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Aleo PV Products, PV Cells, Abb and Solaredge inverters

PV Systems are an investment that works for you 12 hours a day or more depending on the sunlight available. Many people install PV Systems because they help create revenue and reduce electricity bills. This revenue comes in the form of energy generated from the conversion of sunlight to electricity which is then translated to either a reduced electricity bill or an actual income from feeding electricity into the grid. The latter is based on the current Feed-In Tariff which is the rate per unit of the power generated.

This means that the efficiency with which your PV System generates energy, its durability and requirement for parts and repairs will have a big impact on whether this turns out to be a good investment or not. BT Commercial have specialised people that are trained to determine if a PV System is feasible for you or not.

When choosing a PV System, durability and reliability are key to make your investment pay you in returns. In order to make sure you’re investing in a durable long-lasting product you need to take the following into consideration:

  1. Place of Manufacture.
  2. Quality and Origin of the Parts.
  3. Inverter Efficiency.
  4. Warranty
  5. Parts Availability.
  6. Service Levels of your supplier (ISO certification).
  7. Structure of the mounting system.How to decide what you actually need.
    1. Your Goal – what you want to achieve.

    Decide what your goal is. If you intend to reduce your electricity bill to zero, then you need to get your calculator out and do some maths. You need to check, how much electricity you consume.

    You may also be so efficient that your system will manage to feed the grid with extra electricity and turn your PV system into a source of income. This means that you actually get paid by ARMS for generating more electricity than you use and feeding it back into the grid to be used by your neighbourhood. This is an ideal case scenario and also protects you against price highs later. If you produce more than you need then a change in price in the future will not affect you.

    1. Family Size and Electrical Consumption (current and future)

    You may need to change your electrical water heaters to solar or gas to reduce your electrical consumption in order to reach your goal of eliminating your electricity bills completely. BT Commercial stocks these products too and we can give you a comprehensive solution to reach your goal of zeroing your bills forever.

     

    1. Roof Area

    PV Systems come with a varying number of panels. The more panels you have the more electricity you produce. However, your roof space and the angle at which your PV system can be installed will affect the amount of electricity you can produce. At BT Commercial, we offer different sized PV systems and a typical house will normally need between 10 and 12 panels to get the average electricity bill to zero cost. Other systems are available and BT Commercial can offer customized solutions depending on the budget and roof space. So, if you have a lot of roof space you could be generating electricity to sell, creating a new source of income.

    1. Shady Areas and coping with shade.

    The amount of shade your roof gets will also affect how you install your PV system. Our systems have special panels combined with special inverters that can be installed in partially shady roofs. The SolarEdge power optimizers increase energy output from PV systems by constantly tracking the maximum power point (MPPT) of each module individually. Each power optimizer is equipped with the unique Safe DC™ feature which automatically shuts down modules’ DC voltage whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down. (SolarEdge, n.d.)

    A PV system is made up of 3 main parts. The Panels, the Mounting Structure (Supporting-Stand) and the Inverter.

    The Panels come in mainly 2 types, monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Because of lower silicon purity, polycrystalline solar panels are not quite as efficient as monocrystalline solar panels. Obviously, there is a price difference, the higher the efficiency the more expensive is the panel. You generally need to cover a larger surface to output the same electrical power as you would with a solar panel made of monocrystalline silicon. BT Commercial stock a range of PV panels in the range of 260 watts to 520 watts.

    As we mentioned above the panels depend on space and sunlight. The mounting structure depends on the best installation angle for your roof location in relation to the sun. A professional installer will be sent to inspect your roof after you get in touch with us. An onsite inspection will be done to establish the system size and also if the system is feasible or not. The reason being that if there is too much shade, it might not be worth installing the system in the first place. Also, if your home appliances are consuming too much electricity, one might start by performing an electricity performance audit before embarking on the installation of a PV System.

    The Mounting Structure is required to mount the panels at the best angle so that solar efficiency is assured. The structure is also important as it needs to withstand the aggressive Maltese winds and rainfall.  Moreover, since the panels are a long-term investment, the structure should be robust and strong enough to withstand corrosion. Our mounting structure is made out of 5mm thick anodised aluminium, that is Euro-coded certified for the Maltese Climate.

     

    The Inverter

     

    The inverter is the part of the PV System that converts sunlight into electrical power. The panels produce Direct Current (D/C) power and the inverter then converts this D/C power into Alternate Current (A/C) power at a voltage that is equal to the local grid. A typical inverter, SolarEdge, which is specifically built to compensate for panels in the shade. This gives your PV system an edge over other inverters at producing electricity when in shade. SolarEdge is one of our inverter brands and offer state of the art monitoring tools from mobile devices, computer or tablet.

    Electricity produced from the panels is fed into the inverter. A cable extends from the inverter into the government mains box. This allows you to use the electricity that you produce and also feed the grid with any extra electricity that you produce. This electricity is then used in the immediate vicinity by the neighbouring homes. These neighbours pay for electricity and Arms pays you for producing it.

    Our brands for inverters are SolarEdge, SMA Solar Technology AG.

     

    Applying for EU funds.

    In the last few years many people have benefited from EU Grants distributed in Malta by the government which provide households with a reimbursement for buying PV Systems. These funds vary on the cost of the system purchased, however, there is a capped amount which at the moment is 2300 Euros.

    PV systems start from around 2500 EUR and can cost up to 8000 EUR for a standard roof, however, one needs to calculate how much electricity will be produced and how long it will take to actually pay for itself.

    The Maltese government is supporting families by introducing grants for purchasing PV systems. These funds exist because Malta has a target to reach 10% of its electricity generation to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. If you want to find out how you can benefit from these schemes please email us on [email protected]  or call 23956000. Our team will help you understand which is the best PV System for you and your home as well as help you fill in and process the application for the government refund.

     

    Aleo PV Sytems.

    ALEO-Solar create high quality PV Systems and Solar technology. They are designed and manufactured in Germany and have been manufacturing solar panels from scratch there since 2001, their products stand out for their quality, strength and reliability.

    Aleo-Solar is a company that works in the solar industry to promote solar energy at a global scale, while respecting the values of their clients’ community. Like us at BT Commercial, they care about a global energy efficient world and they understand the importance of respecting the needs of the local community. Like them, we care about a greener world and a cleaner environment for all.

    BT Commercial is GRTU Approved (General retailers and trader’s union) and is one of the leading companies specialised in the installation of Photo Voltaic PV Modules.

    Bibliography SolarEdge. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.solaredge.com/us/products/power-optimizer

    LG PV Systems.

    LG Solar offers precision-manufactured and market-leading solar panels for businesses and homeowners who demand high performance, reliability and consistently strong energy yield—all from a brand they can trust. Through over 30 years of intensive solar research and development, LG was able to produce innovative, high-quality yet affordable solar panels. By choosing LG’s long-lasting, energy-efficient and sustainable solar panels, receive higher financial and environmental benefits for your business and other stakeholders.

    Offering industry-level warranty programs, LG ensures quality, durability and reliability of its solar panels. For the latest solar panel models, LG is now providing a 25-year product warranty which is among the best in the industry. This shows LG’s confidence in developing highly-efficient, innovative and outstanding products.

    LG’s solar panel’s high efficiency comes in part from its Cello technology, which increases its power output and reliability making it one of the most powerful and versatile modules in the market. It also boasts a sleek and sophisticated design that is aesthetically pleasing and suitable for any rooftop. The newer LG Neon 2 BiFacial module is designed to absorb irradiance not only from the front but also the rear of its NeON cell by using a transparent back sheet. It is also capable of generating energy from the Modules, front and rear sides allowing up to 30% more energy generation than standard PV Modules.

    LG Solar Module has been offering superior solar products in recent years. The trusted LG brand provides innovative products and has built a reputation on quality and reliability like no other.

Choosing the correct air-conditioner for your home

Choosing the Correct BTUs

Room size is key to identifying the correct BTUs of your air-conditioning but let’s backtrack a little. What is BTU and how do I know which one to choose? This is the most common question we get as an enquiry from our customers, so let’s address this one first.

BTU means British Thermal Unit. It is a measurement scale for thermal energy (also known as heat). Therefore, a Thermal Unit is a measurement for an amount of heat. The BTU of your air-conditioning refers to the amount of Thermal Units an air-conditioning unit can remove from or add to the air in 1 hour. Another definition of one BTU is equal to the amount of energy used to raise the temperature of one pound of water one-degree Fahrenheit.

So the more BTUs the air-conditioner has, the quicker it can cool or heat a room. Of course, this depends on the size of your room. This is why we always ask for your room dimensions and scope to understand how many BTUs are needed. You don’t want an air-condition to take 1 whole hour to warm up your room so you need to choose the right BTUs to cool your room quicker.

It’s important that you get the right BTUs for your space because this also extends the life of your air-conditioning making sure it doesn’t overcool itself or overwork itself. Both will reduce your unit’s lifespan.

It sounds complicated, so we have created a simple calculator that works out which BTU you need. You will find a link to this in our website. You can check out the automatic BTU calculator here:

http://btmalta.com/5/129/products/Wall-Mounted-Type-DC-Inverter-Bora

These benchmarks often work, however there may be other external factors that affect the BTU that you require. For instance, if you live in a penthouse or top floor apartment in Malta, it is likely that your roof will get very warm at certain times of the day and actually radiates heat from the ceiling into you living space. In this case, you will require a higher BTU to compensate for the heat generated by the sun’s rays onto your roof. Our BTU calculator has a section “How is the Room Insulation” for this compensation, ie if a room is upper floor, kitchen etc.

High Efficiency and Energy Saving

All Gree Air-conditioning Units are highly efficient and energy saving. This means that the units need less electricity to run and uses the energy in an efficient way, possibly more than most a/c’s on the market, which translates into faster cooling for you. Your Gree a/c will keep your room temperature precisely as you set it, whilst staying as energy efficient as possible. The temperature (certain models) is read from the remote, meaning that the temperature is regulated based on where YOU are and not where the air-conditioning unit is fitted. This results in better temperature control meaning you don’t have to keep switching it on and off manually because you get too cold or too hot.
The main technology for energy saving is electric motors DC Inverter driving technology. Achieving the ideal performance and consumption, compared to conventional fixed speed motors (on-off), the DC Inverter driving type results in adjusting consumption to the required conditions, thus saving valuable energy.
The new patented driving technology, advanced solely by Gree, further exploits the low frequencies of rotation of the compressor, DC Inverter type, allowing the unit to operate even with rotational frequency of 1 Hz (very low). This means that the compressor does not stop, even after reaching the desired temperature, which results in further reducing intensive starts – stops and introducing new standards in comfort and reliability.

Health

GREE Air Conditioners come with a range of allergy filters. They are ideal for people with asthma or allergies. The Gree Silver ION filter kills 99% of bacteria with its “Cold Plasma” filters and eliminates up to 95% of carcinogenic agents. It also absorbs pet odours and other smells, very effectively.

High density filters prevent dust and pollen from entering into the unit. The auto clean feature makes sure that your air-conditioning unit cleans itself every time you switch it off by leaving the fan unit run for a short time to dry off the moisture. This reduces the build-up of bacteria over time, avoiding smells often produced by older air-conditioning models. In fact, you will notice your Gree A/C running a little longer after you press the off button, while it cleans itself and dries out all the filters and radiators.

If you are extremely sensitive to smells or suffer from asthma you can also order extra filters specifically to suit your needs.

Aesthetic Design

Depending on where your A/C is going to be installed, you may want to consider its design. A/Cs with panels and vents tend to get dirty and look old very quickly. Gree A/C units offers beautiful seamless designs and some of them have no display – it lights up through the panel and disappears when you switch it off giving you a seamless look that will stand the test of time and look modern even in 10 years’ time. You could also turn off the led display if it is too bright at night. BT Commercial is considered to have in stock various designs including a small range of modern designer units that are typically installed in very modern luxury apartments.

Our sales team and installation specialists at BT Commercial will also help you to plan the design of the installation, including any electrical and plumbing setups.

 Repairs and Maintenance

BT Commercial has a strong after-sales department where our friendly staff will periodically remind you that your air-conditioning unit is due for a service. A service costs very little and assures that your a/c is kept operating at optimum levels. We also make sure that your filters are in good condition so that your unit stays free of bacteria, dust and allergens at all times.

If something goes wrong with your a/c, it will display an error code. This will indicate to our technician exactly what part to bring with him to make the repair. This means that we can repair your unit with only one visit instead of two. Making repairs faster and more efficient by reducing the chance of human error and also repairs will be more on time.

Programmes, Wifi Access and Sleep Curve

With the Gree Sleep Curve, you can set the smart sleep programme which tells the a/c unit the exact temperature you want in degree slots. You can also programme it in a way that reduces the noise level for night time or when babies are asleep.

One of the latest innovations is the wi-fi access control. This enables you to control and switch on or off you’re a/c unit from your smart device, either via wi-fi or externally via 3g. The advantage of this being that you can start the a/c unit before getting home, so that when you arrive home, you will find a cool place.

Gree Air Purification & Dehumidification

Gree Air Purification

 Do you ever catch yourself sneezing over and over or feel like your sinus headaches are becoming more regular for no apparent reason? Do your eyes feel irritated or simply fatigued? These could all be the result of low air quality in your home.

By low air quality we mean that the air will contain unnatural levels of small gas emissions that come from your TV, Computer, printer or other similar devices. These are very common and few people know that with normal use even every day devices emit small amounts of chemicals and gases into the air.

Your home could also have other forms of allergens such as pollen or dust, the worst form of which is exhaust dust from a nearby streets or simply by living in a village that gets traffic for a few hours a day.

If you’re forced to keep your doors and windows shut, due to outside factors, chances are that you need an air purifier because you’re not letting in enough pure air or worse when you open your windows you’re letting in pollutants, flower pollens or other allergen-rich chemicals. You may also need one if you like to keep your house sparkling clean but end up with chemical and cleaning product smells in your home very often.

An air purifier filters the air around you to help you feel better and reduce reactions to your environment. It is especially useful if you have pets or are exposed to second hand smoke. It’s also ideal for people with asthma and allergies. It helps people who live with a sick person and need to have constant air cleaning to avoid contagion.

Most paediatricians will also recommend these units as a solution for a new born congested breathing especially in the case when someone suffers chronic respiratory conditions. They can help ease congestion and promote a good nights’ sleep.

Air purification products have been on the market for many years and yet not many know how effective they can be. Signs like snoring, red eyes can be an indication that you may need air purification.

They are also useful if you are a smoker so that when you return indoors near your children after smoking, the odours and harmful substances you carry with you on your clothing are reduced by the air purifier.

 

So what does an air purifier actually do?

 An air purifier filters the air around you. It ionises (charges) the allergens and makes them heavy taking them out of the air. This means that most of the particles are removed and you will not breathe them in anymore.

Gree air purifiers auto detect air quality changes and adjust the fan speed accordingly. This means that if there is a sudden change in air quality perhaps, an increase in dust, your air purifier will work harder until the air quality is improved again.

The Gree purifier can also be used as a humidifier. This is especially useful for young children and infants to promote easy breathing during sleep. It also helps people with a dry cough. A dry environment can also create skin problems especially if you already suffer from dry skin.

Although it looks like a simple device and runs itself smoothly by itself, an air purifier has quite a few features. It has a timer that allows you to regulate its use, it has a dust and odour detector and automatically regulates its fan which has various settings to quickly clean out what it senses.

The air purifier has 3 modes:

Filter mode is when active filtration such as Ion, cotton, HIMOP, HEPA, carbon and anion filters are doing the air cleaning.  Humidification is also part of the cycle.

Static mode is basic filtration, plus static dust cleaning.

Combination Mode is the combination of Filter mode and Static mode.

Filter changes – The Gree air purifier also comes with a handy filter monitoring system. Apart from auto-cleaning its filters, it also notifies you of the condition of your filters and lets you know when they need changing, so that you are always protected when you need to be.

BT Commercial have in stock the Aqua Series.

Dehumidifiers

 

Humidity problems? Although predominant in houses of character in Malta, are also common in modern properties often appearing as bubbling paint or mould patches along walls and ceilings.

Humid environments make it easy for mould and mildew to spread. These release spores into the environment and are especially harmful to children but can also cause respiratory problems in adults. A humid environment is also a breeding ground for microbes.

Mouldy environments have been connected to aggravated allergic reactions and more frequent asthma attacks. The problem immediately gets worse if you introduce ventilation because if mould and mildew get into your ventilation systems you have a multiplier effect that can result in poor health.

High humidity will also damage your walls and your house. It could deteriorate your electrical installation and cause droplets of humidity inside your electrical systems causing your ‘salva-vita’ to trip often. Moreover, electrical appliances can be damaged with high humidity.

A quick and effective solution to this problem is a good quality dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers do exactly what they promise, they take water out of the air.

Dehumidifiers can work in two ways. They can be connected directly to a drain or they can simply be used as standalone and require emptying when the tank is full. A dehumidifier will consistently work to remove humidity from the air. This will immediately result in a warmer home in the winter. Water in the air cools the atmosphere causing the room temperature to drop further in the winter. You will notice an immediately warmer room temperature if humidity has been causing you to get very cold in the winter.

The Gree Diamond Series has some great features that allow you to keep the appliance running at optimal performance. It monitors the use of its health filters and lets you know when they need changing, It also has self-diagnosis built-in and will show you the error type on its display when something malfunctions, making it much easier to repair or finding faults.

It also comes with overflow protection, which means that it can never overflow and flood your home; a problem often caused by cheaper dehumidifiers. This Gree dehumidifier is also energy efficient and has a stand by function that reduces consumption to an absolute minimum. This function is used when the tank is full and nobody is around to empty it.

BT Commercial have in stock two models, Petal Series and Daisy Series.

Bosch Water Heaters

Bosch Brand 

Bosch is a reliable German Brand. For over 100 years, the Bosch brand has stood for best-in-class technology, innovation, reliability and quality. In Malta you can find high-quality durable Solar Water Heaters, Gas Water Heaters and Electrical Water Heaters made by Bosch.

All Bosch items stocked, have between 2 to 5 years guarantee and are backed up with high-quality customer service from BT Commercial. Here’s all you need to know about the Bosch ranges that we have in stock.

Our Bosch range of water heaters includes Gas, Electrical and Solar Powered water heaters.

Gas Water Heaters

The Bosch Gas water heater is tankless and uses instant heating technology. It’s economical and fast to heat up. On-demand heating is great because you don’t run out of hot water (unless you run out of gas or water).

It warms up the water instantly as it flows through it and therefore doesn’t need to be switched on earlier, this also saves electricity. Gas water heater keeps giving you the same constant temperature as long as they run and are provided with a supply of gas, as opposed to electrical water heaters that tend to slowly cool off the water flow as the tank empties.

A regular domestic gas cylinder is required to run it and will give you approximately double the hot water for your buck. Flow rate is 11 litres, 14 litres or 18 litres per minute. This is the amount of water it manages to heat up as it flows through. The various capacities are important because an 11 litre, for example, may be able to supply a shower or a sink tap however if you have the water heater attached to more outputs that run simultaneously, you may require14 or 18 litre flow.

Your choice would depend on how much you want to use at any one time. The main disadvantage is that of course, you need to have a gas bottle properly aired and housed. Often this will be fitted outdoors and wired through, by not more than 6 meters of pipe length (preferably copper pipe).

Gas water heaters typically use less energy and cost less to run – you can expect a saving of around 50% when compared to an electric water heater, although you should note that gas models cost more at the time of purchase. Around €250 more for the smaller models and up to €300 more for the larger models.

Bosch Electrical Water Heaters

Although it is the cheapest kind of water heater and most costly to run, this type of water heater is usually the least durable. Bosch, however, has worked hard to develop an entry-level electrical water heater that is more durable. Most Bosch models come with an electrical display that takes custom settings. The electrical display makes sure that you have full control of the settings which allows you to use it in a way that saves on daily consumption.

An immersed element water heater has some disadvantages. Calcium develops fast on the element and this immediately reduces the heating efficiency of the water heater, therefore requiring more power to reach the same water temperature.

Dry contact water heaters (reversible dry) have a heater element that is inside a glass-lined metal tube that keeps the filament dry at all times. The non-immersed element water heaters are more durable simply because the element is housed within a metal dome so it does not come into contact with water and therefore doesn’t corrode. Although they are around 60 to 100 Euro more expensive depending on the capacity, they also have a longer lifespan of up to 40% more durability.

Water tanks contain a special feature to protect them against overheating. A safety valve protects against the tank emptying in the case of closure of tap water supply and to release water in case of an over-increase in pressure.

Magnesium anode protection also provides additional protection to the steel tank by focusing the harmful electrolytic process from the inner water tank towards the anode. This is called the sacrificial anode which protects the inner tank from corrosion and the heater element. The anode needs to be changed every 2 years as stipulated in the user’s manual. At BT Commercial, we strongly recommend our customers to service the water heater regularly so the anode is changed in time to prolong the life of your water heater.

An Internal Glass Lining is also added all around to avoid corrosion of the steel. Since there is no water contact with the external steel, this prolongs the life of the water heater. The Bosch electric water heater has a 32mm high energy efficiency insulation to reduce heat losses thereby conserving energy. Although Bosch innovate and take care of all the details to extend the life of your water heaters, they still offer a 5 year guarantee which BT Commercial honors for all its customers. Terms and conditions apply.

Solar Water Heaters.

The greenest of all options available, solar water heaters are a must-have in Malta, if you can afford one or are eligible to apply for a government grant to help fund it.

Solar heaters are filled with a liquid, generally called glycol, this goes around the outer side of the tank and it heats up the water. Water is heated by what is called a  thermosiphon effect, which is a method of passive heat exchange based on natural convection, which circulates a fluid without the necessity of a mechanical pump. Thermo-siphoning is used for the circulation of liquids and volatile gases in heating and cooling applications such as heat pumps, water heaters, boilers and furnaces. This means that over the years solar water heaters tend to lose little or no efficiency.

Solar water heaters cost you nothing to run and in Malta they can be used all year round, as opposed to most other European countries that have to couple it with a regular water heater for the colder months. The system has a backup heater element, for when it is very cloudy or when the water has been used up.

A solar water heater can reduce your electricity bill by as much as 50%. It is the greenest option because solar water heaters do not produce any emissions and are run by a limitless source of energy; the sun. Modern technology is very efficient at turning sunlight into heat making even mildly sunny days enough to run your system on just solar power. Solar water heaters come in various sizes and can be mounted in a variety of spaces as long as they are mostly in the sun. They can also work in partly shaded environments. A specialized technician from BT Commercial will visit your home and make sure that the size you require can be fitted appropriately to give you efficient heating.

The most common restriction to size is roof space, so this may dictate the model that you can choose. Various types of mounts exist and we can adapt them to your particular situation. Bosch supply solar water heaters for both domestic and commercial use.

We choose Bosch because we believe in quality products and good service. The lifespan of a Bosch solar water heater is expected to be approximately 10 to15 years. Regular servicing will increase its lifespan and make sure it runs efficiently for a long time.10 to 15 years is quite a long time and therefore the water heater needs to be looked at every 2 years. Normally the water heater would just require a top up of glycol to keep it running efficiently however a change in a node will prolong the life of the inner tank. A service costs approximately around €80.00.

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