Community Solar PV Installation – St Wilfrid’s Centre, Sheffield – In Detail

Name & Address

St Wilfrid’s Centre

524 Queens Rd


S2 4DT

The technologies installed (and why)

The system we installed includes 20 on-roof Solar PV panels, a heating control system, high efficiency lighting and extensive building insulation. These technologies were installed as the owners of St Wilfrid’s Centre were interested in saving money in the long term whilst reducing their environmental impact.

The system installed was an on-roof mounting system with 20 x 190Wp (Watt Peak) Solar PV panels. The total output of the PV system is rated at 3.8 kWp and covers 26m2. The panels are grouped together to form a single array comprising two rows of ten panels. This provides a compact and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

How this installation influenced the organisation’s attitude towards Microgeneration technology

After seeing the benefits and rewards of installing the Solar PV array, the St. Wilfrid’s Centre decided to install a new boiler controller system, which drastically reduced the gas consumption of the building and replace the existing fluorescent bulbs with new energy efficient light bulbs. The new Microgeneration system installed at the St Wilfrids Centre has been an inspirational tool, creating an organisation ethos that takes more respect over the energy it uses, and makes sure it operates as efficiently as possible whilst keeping their environmental impact minimal.

The Solar PV panels produce around 3,300 kWh per year. The energy that is generated from the 20 Solar PV panels is demonstrated to the users of the building via a Sunny Beam display unit, which is wirelessly connected to the PV system with Bluetooth.

The measures that have been taken to reduce the need for energy in the building

St Wilfrid’s Centre has been thoroughly insulated by a third party insulation company. The building now uses 42,000 kWh less gas than before it was insulated. The new boiler controller reduces the gas consumption further, providing a vastly more efficient gas heating system. The new lighting system also provides significant energy savings, reducing the lighting electricity consumed by 2,140 kWh annually. The holistic approach that has been taken by St. Wilfrid’s Centre has meant the Centre has achieved massive energy savings, providing a great example to South Yorkshire.

About St Wilfrid’s Centre

St Wilfrid’s Centre has earned a great deal of respect in Sheffield, and indeed the UK, winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2004 and the Investor in People award in 2008. Installing the Solar PV panels, as well as improving the existing boiler settings, lighting and insulation means that St Wilfrid’s Centre can operate very efficiently, avoiding the negative impact of rising fuel costs. These improvements mean that in the future the St Wilfrid’s Centre can use their charitable income to help vulnerable people get back on their feet instead of spending it on costly fuel bills. An average of 70-80 men and women use the Centre every day. These ‘vulnerable’ people come to the centre as they are often homeless or struggling to manage their accommodation. They often have mental problems and the Centre has adapted to this to provide the best support possible. There are only 12 salaried staff but 100 regular volunteers, serving for as long as 15 years, make the high level of service they currently provide possible.