Tag Archives: Sustainability

Adam Dent joins Kerrigan Mechanical

Adam Dent, Project Manager, Kerrigan Mechanical

Adam Dent, B.Eng, has been appointed Project Manager at Kerrigan Mechanical, the multi-disciplined engineering contractors with a wide range of experience in commercial plumbing, heating, ventilation and extract systems. Kerrigan Mechanical evolved from Midland Heating and Plumbing, which was originally established in 1998, and has now commenced a new strategic development phase.

Adam is a DIT building services engineering graduate with broad experience across the entire building services spectrum. He has been involved in technical design and technical sales with Hevac Group, Ireland’s leading heating, plumbing and renewable energy suppliers, and now brings this experience to bear on the contracting sector.

As Project Manager with Kerrigan Mechanical Adam’s duties entail new client business development, negotiation of tenders, as-built design drawings and project management to include all aspects of the contract. This involves procurement of materials, overseeing installation, managing specialised sub-contractors, and all other requirements to legal completion of the project.

Contact: Project Manager, Kerrigan Mechanical Tel: 087 – 259 4066; email: adam@kerriganmechanical.ie

 

Chapter Status for ASHRAE Ireland

Ken Goodman, ASHRAE
Region XIV ARC

There is plenty to celebrate for ASHRAE members in Ireland and in Europe. At the recent ASHRAE summer meeting at Long Beach, California, Ireland became an ASHRAE Chapter, Europe has a new ASHRAE Region, and the new President is a European. Two more Chapters were also approved in the UK and three new student branches in the UK, Spain and Bulgaria.

Earlier in the year, ASHRAE Scotland and ASHRAE UK North were born, not to mention the agreements signed between ASHRAE and CIBSE in October of 2016, and between ASHRAE and the Institute of Refrigeration UK in April 2017.

The new ASHRAE Chapter is looking for people who are interested in sharing their ideas and opinions on the industry, and getting actively involved in ASHRAE in Ireland, Europe and worldwide. If interested, contact Ken Goodman, Region XIV ARC at email: ken.goodman@mail.ashrae.org

See the full story, plus other ASHRAE News, in the current issue of Building Services News by clicking on the Cover of the current issue on the Home Page and going to Pages 49 & 49.

Solar offers €2 billion gross potential

David Maguire, Chairman, Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA).

David Maguire, Chairman,
Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA).

At present, Ireland is the only EU member state that does not provide support for the generation of energy from solar. Currently,Ireland’s renewable energy policy is focused on wind generation, a source of energy that is in abundance on the island. However, while Ireland has broken records with wind generation, dependence on wind alone to achieve targets is not sufficient to guarantee a seamless transition to the low carbon economy that is desired by politicians. Critically, a growing demand for energy stemming not just from an increasing population, but a burgeoning IT sector that sees multinationals want to construct data centres in Ireland due to its ideal climatic conditions is rapidly shifting the nature of energy use.

Moreover, the nature of investment in energy is skewed towards coal and gas with €1.6 billion being invested in 2015, which is significantly greater than investments made in wind over the last five years. Responding to this change calls for a dynamic, resilient energy supply that can only be achieved through diversification of energy sources. This must include solar.

The Irish Government has stated that it is committed to guaranteeing consumers have access to affordable energy. Presently, Irish consumers pay the third highest energy prices in the European Union as of 2015. The Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy primary means through which the Government funds renewable energy generation, has been the view that the inclusion (and to some extent other renewables) renewable energy mix will see a rise PSO Levy, and subsequently electricity However, research undertaken by KPMG indicates that for every €1 invested in solar there is a return of €3. In other words, solar has the potential to deliver €2 billion in gross value added (GVA) and €800 million in tax revenues (2017-2030).

Short-term concerns are receiving priority over the long-term benefits. The creation of a diverse mix of renewable energy sources that guarantees security of supply, a key tenet of Government policy, is therefore being sacrificed. While there is evidence of the recognition that energy diversification is needed and should be supported, solar PV is being overlooked as a viable option for meeting the country’s energy needs. A recent speech by Minister Naughten has cast a shadow on the nascent Irish solar industry. Understandably, the Minister wants to dampen excess speculation, but he also needs to strike a balance and bring the Irish public on a journey that outlines the many benefits that solar PV can bring.

We have a unique opportunity to harness Ireland’s indigenous renewable energy resources in a sustainable manner. This can be done in a way that offers long-term opportunities for investment and for real community participation. Solar is an indigenous renewable energy source. Further, the industry is keenly aware of the need for a pragmatic approach to developing the industry, such that it is sustainable and provides the long-term benefits.

Over 40 planning permissions have been granted for solar farms in Ireland. This indicates that the vast majority of local councils have been supportive of solar PV developments. Councillors have welcomed the opportunity for, among other things, local employment, biodiversity protection and carbon emission reduction.

A limited number of councillors, however, have tried to curtail planning applications for solar PV development, looking to central government to give more direction on the issue. Minister Coveney has so far taken the view that regular planning laws are good enough for assessing solar projects, despite the fact that they pre-date any solar proposals.

In the absence of any national guidelines the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) is preparing its own recommendations for best practice in planning. These recommendations will be based on best practices in other countries. The Association believes that the creation of unnecessary road blocks in the long run are harmful, not just to the industry, but to the Irish people.

For example, in relation to rooftop solar, current planning restrictions are curtailing the ease with which a home or business can install a PV array on its rooftop. Existing planning rules state that, “total panel area must not exceed 12sq m or 50% of the total roof area including existing panels” on a domestic dwelling or, “total panel area must not exceed 50sq m or 50% of the total roof area, including existing panels” in a light industrial or business setting. This is very restrictive in allowing a home or business owner to install PV, as they will be put off by the extra expense and time of going through the planning process.

It also leads to a smaller system being deployed which, due to economies of scale, costs more per kWp to install than a larger system. A smaller system obviously produces less electricity, which in turn negatively affects how rooftop solar can assist in the transfer to a low carbon economy. It is imperative that given our current situation of not being on target for reaching our renewable commitments by 2020 that we assist commercial and domestic property owners in deploying rooftop solar with more ease.

There is a vast wealth of untapped energy resource in the rooftop sector in Ireland. The introduction of a Feed in Tariff (FiT), as has been done in countries like the UK and Germany, would help deploy a large solar resource on currently-vacant roof space. This would in turn empower home and business owners to be a part of Ireland reaching its 2020 targets, while gaining savings on their electricity bills and creating thousands of new jobs that strengthen Ireland’s economy. Surely it is better to spend money now to achieve our targets rather than face fines running into the hundreds of millions of Euro? By not acting now we will not only be left with fines but also with a stagnant renewable energy portfolio in our country’s energy mix.

Speaking for solar developers in Ireland, the industry recognises the need “to bring the people with us”. Through ISEA, key industry players have engaged people about solar and how it adds significant value to farmers’ livelihoods, business owners, and citizens. Economic growth in this area will create approximately 7,300 jobs according to the recent KPMG report. There is a public acceptance of the technology. However, there is always more that can be done to engage stakeholders and to innovate new ways collectively to incorporate solar into Ireland’s energy supply.

Companies in the industry operate on single-digit margins. The call for support mechanisms (specifically, a contract for difference (CfD) mechanism for large-scale projects and feed-in tariff (FIT) for rooftop and domestic projects) is not solely about asking the government to subsidise the industry. It is more far-reaching than that. It is a call for holistic policies that address the challenges faced by solar (as well as wind and other renewables).

In particular, solar PV projects are sensitive to policies pertaining to the following: grid connection, transmission and distribution of the electricity produced, planning, building regulations, agriculture, environment and heritage. Without the relevant Government departments working together, and with key stakeholders to ensure that policies align, Ireland will fail to realise its ambitions of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

By ensuring that renewable energy policy going forward is integrated and comprehensive, the Irish Government sends a clear message. Firstly, to citizens that it recognises the importance of clean energy in providing high-quality living; secondly, to businesses and investors that Ireland is open for green investment.

In closing, it is important to note that Government represents the voice of the Irish people and thus is the force that will mobilise Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Government has a responsibility to the Irish people to innovate, such that Ireland remains competitive and resilient in an ever-evolving global economy.

Contact: info@irishsolarenergy.org;         www.irishsolarenergy.org

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.

SDAR Journal 2014 — latest edition of Ireland’s only dedicated building services research journal now available

 

Pat Lehane, Publisher & Editor,Buiding Services News with Dr Kevin kelly, Editor, SDAR Journal 2014 and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

Pat Lehane, Publisher & Editor, Building Services News with Dr Kevin Kelly, Editor, SDAR Journal 2014 and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

The latest edition of Ireland’s only dedicated building services research journal — SDAR Journal 2014 — was formerly introduced by Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive, SEAI at a ceremony held in DIT Bolton St recently.

The journal’s objective is to foster innovative practice in low-energy design of the built environment, and to encourage applied research among professional practitioners and new researchers in academia. The papers published are intended to inform design practice in construction and to assist innovative engineers striving towards optimisation of building integrated renewable technologies.

CIBSE and DIT came together four years ago to jointly publish this journal. The intention then was to disseminate insightful findings to the professional community involved in the built environment. This is still the case. The reader is taken to be a sceptic who will be convinced by evidence, not green bling on buildings, or unproven designs.

While the publishers want to hear what works well, they are conscious of the fact that the professional community can also be informed by what went wrong. Therefore they encourage critical reflection and objective evaluation of real-world projects. Post-occupancy evaluation of innovations that support more sustainable and energy-efficient practice leads to mainstreaming of good-quality, leading-edge projects.

The building services sector is data rich but sometimes time poor. SDAR Journal encourages and supports in practical terms synergies with academia. Academics are eager to support this applied research process and will provide time on task in exchange for access to useful data.

Would-be contributors are encouraged to submit abstracts for the annual SDAR Awards and Irish Lighter competitions. Both competitions are effectively feeders for this journal. The publishers particularly encourage novice researchers and industry professionals to submit short abstracts of their work, either to the above competitions or directly to the Editor.

Contact: kevin.kelly@dit.ie