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Case Study

Solar PV - Carron Crescent, Glasgow

As part of the District Heat Network installed during phase two of our ongoing large-scale renewable programme with our client NG Homes, Easy Heat Systems delivered a 45kW solar PV system to offset the electricity demand of the air source heat pump driven district heating system. The solar PV arrays feed back into the district heating system’s power supply, contributing to the energy requirements. This initiative demonstrates Easy Heat Systems and North Glasgow Homes’ commitment to sustainable energy solutions and efficient inner-city developments.

The district heating system required a substantial electrical input of 78,458 kWh to generate the 243,221 kWh of heating and hot water required for the 92 homes on the district heating scheme. Meeting this newly created energy demand for district heating systems was the primary concern for North Glasgow Homes, in addition to reducing the operational expenses of the heat network.

The primary challenge of this project was the limited space available for installing the rooftop solar PV arrays. Mitigating this challenge involved strategic placement and optimization of the solar PV arrays to ensure maximum energy generation while maintaining safety and operational clearances.

The project also needed carefully coordinated deliveries and crane hire to ensure all essential equipment could be seamlessly hoisted onto the roofs within a single day. This presented unique project logistics, requiring temporary road closures and permissions from railway authorities. Connecting the solar PV arrays to the district heating system also required intricate cabling routes through building risers down to ground level, and underground routing to the plant room’s electrical supply.

Our solution was to install three 15kW solar PV systems across the three available roof spaces:

  • Each tower block roof accommodates 32 JA Solar panels, each with a power rating of 495W, resulting in 15.84kW installed capacity solar PV array on each tower block. The collective scheme integrates 96 panels, forming a substantial 47.52kW roof array across the three tower blocks.
  • The solar energy conversion is facilitated by SMA Tripower 15000TL-30 Inverters. These advanced units convert DC to AC seamlessly, delivering a total peak transformation capacity of 45kW to integrate solar energy into the district heating system’s infrastructure.
  • The projections from our modelling software estimate that in year one the system will produce 42,090 kWh of energy generation. The model predicts 45% (approximately 16,850 kWh) of this output will be direct on-site consumption by the district heating system. At the clients 25p per kWh purchase cost, this represents a saving of approximately £4,200 per year.
  • The surplus energy, constituting the remaining generated output, is sold back to the grid further offsetting operational costs by £3,785 per year.
  • The solar PV system alone therefore represents a total saving of £7,985 in heating costs per year.

The North Glasgow Homes solar PV project presented a multifaceted challenge that demanded a well-designed and thought out approach. Strategic planning, technical acumen, and effective stakeholder collaboration allowed Easy Heat Systems to overcome this project’s unique challenges.

The resulting District Heat Network featuring Air Source Heat Pumps and a Solar PV array delivers a sustainable energy solution, with seamless integration between renewable technologies in an inner-city setting

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