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Ware Road, Glasgow

Ware 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 Ware 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 Ware Road is in the northeast of Easterhouse. The building is constructed of dense brick and has a timber framed roof with slates.  The property in question is an end of terrace, with an exposed east facing wall. The property has one flat at ground floor and one on the first floor. The electricity demand was estimated to be 3,300kWh/year/flat.

 

The building is orientated to the southeast, at 23° from south. The roof pitch is 33°. The total roof area is 43m2 with no immediate obstructions which might cause shading. There are small trees nearby which would need to be maintained to ensure they do not cause shading of the PV installation.

Four PV system options were explored.

 

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Solar Panel Technology (crystalline)

Poly

Poly

Poly

Mono

Number of Modules

32

32

20

22

Power (wp) per module

125

125

175

180

Total Power (kW)

4.0

4.0

3.5

4.0

Number of inverters

1

1

1

1

Size

3.8kW

3.8kW

3.3kW

3.8kW

Strings

2 x 16

2 x 16

2 x 10

2 x 11

Produced Energy (kWh/yr)

2,967

2,943

2,559

2,888

Specific Production (kWh/kWp/year)

742

736

731

729

 

The preferred solution is Option 1. The approximate annual energy production of 3,000kWh would fully cover the electricity demand for one of the flats. Alternatively, the electricity produced could be split between both flats, resulting in around a 50% reduction in energy bills.

The initial capital cost for the installation  is around £16,000, including taxes and installation. The payback period is around 11 years. An estimated profit of almost £60,000 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

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