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Tackling fuel poverty with building-integrated solar technologies: The case of the city of Dundee in Scotland


Fuel poverty in Scotland is rising and is currently experienced in a quarter of households. Large-scale renewable generation does not reduce fuel poverty because citizens still have to pay for their imported energy. However, building-integrated solar systems do reduce the amount of energy imported into homes and have demonstrably already taken some families out of fuel poverty in Scotland. This study is of the solar potential of Dundee, a city with higher than average levels of fuel poverty. A review of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation presents the deprivation status of the population in the centre of the city. The total roof area practically available for solar integration was estimated using RoofRay software. Energy efficiency measures, combined with building integrated solar systems were shown to potentially eliminate fuel poverty in central Dundee. Energetic and economic analyses of the solar systems using TRNSYS software resulted in optimal PV/inverter system sizing ratios of 1.02 and 1.06, respectively. The solar water system optimally performed with a 230 L tank of 1 m height and an inlet fluid flow rate of 40 kg/h. The study indicates that city level solar installation programmes can help eliminate fuel poverty in Scotland at an acceptable cost.