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Wardie Road, Glasgow

Wardie 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 these properties in Wardie 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 property on Wardie Road is in the south of Easterhouse. The building has a timber framed roof with concrete tiles. It holds six, two-bedroom flats. The electricity demand was estimated to be 3,300kWh/year/flat; or 19,800kWh/year for the whole building.

Wardie Road - Easterhouse

© Wardie Road, Scottish Energy Centre

The roof is orientated to the east. The roof pitch is 33°. The total roof area is 88m2, but this cannot be fully optimised as there are some areas of shading from a protruding tower section to the front, and from neighbouring buildings, as the properties are terraced and ‘step-up’ along the street.

Two PV system options were explored.

 

Option 1

Option 2

Solar Panel Technology

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline

Phases

Single

Triple

Number of Modules

40

39

Power (wp) per module

240

240

Total Power (kW)

9.6

9.4

Number of inverters

1

3

Size

10,000W

3,000W each

Strings

2x20

3x1x13

Produced Energy (kWh/yr)

7,659

7,347

Specific Production (kWh/kWp/year)

798

785

 

The preferred solution is Option 1. The modules would cover the roof with the exception of the area which is likely to be shaded.

The estimated 7,659kWh annual output of energy produced would fully cover the electricity demand for two of the flats. It would also cover part of the communal power requirements. Alternatively, the electricity produced could be equally shared between each of the flats, but this would have an additional cost for the installation of extra wiring.

There is a high capital cost for the installation (£32,500), but the payback period is 9 years. An estimated profit of £132,000 is estimated for the end of the 25 years FIT period.  

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

Download this case study (1.61 Mb)