Maximising potential for PVs
Harnessing energy from the sun for heating and electricity
Consider how the building form supports the capture of renewable energy, such as south facing roofs for PV. Utilise principles of passive solar design to reduce winter heating load, limit summertime overheating and implement efficient natural ventilation where possible.
Solar photovoltaics (PV) are ideally suited to buildings
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. They are usually the most appropriate form of renewable energy generation for a building as they are simple, mature and durable technology and can be installed on both roofs and suitable facades.
Roof design maximises solar photovoltaic energy generation
By considering solar photovoltaics at the very earliest of design stages, it’s possible to optimise roof shape and orientation to maximise solar photovoltaic output – in turn maximising returns for occupants. How well a roof space is designed and utilised can be expressed in kWh of energy generated per m2 of building footprint.
Renewable energy generation offers many benefits
Generating electricity at the point of use offers several advantages, including:
- provision of cheap electricity close to demand that can offset electricity consumption at full retail price,
- the ability to directly power building systems or charge electric vehicles from rooftop solar energy, and
- immediate decarbonisation of electricity supplies (rather than having to wait for the UK grid to decarbonise)..
Even if PVs are not proposed for current scheme, the design should be maximised to enable installation of PVs in the future.
- For North South pitched roofs, move ridgeline to create asymmetric pitch with majority South facing
- For mono-pitched roofs, slope roof to face South
- For flat roofs, design for East/West concertina PV array as opposed to North South
Page updated: 27/09/2022