With the increasing interest in solar photovoltaic power, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) set up several monitor farms to get independent information on the electricity output of the panels.

Five farms agreed to provide data on their PV systems and a full year’s information is now available.

The encouraging news is that all of the systems performed better than expected. The output of electricity was on average over 10 per cent greater than that predicted by the SAPs calculations.

Systems ranged in size from 6.5 kW through 20 kW up to 50 kW, representing the type of installations common on farm businesses.

Further details of this project will be available at a series of four Solar PV Workshops that CAFRE are running in March. These will deal with a range of issues including the electricity output of the system and the payback time on the investment.

The times and locations of the workshops are:

Enniskillen               Tuesday 11 March             7.45 pm

            Ballynahinch           Thursday 13 March           7.45 pm

            Broughshane          Thursday 20 March           7.45 pm

            Strabane                   Wednesday 26 March      7.00 pm

To book a place please, phone 028 9442 6770 or if you require more information, email [email protected].

By David Trimble, Renewable Energy Technologist, CAFRE