I had my first opportunity to go back to Lindisfarne Castle since the PV panels were installed in February 2012. It was good to hear that even though the panels have only been working for 10 months, they have already generated over 7200 kWh – Projecting this to 12 months, the panels will contribute around 9% towards the electrical load of the Castle and that’s despite the gloomy summer!
Being a grade1 listed building the planning consent required that the PV panels could not be seen from ground level so they are hidden behind the roof parapet. There are 3 arrays, each of 16 panels, a total of just over 11kWp (kilowatt-peak). The array is split into 3 to reduce the impact when the chimney or parapet cast a shadow on the panel. Shadows can significantly reduce the output….the shadow is like squeezing a hose-pipe and stopping the water flowing through it.
It was hoped that due to their angled mounting, the panels would be relatively self-cleaning, but the local bird population, particularly pigeons have added significantly to the challenges of keeping the panels clean to ensure continuing good performance from the installation – hence the plastic owl.
PS Have you spotted the owl? He was very camera shy