Resident’s Issues and Interactions with Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Energy System in High-Performing Low-Energy Dwellings: A User’s Perspective
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Solar PV systems have become common-place in many cities and regions, and is a core technology in purpose-built low-energy homes, but evidence is emerging that in many cases electricity output may be significantly lower than expected. Information from in-home energy monitoring systems, interviews and informal discussions with residents has shed some light on the experiences and issues faced by the end-user, particularly those associated with operating a solar PV system to achieve a low-carbon lifestyle. Case studies of residents in different ownership and income situations, and from three distinct housing developments in Australia and England are used to highlight end-user experiences. The study finds that the residents face a range of issues including the initial sizing and commissioning, a lack of solar knowledge and expected generation performance, as well as regulatory barriers that limit the opportunity to upgrade system size.
KeywordsSolar energy User experience Low-energy housing Comparison
The authors wish to recognise the kind assistance of Dr Aimee Ambrose, Professor Barry Goodchild and Dr Angela Maye-Banbury from Sheffield Hallam University for facilitating the interviews discussed in this paper. Funding for this project was provided by the Australian Technology Network of Universities Science and Research Priorities Seed Fund. The authors wish to also thank the support of all householders interviewed.
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