Joining the solar revolution

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are going up on our house in mid-Kintyre. We are right by the coast despite being at a high latitude: this helps our solar gain as coastal areas get more sunshine hours than inland areas.

We already have solar thermal for our hot water and these have worked brilliantly over the five years they have been running. They supply a 300l tank and supply us with just about all our hot water from April until October.

I have always held back on the solar PV for two reasons: I was concerned about their output dropping substantially after a few years, plus with our mega-wind speeds (up to 90 mph recorded not long after we moved in) I was concerned about the panels being damaged. A few months ago my fears were allayed and we have gone for a Sunuser installation using Viridian panels (a company in Cambridge) which are certified roofing material and are being built into the roof.

We went for the biggest array possible but due to roof constraint we opted for 9 panels which has an output of 2.25 kw.

This has involved stripping the tiles off the roof. Unfortunately yesterday afternoon squalls blew up in the afternoon and they had to tarp up for the night – not easy when blowing 30mph in freezing winds! But they have managed to fit 6 of the 9 panels today and hopefully I will be able to report a successful commissioning early next week.



About edwardtyler

I live in Kintyre, the long peninsula acting as a natural breakwater for the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow. A Permaculture and Transition practitioner, I am working with fellow community activists to co-create a resilient and vibrant local bioregion.

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