Rushcliffe Solar

Rushcliffe Solar started as a Transition West Bridgford campaign to encourage greater use of Photovoltaic home power generation systems in Rushcliffe borough, but we are always willing to answer an enquiry from other towns in the region. There are many buildings and entire streets with roofs which have a good view of the Sun and could produce power for the Grid and Income for the occupants. Hit the You Enquire tab to get a free appraisal of the photovoltaic potential for your building. Email:
If you are thinking about it, do not be put off by recent changes in the tariff!: Since April 2012, the tariff was reduced to 21 pence/unit and ones on poorly insulated buildings get only 9 pence/unit. There have been further reductions since. Use the Expertsure calculator to check out your house and see if it is still worth doing.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

An example of Photovoltaic power!

David NC writes, Dec 31: Well I am setting an example with (as far as I know) the largest domestic PV installation in Rushcliffe.
I saw the evidence of the grant and the new April 2010 tariffs and realised that this is a wonderful opportunity. So I now will get totally free energy, all year round, including my heating and hotwater.
The Solar Roof is made of 22 Sharp 180W panels facing East-South-East, so gets most of its power in the morning, and should generate 2800kWhr over the entire year. If I had the same number of panels facing due south, I could expect 3300kWhr. Either of those figures are more than the average annual power requirements of a typical British house and family - but it can generate enough revenue to pay the entire heating costs too!
The result of the power generation plus a record of daily and monthly power and temperatures are published to the internet, and you can see it at
The black panels you see with the scaffolding are Thermal Panels: this is a self build project, for me to put solar heat 48metres deep under the house, for my heatpump to retrieve later. The purpose of this is research into ways to improve the Coefficient of Performance of the heatpump. You can read more about this in the house blog:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Welcome to Rushcliffe Solar!

Welcome to Rushcliffe Solar!
Dec 1: Members of West Bridgford Transition went to Rushcliffe Borough Council to present an idea about making a Solar Initiative in the borough. David Nicholson-Cole went with Karina Wells and Hugh McClintock. We met three of the Sustainability team, and presented a powerpoint explaining the ideas.

 David NC writes: "I am doing a pilot study, developing a methodology for what could be a larger project, done by volunteers. I am evolving a Filemaker database structure, with the fields that would be required such as area, orientation, location. We could create a website that people could go to, to get information and register their interest."

David is using Map-Photo analysis, combining Googlemaps and aerial photography, and Digimap vectorised OS plans to map the roofs of West Bridgford, (and a bit of local knowledge) assessing them for building type, roof angle, kilo-wattage that could be installed. Main buildings, plus streets, plus some individual houses. Using local knowledge wherever possible, and with a bit of hard work and persistence, identifying 500-1000 prime targets for PV generation. Nottingham Forest, Rushcliffe CC, Notts County Hall, ASDA, the Tennis Centre, Trent Bridge CC, some of the churches, and suchlike are all good for larger installations. But then whole streets have house that are suitable… and many streets have hipped roofs in which none of the houses are suitable.

The end result would be to have an informative website, and to write a very clear colour leaflet setting out the benefits, payback and costs, and then an individual form letter from the database to the householders declaring that their property has been identified in the research project as extremely suitable, and inviting them to ask for further details with a view to having their roof done (with a grant if before April 2010).

To keep this simple, this project is focused on Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – which needs clear roofs. PV is answering the longer term need which is to reduce coal and gas burning for grid electricity - it is essential in the move to 'Carbon-zero' buildings.

[PV is different from Solar thermal which can be fitted with little 2 sqm panels on any roof, and usefully supplements existing heating systems.]

Location - check your location