Hockerton Housing Project

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Batchedhockerton1Wind & Sun designed and installed the PV system

Module type: BP Solar BP585 (90 x 85Wp) ; Inverters: 6 x SMA SWR-1100E (1.1kW) Wind turbine: Proven WT6000 (6.0kW)  Inverters: 2 x SMA WWR-2500 (2.5kW)

The Hockerton Housing Project in Nottinghamshire is the UK's first earth sheltered, self-sufficient ecological housing development. Project members live a holistic way of life in harmony with the environment, in which all ecological impacts have been considered and accounted for.
The residents of the five houses generate their own clean energy, harvest their own water and recycle waste materials causing no pollution or carbon dioxide emissions. The houses are amongst the most energy efficient, purpose built dwellings In Europe. They were designed by Brenda & Robert Vale (See The Autonomous House) but were originally built without any renewables. Wind & Sun had been involved in the project through their connections with the Vales since it’s inception and were successful in helping them obtain funding for PV systems as part of the DTI Sustainable Energy Programme – PV Domestic Field Trial.

The PV System

Batchedhockerton3The PV system consists of six identical 1.275 kWp PV arrays, each consisting of 15 x BP Solar BP585 modules connected to SMA Sunny Boy SWR 1100E inverters.  The peak output is 7.65 kW, or 85W peak from each of the 90 panels.

Batchedhockerton2The system was installed in August 2002. The Warranty is 10 years to 90% and 25 years to 80% of minimum rated power.  Orientation of the buildings and the arrays is SSW.

The majority of modules (76) are mounted along the conservatory parapet using flat roof mounts with an inclination of 25 deg. These are black plastic tubs filled with stone ballast. In addition 7 are mounted on each end of the development on a galvanized steel framework fastened to concrete paving slabs with an inclination of 30 deg.

The most obvious lesson learnt is that the system has proved to be very reliable with very little maintenance necessary. Visually the PV’s have been accepted by the residents and are considered to add to the houses appearance from the front of the properties. The electricity produced has been above the predicted system yield which gives a feel good factor to the residents.

The work was carried out by ‘Wind & Sun’ with ‘Hockerton Housing Project Trading ltd’. Monitoring equipment was installed by ‘SunDog Ltd’.