20 years on and first solar still going strong

Over 2 decades since installation the UK’s first ever grid connected solar PV installation is still going strong.

“The Autonomous House” was designed and built under the eyes of Brenda and Robert Vale who detailed the project in their book originally published in 1975. their purpose was to build a house self sufficient in both energy and water.

Carmichael Browns partner Wind and Sun were commissioned to design and build a solar PV array in 1994 to best suit the property and provide renewable on site energy to the house. Due to the location and orientation of the house the PV array was mounted on a free standing framework in the garden. a total of 36 60W panels were installed onto this frame to give a total power rating of 2.16 kWp. The panels were connected via series strings to a 1.8kW inverter, all power was fed to the house consumer unit with any excess being sent back to the national grid.

Recent tests have confirmed that the Autonmous house’s PV system is still going strong after a full 20 years of steady production. In fact the array was measured at 80% of its initial installation output from 1994, this measurement taken included shading from nearby trees and so it would be reasonable to state that the panel array is actually working above its predicted 20% decrease in efficiency over 2 decades.

In 2009 to reflect a huge step forward in technology Wind and sun decided to replace the original 1.8kW inverter with a SMA Sunnyboy 2500.

In the past 20 years the cost of installed solar PV has dropped dramatically as more and more UK homeowners and businesses see the benefits of energy security and now the added bonus of the Governments Feed In Tariff Scheme takes the return on investment time to around 5 years.

Solar Power has been proving itself a reliable and clean energy source for the past 20 years. To see how solar could benefit you CLICK HERE


This entry was posted on Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 10:20 am and is filed under Energy Efficiency, Feed in Tariff (FiT), Renewable Energy, Solar PV, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.