5 Green Technologies Your Business May Be Missing – By Archie Thomas – 18/March/2021
Everybody’s been talking about green technology lately, so we thought we’d take a short look at some of the more interesting solutions on the market. Here at Low Carbon Leasing we’re on the pulse of the issue and are very aware of some of the new advances in green tech you might see in 2021. Have a look below at some of the things we’ve spotted.
#1 Electronic Vehicles And Charging Stations
Ever since the early 2000’s we’ve been hearing so many interesting things about electric vehicles. Tesla cars and hybrid Priuses have made their way onto the scene, and governments around the world have pledged to go green and phase out sales of cars powered by fossil fuels. This includes the UK, which signed a commitment saying that at least half of the cars on roads here would be electric and emission-free by 2030.
For businesses large and small, the challenge with switching over fleets of vehicles to electric revolves around installing the correct charging stations. Also one must make sure that when vehicles are on task, such as doing deliveries, they have an appropriate range or access to charging stations outside of your business. Today electronic car charging stations are becoming more widespread, so the problem should alleviate as time goes by.
Currently installing your own charging station costs as low as £300 for a basic model – but commercial chargers, the kind that can charge multiple vehicles in as little as an hour, can cost over £10000 each. Fortunately it’s easy to choose technologies for EV charging that can suit your needs and budget.
#2 Thermal Battery Heat Storage
Storing heat and releasing it during the day isn’t a very new technology – we’ve been using storage heaters for a long time in homes. However with the advent of green technology new ideas around storing heat have arisen, including solar panel based heat storage ‘batteries.’ These capture heat on sunny days and slowly release it over time, just like the old storage heaters. This type of system can help you heat your small business or office much more cheaply and efficiently, if you’re fine with the investment costs.
The thermal battery works in a simple manner – during the daytime the system collects heat, most commonly using solar panels with water running through them. Then this heat is stored in a reservoir, usually a container filled with some sort of medium that holds heat. The medium may be wet sand, wax, brine, or other conductor which changes state when heated. The heat is stored in the battery, which is roughly the same sort of size as a water heater, and then is released slowly as and when it’s needed.
The thermal battery is a game changer because it allows free clean energy to be stored in a system that then deals it out slowly. Currently the technology is very new, so home or office models can cost a few thousand pounds, and it gets a bit more expensive the larger your premises, as larger or even multiple models may be required.
#3 Wind Turbine Collection
Easily one of the most iconic images one thinks of regarding green energy is the wind turbine. They’re attractive to some, eyesores to others, but nevertheless are a great method of charging home or office rechargeable batteries or just simply augmenting your existing power system to be more green. Currently many businesses with outdoor space or large roof space are considering equipping a small turbine, and slowly but surely they’re becoming a more common sight.
Today new designs for turbines are also attracting attention, especially the newer vertical access turbines, which you may have already seen. These take the concept and make it a bit more versatile, capable of picking up the wind from all angles without having to turn towards the direction the wind is blowing from. These vertical wind ‘pylons’ are an attractive choice for smaller businesses because they can often save a little more space.
Overall a small turbine can be a cost-efficient and green investment, particularly when hooked up to a storage battery such as Tesla’s Powerwall or any number of other solutions used to save and store power. But despite their ability to pay for themselves over a few years, turbines are arguably quite costly, especially more complex models, which can cost up to the tens of thousands.
#4 Heat Pump Technology
Similar to the above thermal battery this is another piece of technology designed to take heat, store it, and use it later. The heat pump idea is also fairly new, and it’s starting to come into prominence for businesses because of just how efficient it can be. The same principle applies as the thermal battery – generate heat, store it in a medium, then dole it out as it’s needed. But the heat pump does this in a much more complicated way.
Just like a freezer or air conditioner, the heat pump uses a complicated balance of hot and cold to store temperatures. The pump uses an outside source, such as the air, to bring in heat and compress it into a small space – just like the opposite of an air conditioning unit. This storage requires a lot of the same components found in AC units and refrigerators, it’s just that the concept is inverted. The captured heat is then stored either in a container, or in a system of coils and pipes – again just like a fridge or freezer.
The heat pump idea can set back a business a few thousand per unit, and the system is likely to pay for itself after a number of years – so it’s a good investment on the green side of things. Many are also available in tandem with government grants, mostly aimed at homeowners looking to install one. If your small business or self-employed business runs out of your home, you may be eligible to get a grant for thousands of pounds to install a heat pump.
#5 Composting And Compacting
Lastly we’re going back to basics and once again talking about composting waste. This technology has been around forever but there are a few ways to increase overall efficiency, particularly for businesses that generate a lot of biodegradable refuse. One can for example invest in compacting organic matter into compressed forms and making it easier to recycle off site. Compactors can be a mildly expensive addition to a business, again in the thousands, but again the increased efficiency of having one means that they will eventually pay for themselves. Other advantages of compaction also include much more manageable waste that reduces health risks.
For businesses really wanting to utilize every last bit of waste organic matter, a multiple stage composting system which in turn will help improve the environment around your business. In the case of worklaces away from the city, and closer to the countryside, it can be profitable to begin composting waste down in multiple bins. There are many solutions, including ‘hot composting’ bins which are compact and digest material down into usable compost even faster.
One of the profitable aspects, albeit more hands on and smelly, is the ability to one day turn your organic matter into a responsibly sourced soil additive which can be used to grow more food and start the cycle of nature all over again. In many cases businesses can shred, compress, and send away their rubbish, but today it’s becoming more attractivefor green businesses and individuals to compost. This process can be remarkably cheap to set up, and the benefits are many and varied.
How Will You Make Your Business More Green?
Whether it’s investing in amazing machines designed to change the way we use energy, or just going back to basics and composting down some of that organic waste, the green wave is hitting businesses across the UK.
More than ever companies are interested in investing in the planet and in the future, and if you’re looking to get on board we’re only too happy to help with the financial side of things. Feel free to contact us. For any more questions or enquiries you can also call us during regular business hours on 08700 766 766 and we’ll be happy to answer any queries about what Low Carbon leasing can do for you.