Solar Housing in Galway

The concept of the Solar House has been around for many years. In Ireland we have many examples of what is known as the Solar House.
One of the leaders in this concept is Peter Walsh of Peter Walsh Construction Galway Ltd. He built a Solar House in Furbo in 1996 which featured all of the technologies developed by NuTech Renewables Ltd such that a Low Energy House would be delivered to the homeowner.

This Solar House featured the following:

  • High levels of insulation

  • Low levels of air-infiltration

  • A Heat Recovery Ventilation system

  • A large solar array

  • The NuTech technology for delivering solar heated air into the house

  • The NuTech integrated Solar Water Heating system

  • An air heating system which was capable of maintaining comfort temperatures within the house throughout the whole of the winter.

It should be noted that an air heating system of this type will only work when a Builder, such as Peter Walsh Construction Galway Ltd, takes the care and attention such that the calculated insulation U-Values are achieved in practice along with the required low levels of air-infiltration.

New Low Energy / Low CO2 Houses in Galway

Peter Walsh Construction Galway Ltd are now offering to construct Low Energy / Low CO2 houses in Galway which will feature the latest technologies for so doing which have been developed by NuTech Renewables.

The basis of the NuTech Integrated system is to reduce the Energy Demand of a house to as low a level as possible. It should be remembered that the energy use in a modern house is broken down to three thirds as follows:

  • The first third is due to energy / heat loss through the fabric of the house i.e. the heat loss through the walls, floor, roof and windows

  • The second third is due to air infiltration and the necessary air for ventilation. Note: It is of equal importance as the insulation and expensive glazing in a house

  • The final third is due to energy required for Domestic Hot Water

We deal with the first third by way of extra insulation in the external walls, the ground floor, the roof and superior A rated double glazed windows.

We deal with the second third, which is of equal importance as the first third, by making the house much more airtight and then delivering fresh air by way of an efficient Heat Recovery Ventilation system. With the unique NuTech Integrated system we also feed energy from the solar collectors into the HRV system thereby delivering warmed air to the house. This reduces the Energy Demand of the house even further. It also increases the amount of Renewable Energy delivered to the house which means that the Renewable Energy Demand of 10kWh/m2 per year, as demanded by the Building Regulations, can be met by this system.

We deal with the final third by way of the solar collectors which reduce the energy demand for hot water by some 60 to 70% depending on the size of the solar array.
This dual use of the solar energy collectors i.e. for Space Heating as well as Water Heating, can increase the amount of energy gained from the solar panels by a factor of at least two. Clearly this hugely improves the cost effectiveness of the solar collector array.

By these means NuTech can reduce the Energy Demand of a house to a minimum thereby improving its Energy Rating dramatically and ensuring that the house satisfies the requirements of Part L of the 2011 Irish Building Regulations.

Peter Walsh Construction Galway Ltd has successfully completed houses in Galway over the past 20 years some of which have used these technologies developed by NuTech Renewables.

These new houses built to specification will feature the following:

  • High levels of insulation and A rated double glazed windows throughout

  • Low levels of air-infiltration with a Vent Axia Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation system

  • The NuTech Renewables technology for delivering solar heat to both the Space Heating and Water Heating systems

  • The NuTech Renewables control system and unique pump station

  • A fully integrated Air Heating system

  • A Palazetti Wood Pellet stove in the Living Room acts as the back-up heater in the winter period

  • A 300 litre solar cylinder for the storage of solar heated hot water Future Proofing

Future Proofing

With this level of detail in terms of the insulation and low levels of air infiltration together with the NuTech Solar Enhanced Heating, Ventilation and Hot Water technology a nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) is the result.
By using the Palazetti wood pellet stove which is fully integrated into the NuTech system for space and water heating the CO2 emissions are reduced to a very low level indeed in these houses.
It is expected that the Building Regulations in regard to energy use in domestic houses will be improved in 2017. The Energy Demand, in order to satisfy this new Regulation, will probably show a reduction of some 70% when compared to the Energy Demand of a house built to the 2006 Regulations. This is good news for the home owner. These houses being proposed by Peter Walsh Construction Galway Ltd are being planned such that they can meet this new Regulation. Typically these houses will have an A3 BER Rating. Should a client require an A2 or A1 house, Peter Walsh Construction Galway Ltd has already carried out research whereby NuTech Renewables will supply a Solar PV Array which will bring the houses into this category.
With this A rating these houses can surely be built fully ‘Future Proofed’.