A Feasibility Analysis of Photovoltaic Solar Power for Small Communities in Ireland

Flood, Enda; McDonnell, K.; Murphy, F.; Devlin, G.
January 2011
Open Renewable Energy Journal;2011, Vol. 4, p78
Academic Journal
Photovoltaic power generation is one of the cleanest sources for producing renewable energy, however to date its up take on the Irish renewable energy market has been extremely low. Through research carried out on regions where these technologies are widely used and developed, this project investigates the feasibility of using photovoltaic systems to generate power under Irish climatic conditions. This involved a comparative investigation between solar insolation in Ireland and in regions currently using Photovoltaic systems. This projects main aim was to identify if photovoltaic systems were a feasible source of power generation for a sustainable community of 130 eco-friendly homes based on the fact that they are built to B1 energy rating standards. B1 implies an energy use of between 75kwh/m²/yr and 100kwh/m²/yr. Results showed that houses of 140 m² have a PV area requirements ranging from 20 m² - 26 m², while the larger live/work units of 195 m² have an area requirement of 27 m² - 36 m². While the communal solar park has an area requirement of 2665 m² - 3553 m² without spacing, this however will differ when space requirements are calculated to prevent overshadowing. The results obtained prove that such systems are feasible, however may be dependent on governmental support or grants. The installation of such a system would not only provide benefits to the members of this eco-village through production of on-site energy, but also to national legislation relating to reduced CO2 emissions and increases in the percentage share of renewables in gross national electricity consumption. The results suggest that this system could produce between 1431000 - 1908000 kWh per year, enough to sufficiently supply the community, while producing excess energy for three-quarters of the year, while displacing between 283338 - 377784 kg/ CO2/yr.


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