Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mirrors for the PV panels

14 Sept: Thinking about the idea of mirrors on the Sunboxes, I toyed with the idea of putting mirrors at the north end of the PV Array. It could be done with relative ease (apart from being so high on a ladder) using 1300x500 rectangles of very shiny aluminium sheet, riveted into the strong long edge extrusion of the PV panels.

  Here is a rendering of how it would look from the South, the sun azimuth at midday. It would increase the height of my installation above the 200mm that gets free Planning Permission - but I know that Rushcliffe are supportive of the solar experiments. 

The harvest from our roof is very poor in Winter because of Sharphill and Wilford Hill behind the house. Our sunrise is a whole hour later than for people on flat ground, and the sunset correspondingly earlier. The idea is to provide a diffuse back glow when the Sun is at a very low angle in the winter. This view here is from the due south. It would not work if the mirrors were optically perfect, but aluminium is brightly scattering. 

I am aware that the end panels could get more advantage. I asked EvoEnergy about this. They point out that as the panels are string as a direct current series, they have to work equally, so the panels working better at the end would have less effect than I hope. If one panel has a shadow on it, e.g. my TV Aerial at the south end casting a shadow after 1pm, the whole string can be affected.

I suppose that if the mirror was the same height as the length of the panels, i.e. 9 metres, we might be talking... but I would have a very big planning application problem ! :)

It is very unlikely I will do this, but I would still like to know Sharp's idea about it. EvoEnergy will send them the rendering for an opinion. The other issue is that of warranty - first it is an alteration by someone who is not an unauthorised installer. Secondly, although the side extrusion has no electrical effect and is strong enough to be drilled, perhaps there is a chance of wind damage in extreme wind)

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