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)..

Future adaptability

Even if PVs are not proposed for current scheme, the design should be maximised to enable installation of PVs in the future.

Design Actions

  • 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

Make the most of the Essex Design Guide, register today

As well as ensuring you are always in the know about future changes and updates to the Essex Design Guide, registering with us will enable to you to add and manage bookmarks throughout the site, so your most-used areas of the guide are always easy to find.

Register for updates

© 2024 Copyright Essex County Council. All rights reserved.