Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Chorlton Eco Show Home Open Day

Chorlton Eco Show Home opens doors this weekend showcases world first solar installation as part of the SuperHomes network

The hundred year old Arts and Crafts property in the South Manchester conservation area is owned by Kit Knowles, who refurbished the property to test and showcase over 100 sustainable technologies and design techniques including three world firsts. Without using any renewable electricity generation he has reduced its carbon footprint by 62% with energy bills tumbling from £2,500 to £500.

Kit will now exceed 85% carbon reduction with the installation of a ground breaking new hybrid Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) system that combines electricity and hot water production in one panel, with a new technology to preheat air coming into the house and provide cooling in the summer time.

The Achilles heel of normal photovoltaics is the drop in efficiency occurring at the height of the day due to the panels overheating. By running cool water though the panels a lower temperature is maintained, greatly increasing electrical output and providing hot water as a by-product. Battery storage and energy management then enables the property to store excess energy and distribute it at times it would otherwise be required to pull from the national grid.

The system, commissioned through a partnership between Ecospheric and Newform Energy, also connects to the ventilation network and uses naturally occurring minerals known as zeolites that give off heat when exposed to humid conditions. This will mean the outgoing moisture laden air will heat the incoming air without any extra fuel cost.

“We love working together with companies to test emerging technologies in the energy efficiency market” says Kit Knowles, owner of Ecospheric who lives and runs the business out of the show home. “This is a very exciting new system that will allow us to harness more potential energy from the sun than any other type of domestic solar array.”

The installation has the potential to earn £1,400 from the FIT and RHI and, due to the electrical storage and energy management system, will utilise over 80% of the electricity generated on site (up from a typical 15%). With anticipated combined annual gas and electric charges of just £200, this means that overall the house will net circa £1,200 - almost taking care of the council tax!

SuperHomes is a nationwide charity initiative run by the award winning Sustainable Energy Academy. It currently consists of 135 refurbished houses, 40 of which are opening their doors to the public this week. Celebrated for being the first network to make exemplar refurbished older homes open to the public, it enables people to have a touch and feel experience and be inspired to take action in their own dwellings.

The Chorlton Eco Show Home will be open 7th-9th September, 10am-5pm and is free to attend with Ecospheric sustainability consultants on hand to answer any questions you may have relating to your own property.

To register your interest in the open days please visit:

For more information, visit or call 0161 881 4173

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