About this group
Henley Community Solar Project
Traditional solar thermal systems - generating hot water from the sun - offer a relatively poor return on investment. An installation costing several thousand pounds often saves little more than fifty pounds a year at current energy prices.
Henley in Transition has initiated a community project to install low cost solar thermal systems in all kinds of homes.
We held an initial meeting of eighty interested people where the project was introduced and potential models for a community approach discussed, and it was agreed to form a Solar Project Group. This group, working closely with Henley Inventors Club, has now developed and installed the prototype of a very low cost system. We have had to design innovative new technologies to get over a number of issues, but the system is successfully heating water as you read this (or will when the sun comes out). It is not Wallace and Gromit; all is designed to be compliant with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), building codes and water regulations so that they can be certified at the appropriate time.
We are considering an application for an energyshare grant to finance eight installations in a pioneer group of houses showing a mixture of tenure (social housing, private rented and owner-occupied), conservation status, plumbing and shading/orientation in order to fine-tune the design and the details of community involvement. At the same time the technology will be passed through the MSC registration process and the installations will be verified against building and water regulations.
Once the system and the community approach have been tested in the pioneer group we will have a well documented understanding of the possibilities and pitfalls of the new approach and will offer it out to the wider Henley community through a community owned not for profit entity to manage the manufacture, installation and maintenance of complete systems. . Later, with additional experience under our belts, we will be in a position to share the results of our research with the wider UK community.
Henley in Transition
9th May 2011
please visit http://www.henley-in-transition.org.uk/projects/index.htm to see more about us.