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Banton Place, Glasgow

Banton Place, Glasgow

Solar PV feasibility study for homes in Banton Place, Easterhouse

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 a row of terraces in Banton Place. 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 property being considered on Banton Place is in a terraced row of similar sized houses, in a cul-de-sac in the south of Easterhouse. All properties in the terrace could easily adopt the results of this analysis, except the two centre properties which as the roof geometry would make placing PV panels difficult.

The Banton Place property is home to a small family, who's annual electricity consumption is around 3,300kWh/year.

The roof is orientated to the southeast, at -5.5° from south. The roof pitch is a standard 33° and the total roof area is 38.5m2.

Three PV system options were explored.

 

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Solar Panel Technology

Polycrystalline

Polycrystalline

Monocrystalline

Number of Modules

16

20

16

Power (wp) per module

230

190

250

Total Power (kW)

3.7

3.8

4.0

Number of inverters

1

1

1

Size

3.3kW

3.3kW

3.8kW

Strings

2 x 8

2 x 10

2 x 8

Produced Energy (kWh/yr)

2,830

2,866

3,031

Specific Production (kWh/kWp/year)

769

754

758

 

The preferred solution is Option 2, which produces almost as much as the family use in a year. There is room for more panels on the roof, but this would increase the total module capacity to above 4kW, which would take the installation into a less favourable FIT rate.

As with all PV installations, there is a high capital cost. Howver, through energy saving and FIT, the payback on initial investment is within 12 years. This includes maintenance and equipment replacement costs. A total potential profit of £55,000 is estimated for the end of the 25 years FIT period. Additionally, 35.17 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved.

Lessons

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.

 

A full life costing is also important for PV installations, as this can show the estimated payback period, as well as total revenue generated and carbon dioxide emissions saved.

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Case Study

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