- Free Electricity
- Potentially £000′s tax free income
- Sell energy back to the grid
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Andes Way is a development of 47 flats arranged over three storeys. The development was required by the local planning authority to produce more than 10% of its energy on site from renewable energy sources. In order to produce the required proportion of the energy needs at Andes Way solar water heating had to serve all residents our design team calculated 2.4 sq m of solar collectors would be required for each of the flats.
The main problem with this type of installation as normally on residential installations the collectors would have a dedicated water tank to store the water that has been heated from the sun. This would not be possible on flats due to the lack of space and also its more difficult and unsightly to run the thermal pipes from floor to floor. Live Solar got around this problem by using he onsite plant room water storage that was currently supplying the water to the tenants.
Panels on the roof of the building are grouped to serve flats. A single pair of pipes run from the grouped solar panels and down the water storage. Heated fluid from the solar panels is circulated to the flats in a loop on each floor. Flow balancing components ensure a fair distribution of heat between every dwelling.
In each flat a control module monitors the temperature of the flow in the solar loop to each combi tank in each flat, and opens a valve to allow heat to flow into the solar heating coil in the hot water cylinder only when the temperature in the loop is sufficiently high to add heat. The energy savings are optimised compared to individual solar systems due to “load sharing” – for example if the residents of one flat are on vacation, the other residents get to use their allocation of solar panel area. The number of solar panels required on this type of installation is greatly reduced as it is a more efficient way to heat all the water, as on a standard residential home the Solar panels normally provide too much hot water that the home requires.
Installed area – 75 m2
Carbon offset – 5.2 tonnes/year
Energy saving – 31,000 kWh/year
We recently installed this solar PV panel system on a 3 bedroom detached home in the West Midlands. The customer had a large South facing pitched roof and wanted a large PV panel system in order to take advantage of the feed in tariff.
After an initial site visit with the customer, Live Solar recommended the maximum installation of a 3.69 kWh system. This system consisted of 18 Schuco solar PV panels connected to an inverter with a wireless display console which provides detailed information on the performance of the system anywhere in the property.
The 18 panels were secured in place by two rows of roof rails. You can see the installation of the first few solar PV panels in the photograph above.
Here you can see the inverter which converts the Direct Current (DC) from the panels into usable Alternating Current (AC). The inverter along with all of the other controls and meters were placed conveniently with in a cupboard in the garage.
The inverter has a wireless connection to a display module which can be located anywhere in the property and shows both current and total output of the system, as well as other benefits such as showing how much electricity the home was currently using, a handy device to demonstrate just how much leaving a light on in other rooms will be costing you.
The chart below shows the expected electricity generation of this system and the income that is produced by the feed in tariff. Note also that an electricity saving is made since the client no longer has to pay for the amount of electricity that his system produces.