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Arnisdale Road, Glasgow

Arnisdale Road, Glasgow

Solar PV feasibility study for homes in the Greater Easterhouse area of Glasgow

Overview

Easthall Park Housing Co-operative (EHPH) wanted to examine the possibility of installing solar photovoltaic panels (PVs) to approximately 100 homes in the Greater Easterhouse area of Glasgow, including this property in Arnisdale Road. The benefits of this technology would be reduced electricity costs for their tenants, thus tackling fuel poverty, and reduced CO­2 emissions.

The Scottish Energy Centre, part of the Institute of Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier University were asked to undertake a feasibility study. The study considered the location and types of PV panels to maximise solar gain; how PV might link with energy saving measures; and the benefits of feed in tariff (FIT) that might be realised.

Approach

The Easterhouse area of Glasgow is a post-war suburb located to the east of the city. Construction began in the area in the mid 1950’s. Easthall Park Housing Co-operative (EHPH) is a fully mutual housing co-op and a not for profit Registered Social Landlord (RSL).

Scottish Energy Centre conducted an initial survey of the whole housing stock in the study area. A design tool, PVSyst, was used to establish the economic and technical feasibility of PV installations. For further information on PV systems, please see section 3 in the full case study (download on the right).

The tool needs the following information to obtain accurate results:

  • Tilt of pitched roof
  • Orientation of roof
  • The amount of output power required
  • The type of PV panels to be used

 

Other considerations include potential shading of the PV panels, FIT restraints and possible issues with grid connections.

Performance

The Arnisdale Road property is a three storey house, where the attic has been used as bedroom accommodation. It is of timber frame construction with brick infill. It is estimated to consume 4,200kWh/year.

The front elevation of the house faces 31° southwest - an optimum orientation for solar panels. The suitable roof area is 37.7m² and it is pitched at 40° from the horizontal.

Three PV system options were explored.

 

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Solar Panel Technology

Mono- crystalline

Poly- crystalline

Mono- crystalline

Number of Modules

21

16

16

Power (wp) per module

180

230

240

Total Power (kW)

2.8

3.7

3.8

Number of inverters

1

1

1

Size

3.3kW

3.3kW

3.8kW

Strings

3 x 7

2 x 8

2 x 8

Produced Energy (kWh/yr)

2,828

2,760

2,849

Specific Production (kWh/kWp/ year)

748

750

742

 

The preferred solution is Option 3 which would provide an estimated 2,849kWh annual output. There is a high capital cost for the installation but the payback period is 12 years. This considers the initial cost, plus maintenance and inverter replacement.

Lessons

Electricity demand for the study was estimated in lieu of accurate figures being available. If considering a PV installation, accurate figures would be required to ensure the system is appropriately sized.  

The study highlights the essential constraints that must be considered in solar PV design –

  • physical constraints: roof size, orientation and tilt;
  • financial constraints: FIT provision; and
  • environmental constraints: shading.

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Case Study

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