Activ8 Presenting as Industry Leader at Solar Ireland 17

Our very own Gary Connolly presented on Rooftop Solar and the challenges facing us now and in the future at Solar Ireland 17, an event hosted by the ISEA - Irish Solar Energy Asociation. It was great to present on such an important topic as one of Irelands leading solar companies and on such an important issue.

Gary presented on the topic of "Challenges of domestic solar market with no incentive" and was part of a discussion panel that included some fellow industry leaders as we look at the domestic solar landscape in 2017 and the future of it here in Ireland.

 


ISEA


Now Hiring: Fully Qualified Electrician

Fully Qualified Electrician Position

Due to continued expansion Ireland’s largest solar installer now have a position for a fully qualified electrician. We require a customer facing, professional electrician with proven experience to join our team.

The candidate will ideally be based in the North East attending homeowners working on solar PV systems and heating controls and also solar thermal systems.

The ideal candidate must have the following skills and qualifications:

  • A fully qualified Electrician
  • 3 years experience
  • Test and inspect qualifications would be beneficial
  • Willingness to travel to job sites throughout Ireland
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills

Safe Pass, Manual Handling, Working at heights Cert an advantage.

Applicants should forward their CV and cover letter to:

hr@activ8energies.com

Closing Date for Applications is Friday the 13th April.


European Research Council Grant €1.5m to UL Researcher For Solar PV Technology Work

Further growing the trend of energy research in Ireland and Europe as a whole, Micheál Scanlon of UL has received a European Research Council Starting Grant of €1.5 million to further his research into clean energy, specifically pushing the science involved in solar photovoltaic.

The electrochemist is to deepen his research into imitating photosynthesis in the leaves of plants to generate clean electricity. In doing so, he is the only recipient in Ireland in the area of physical sciences. With energy consumption expected to double globally over the next 30 years, it is deemed vital that technologies such as solar PV and the growing research in this area are supported to help Ireland, Europe and the wider world to achieve sustainability.

Within the next 15 years, the solar PV market in Europe alone is projected to be worth €10bn per annum.

The new approach from the UL researcher aims to achieve solar energy conversion using a liquid-to-liquid interface rather than the solid materials used in today's solar PV panels, such as the Suntech panels we use here at Activ8 Solar Energies, which are Bloomberg Tier 1 panels.

“Liquid-liquid interfaces are found everywhere in nature, including in the membranes of cells in plant leaves, which are photosynthetic. There are light-harvesting molecules called chlorophyll in these membranes.

“The liquid-liquid interfaces I use have the fantastic ability to trap and bring molecules together, especially molecules that are similar to chlorophyll. By coating these interfaces in all sorts of light-harvesting molecules, I can create an artificial photosynthetic membrane capable of producing energy.”

The funding grant will go to assisting Dr. Scanlon’s goal to study the interaction of light with the artificial photosynthetic membranes he is creating.

It is important that we continually push the boundaries of research in the area of clean energy here in Ireland. In the meantime, it’s just as important that we use the technologies available to us now to help protect the environment. What’s more, the ability to save money on your electricity bills puts Irish homeowners in the unique position of being able to save money in the long-term while also helping protect the environment!


While Donald Messes It Up Again, Let’s Make The Planet Great Again

Trump Pulling America Out of The Paris Agreement

Donald Trump is making a mockery of our planet, its future and also the underlying theme of “Make America Great Again”. By pulling America out of the Paris Agreement, he is making America’s outlook on science, technology and green energy “draconian”. The word he used to describe the measures within the agreement itself. After America making exceptional progress in clean energy through solar, wind, tidal and many others, Donald Trump is hell bent on turning back the clock in America. But in doing so, he is completely contradicting what made America a great nation in the past.

History of America Investing In Science & Technology

He refers to making America great “again”, but the reasons for which America was once considered a great nation, is because they invested and championed scientific and technological innovation. There are many examples of this, but one in particular brings us a timeline of how American investment in these areas has brought us to this point in time. Some of America’s most successful and brightest minds, who now publicly lead the calls for investment in clean energy were created through similar scientific and technological investment more than 50 years ago.

I recently read a book called Creativity Inc. In it, author and co-founder of Pixar, Ed Catmull talks about how decades ago in the face of global unrest, tensions with Russia and other global issues that troubled America and allies, the American government decided that it would become great through science, engineering and technology. Ed Catmull himself ended up going back to grad school at Utah and participated in ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency.

“The creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was authorized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 for the purpose of forming and executing research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science” - Dwight D. Eisenhower and Science & Technology, (2008).

They poured millions of dollars into ARPA and similar initiatives that sponsored post-graduate collegiate programmes such as the one Ed Catmull found himself in. The definition above outlines their focused ambition on science and technology. They also did this, without giving specific direction. Instead, they trusted the budding young minds and leadership skills of scientists and entrepreneurs across America. These were the people tasked with moving America forward. Making it great even.

With Ed Catmull, he ended up making advancements in computer graphics and soon after, we ended up with Pixar. I presume the American government didn’t have computer graphics on the top of their list of priorities, but it became a global leader in a new market. Within this context, but covered in another fantastic book (Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell), the advancements made in computer science through this investment led to an opportunity for 3 men born within 6 months of each other in 1954 and 1955 – Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Bill Joy. The opportunities they had in their late teens was to continue the revolution for America in these areas. The great technology feats of these men have directly led to a lot of technologies we use on a daily basis. You’re reading this on a device using technologies they’ve built or helped shape and more than likely through the internet, a technology that Bill Joy shaped with his UNIX servers.

It’s a long-winded explanation, but of the men I’ve just named above, two are alive and both of them are thought leaders and real champions of clean energy, with Bill Gates strongly advocating solar energy. And that brings us to right now. Donal Trump wants to make “America Great Again” and Emmanuel Macron has hit back with the notion that we need to come together to “Make Our Planet Great Again”.

But outside of this political jousting, we need to listen to our brightest minds, the people at the forefront of present science that are desperately trying to forge a future for the science and technologies that truly will make our planet great.

So while Donald misses the point of what made America a great nation in decades past, we need to look to those who were involved in the advancements of yesteryears breakthrough technologies. Because right now, the technologies we need are in clean energy, sustainable energy systems and beyond.

We will do this with or without the United States of America, but the underlying context of division and “sovereignty” Donald Trump is leading is disappointing and unsettling.

In the face of global climate change fears, just like many other global issues we face today; unity is what we really need.


Solar Thermal In Spring

We’re nearing the end of February. The fact that almost 2 months have passed in 2017 is newsworthy enough, it’s mad to think that time has gone so fast. With the time of year in mind and spring in full swing, our customers will start to see the production of their solar panels really pick up with the hours of daylight increasing day by day. General temperatures are starting to pick up and although the peak summer months can deliver daily hot water, it is these transitional periods during spring and autumn when the Atlas solar thermal panels really show their efficiency.

Spring And Autumn

These transitional periods bring more hours of daylight, stronger solar radiation and overall better conditions for solar. Our Atlas solar panels, developed in Austria with the Irish climate in mind, are built to maximise their efficiency during these times. Couple this with the extremely well-insulated piping and the optimised Joule cylinders that we install with each installation and you can be confident that each piece of equipment used is part of a system aimed at squeezing every last bit of heat from the solar radiation available.

Seeing The Solar Savings

Recent news articles have shown the dramatic drop in wholesale electricity prices over the last number of years, leading to questions as to why these prices haven’t been reflected in the prices available to customers. It is important to note, that the price of solar energy as it is produced can’t go up or down on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. Why? Because it’s free!
Once the system is installed, the production of hot water over the lifetime of that system is absolutely zero. Zilch. We understand that the initial outlay is of course substantial, but most investments in your home are. The advantages to taking advantage of such an investment include the available grants, the tax-free nature of the savings you make and the reality that inflation can’t effect something that you get for free no matter what happens to consumer prices. We have no mystic macs here at Activ8, but we bet that generally speaking, just like has happened in the last 15-20 years, prices and the cost of heating your water will rise over time.

Our Grants page outlines the process through which you can check if your home is eligible for a grant and what you need to do in order to attain the grant. You’ll soon realise that we help with every step of the process and go as far as processing the grant post-installation but giving you the grant amount off the price of the system, up-front.

250 Years In The Making - Solar Thermal

Solar thermal experiments and "technology" advances have come a long way. How long? 250 years.

In 1767, Horace de Saussure, a noted Swiss naturalist, observed, “It is a known fact, and a fact that has probably been known for a long time, that a room, a carriage, or any other place is hotter when the rays of the sun pass through glass. To determine the effectiveness of trapping heat with glass covers, de Saussure built a rectangular box out of half-inch pine, insulated the inside, and had the top covered with glass, and had two smaller boxes placed inside. When exposed to the sun, the bottom box heated to 228 degrees F (109 degrees C) or 16 degrees F (9 degrees C) above the boiling point of water. de Saussure was unsure of how the sun heated the glass boxes. Today we can better explain what happened. Sunshine penetrated the glass covers. The black inner lining absorbed the sunlight and converted it into heat. Though clear glass allows the rays of the sun to easily enter through it, it prevents heat from doing the same. As the glass trapped the solar heat in the box, it heated up. Its inventor realised that someday the hot box might have important practical applications, as “it is quite small, inexpensive and easy to make.” Indeed, the hot box has become the prototype for the solar collectors that have provided sun-heated water to millions since 1892.

Tried and tested to say the least! Why not get in contact with us and see if you're grant eligible and how solar can help you at home and help you save money too.


Activ8 Supplier, Wuxi Suntech, Awarded "Top Brand PV" by EuPD Research In Germany

Our solar PV panel supplier, Wuxi Suntech has been awarded “Top Brand PV” seal from EuPD Research in Germany

Wuxi Suntech, Activ8 Solar Energies primary solar PV panel supplier has recently received high recognition for the quality of the product they provide. The quality of their components is precisely why we use their solar photovoltaic panels. It's also important to note that we have been using them more and more lately, as the Irish solar PV market continues to grow. The Irish solar thermal market continues to be much stronger on the domestic side of things, but commercially, businesses all over Ireland are beginning to invest heavily in solar PV.

According to the recommendation of PV installers and intermediaries in Germany and Holland, Suntech has become the first Chinese PV enterprise to win this honour. China is a key driver of solar photovoltaic technology and a powerhouse in the manufacturing of such. With the standards differing so much, it is important to note that Suntech's panels are Bloomberg Tier 1 standard, the highest possible standard and the only standard that we'll ever use here at Activ8.

EuPD Research Institute's latest “Top Brand PV” Award reflects only the highest quality of products within the global PV industry and it further strengthens our trust in and relationship with Wuxi Suntech, one of the largest clean energy companies in the world.

The independent TOP BRAND PV industry seal is based on an annual multi-level analysis of qualified statements in regards to brand perception, brand management and market penetration from installers and intermediaries based in Germany, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. With this in mind, it is with great pleasure that as one of the largest solar companies in Ireland, we use Suntech products within our growing solar PV department.

EuPD Research is a neutral research institution which has won great reputation among European PV industry, so this reward represents a significant achievement for the Chinese brand in Europe. Last year, recognition showed to some of our other partners was also covered in our Solar News section and you can find the link for this by clicking here.
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Activ8 Solar Energies Exclusive Distribution Agreement with ESDEC BV

Esdec, a leader in innovative rooftop mounting systems for photovoltaic installations, entered into an exclusive distributor agreement with Activ8 Energies, based upon our solar experience here in Ireland and Northern Ireland over the last 13+ years. With this agreement, Esdec will further extend the availability of its patented ClickFit and FlatFix Fusion systems for rooftop PV installations into the Irish and Northern Irish market.

Irish Solar PV Market

Here at Activ8 Solar Energies, this is an exciting development, given the strong growth of the Irish solar PV market in line with commercial interest in the renewable technology alongside the installation of solar PV panels on new housing developments across Ireland. With our industry leading reputation, this is a great partnership for both ourselves and ESDEC.
The technology that ESDEC can bring to the Irish market, through Activ8 Solar Energies, includes both their ClickFit and FlatFix Fusion systems for rooftop PV installations. With this, the innovative patented designs, which are MCS approved, bring advantages such as:

  • No drilling of tiles
  • No drilling of truss
  • No need for noggins or bridging
  • Approved by major Irish tile manufacturers
  • Approved by major Irish truss manufacturers

Upon the completion of the distributor agreement, both companies looked forward to 2017 with excitement.

"The addition of Activ8 Energies as one of the pioneers of the young and fast growing Irish PV market adds valuable experience and capabilities to our sales network for Irish installation companies, dealing with a strongly increasing demand of PV installations for homeowners, business enterprises and public entities," said Christian Bongartz, Business Development Manager Europe at Esdec. “Working with an experienced and well-respected distributor like Activ8 Energies allows us to deliver our innovative mounting systems effectively into the Irish market, giving valuable support to architects and construction companies already during the design phase of their projects.”

“This development further cements our reputation for innovation within the Irish solar industry here at Activ8 Solar Energies” said Ciaran Marron, CEO Activ8 Solar Energies. “We’ve always believed that the best way to grow the Irish solar market here in Ireland was to offer our customers the very best products and services. With this partnership, we’ve further improved our Solar PV offering to developers, businesses and homeowners and once again, made the solar installation process more efficient”.

About Esdec

Esdec BV is a leading Dutch manufacturer of professional and innovative solar panel mounting systems called ClickFit and FlatFix. Both ClickFit and FlatFix are fast and easy to install, are durable and are sold with a unique 20 year warranty. Their products have been extensively tested by recognized testing institutes, such as DNW (wind tunnel), BRE, and are, amongst others, certified according to the Dutch Building Decree and the MCS012 by NQA. Since the establishment of Esdec BV in 2004, more than four million solar panels with a combined capacity of > 1GWp have been installed on ClickFit and FlatFix systems.

For more information, visit www.esdec.com

Visit our Solar PV section for more information, or depending on your needs, visit our new wholesale section either.