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Edderton Place, Glasgow

Edderton Place, 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 Edderton 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 analysed in this case study is on Edderton Place, Easterhouse. It is a detached bungalow, home to two occupants who have an estimated annual electricity consumption of 3,300kWh.

The property faces -5.5° southeast which is an optimum orientation for PV panels. The roof area is 73.5m², with a pitch of 33°.

 

Four PV system options were explored - the optimum solution is shown below.

 

Option 4

Solar Panel Technology

Monocrystalline

Number of Modules

36

Power (wp) per module

255

Total Power (kW)

9.2

Number of inverters

1

Size

9kW

Strings

3 x 12

Produced Energy (kWh/yr)

7,182

Specific Production (kWh/kWp/ year)

782

 

This preferred option is greater than 4kWp which means it is not eligible for the highest FIT rate. However, it produces more power, and would allow excess electricity to be sold back to the grid. An estimated 50% of the electricity generated could be sold back to the grid at 3.1p per kWh. The payback period is 9 years. A total profit of around £160k could be achieved in 25 years.

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.

 

In this study, a larger installation was considered as although it meant the FIT rate available is less attractive, the excess electricity could be sold back to the grid, resulting in a £160k profit over 25 years.

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