating sector and introduce new energy efficiency standards for heating technology. The Directive aims to improve the energy efficiency of products and systems and was put in place to help the EU achieve its 20-20-20 targets

Unified HPA approach                                                                                                                               Individually, HPA members have already taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance but a HPA sub-committee is currently devising a unified HPA approach to deal with the implications of ErP as it is rolled out over the coming months.

One of the goals of LOT 1 is for individuals to be able to compare technologies such as heat pumps and other heat generators on a single label so they can make an informed purchasing decision. This will not only help end-users, but also specifying consultants and heating installers.

LOT 1 is split into two basic capacity/output ranges – up to 70kW and those ranging from 70kW to 400kW. Installers will be required to fill out a “Fiche” document which will provide an energy efficiency figure for the heating system, encompassing generator, ancillaries, controls etc.

For heat pumps manufacturers one of the main market concerns is in relation to rating in the DEAP software. Industry should not confuse the requirements under ErP and EPBD … they are two different things. Essentially, having labels published for ErP has no impact in DEAP as the current methodology does not accommodate ErP labels or testing.

In fact, there is no requirement for Irish authorities to accommodate ErP in software derived from EPBD. Both Directives are independent and links between them are not defined, particularly for use in DEAP methodologies in member states.

While the foregoing points to some very obvious and serious challenges facing the development of the heat pump market in Ireland, the facts of the matter cannot be disputed. Despite some serious and unfair impediments, heat pump sales have still shown a 50% increase over the years 2013 to 2014. Once these impediments have been resolved and heat pumps given a level playing field in respect of comparisons with other heat generators, the market will continue to develop, but at an everaccelerating rate.

SEAI’s Energy Show 2015 grows 20% on last year

Stephen Grant, Grant Engineering with Jim Gannon, CHairman, Panel of Assessors, ENergy Show Product of the Show Awards 2015

Stephen Grant, Grant Engineering with Jim Gannon, Chairman, Panel of Assessors, Energy Show 2015 Product of the Show Awards.

Grant Engineering was presented with the Overall Product of the Show award for its condensing wood pellet boiler which also secured Best Renewable Product. Over the years the Energy Show Product Awards have championed innovative product developments, especially those incorporating smart energy solutions.

Considerable investment in R&D, coupled with rapidly-changing technology, has seen a wave of pioneering products and systems featured at the show, and it is now regarded as the preferred platform for most manufacturers and suppliers to introduce their latest innovations.

Apart from the prestige of winning one of the Awards, there are also very tangible commercial benefits. In addition to PR opportunities, shortlisted finalists are profiled at the Energy Show in their own dedicated exhibition area. Entries are divided into five categories. Four of these are adjudicated on solely by the panel of judges with the fifth, the Best Innovation, being reduced to a shortlist which was then open to a public vote on SEAI’s website. Full list of winners is as follows.

Overall Product of the Show Winner  — Grant Engineering Ltd for its Vecta Condensing Wood Pellet Boiler.

Best Energy Efficient Product — Winner: Belimo Automation UK Ltd for its Belimo Energy Valve;                                                                                                                                     Highly Commended: Dimplex for its Dimplex A-Class Heat Pump.

Best Services Provider — Winner: Ecological Building Systems for its Better Building: Putting the Fabric First Training Course;                                                                                                                                           Highly Commended: Irish Bioenergy Association for its Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme.

Best Innovation  — Winner: IES Ltd for its  Ci2 (correct, investigate, compare and invest);                         Highly-Commended: Edina Ltd for its Containerised CHP with CO2 Harvesting;                         Commended: Reg Farrell Engineering Ltd for its PK-160 Android Tablet Thermal Camera.

Best Renewable Product — Winner: Grant Engineering for its Vecta Condensing Wood Pellet Boiler;   Highly-Commended: Construction PV for its Trina Honey in Black Solar Panel.

* No Product of the Future award was made.

Opening the show Alex White, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said: “The sustainable energy sector is a significant contributor to our economic recovery and it is already supporting 15,000 jobs, a figure that is set to increase in the coming years. As we develop as a green energy location, Ireland will add sustainable energy expertise and access to secure, clean energy to the list of factors that are successfully attracting foreign companies to Ireland”.

Brian Motherway, SEAI CEO said: “Around €1.5 billion is being invested in sustainable energy technologies and services in Ireland annually. The Energy Show was a great opportunity for businesses to see and hear about the latest innovations in the smart energy technology and services sector. This year there was particularly strong international interest with 30 overseas companies and 13 embassies represented. Ireland is well positioned to capitalise on this global market given our expertise in this area, as evidenced by the vibrant and successful businesses at the Energy Show 2015.”

Highlights from the Energy Show 2015 can be seen on www.seai.ie/energyshow

Building Services News Celebrates 50 years of Continuously Serving the Industry!

Joe and Pat

Joe and Pat

Right from the outset Building Services News has been an integral part of Ireland’s building services industry and not just a magazine serving the sector. Publisher and Editor Pat Lehane sits on the executive of most of the industry professional and trade representative bodies and the journal has been instrumental in the establishment of many of these organisations.

In addition, Building Services News plays a major role in promoting and facilitating cross-over activity between these bodies, and provides secretariat support and accommodation addresses for many. It also guides and champions many industry causes, coordinating joint activities into lobbying and petitioning groups to act on behalf of the industry as a whole.

Building Services News provides the industry with saturation coverage of the building services sector. It is available in three formats – the print edition which is posted directly to individually-named industry personnel; the web edition, which is freely available to all; and the Facebook page, which is inter-linked with the web edition.

To all of you participating with us in this celebratory golden anniversary edition we say thank you. A small number of you have been dealing with the publication since day one, while many others have been trading partners for a considerable number of years. Of course there are also those of you who have joined us in recent years. In marking the occasion our collective vision should, and is, on the future.

In perusing the archives spanning 50 years we now realise how lucky we are to be part of such a vibrant, dynamic industry sector. In the early days the role of building services was perhaps under-rated by society in general.

Today, that has changed. Rising energy costs, a demand for more comfortable home and working environments, and a genuine sense of social responsibility in respect of the environment has put building services centre stage. What an opportunity – the future for the industry is bright and secure!

However, commercial success is only part of the story. The building services sector is also very much about people, and about a work/social interactive balance. We have been lucky to have made many friends down through the years. Sadly, some of them are no longer with us.

We dedicate this issue to their memory.