In 2015 I moved into a new house which at the time was using a whopping 85 kWh/day on average in winter and not getting below 45kWh/day across most of the year. I straight away installed a large 10 kW solar pv array. A lot of this power was being exported to the grid during the day and we were still using a lot at other times. I wanted to try and use more of the power I was making, this posts tracks the journey through that process.
The apps listed below let you track the path of the sun on any day of the year from any location. This allows you to understand how much sun will hit your building and assess the effects of shading from neighbouring buildings or trees.
Photovoltaic solar panels where ever possible should form part of any green renovation.
What size installation?
- Residential roof mounted photovoltaic systems typically start at 1.5kW and range up to 5kW
- Ideally you would install a system which had an average annual production the same as your power consumption.
- The ATA have created Sunulator, a spreadsheet tool allowing you to model the financial effect of different size solar systems. The tool includes the ability to import historical usage data from your energy provider and makes allowance for various electricity providers pricing tariffs.
- Before deciding to install larger arrays, consider how much the equivalent spend would allow you to reduce your consumption by? For example installation of solar hot water, energy efficient lighting, draft sealing, thermal curtains, solar air heaters.