Microgeneration - solar photovoltaic panels
In March 2005 we had 9 square metres of photovoltaic cells installed on our south facing pitched roof. These generate around 1,300 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
On the advice of Solar Century, we chose hybrid silicon type cells, called Sunstation, manufactured by Sanyo. The entire system was installed in half a day (in a snow storm) by Chelsfield Solar. Both of these companies were extremely helpful and reliable.
In April 2013 we added 6 square metres of panels to the flat roof of the single storey extension. This should generate up to 800 kWh per year.
Solar water heating
In October 2008, we had solar water heating system installed on the ground floor flat roof extension. At the time of installation we anticipated that this would reduce our gas consumption by around 1000 kilowatt hours per year.
The solar water heating unit - Vitosol 200-T system manufactured by Viessmann - consists of 20 vacuum tubes which have tiltable absorber surfaces inside, with a total effective absorber area of around 2 square metres. The panels feed a 200 litre insulated hot water tank which is also connected to condensing gas boiler that was installed at the same time. The tank is outside the house in a wooden enclosure, surrounded by much expanded polystyrene lagging. Now, after a few years, we can say that it has achieved our target of supplying about 60% of our hot water over the year (i.e. none in mid winter).