There’s lots of talk about the surge in rooftop solar panel installations in domestic properties and how it’s helping homeowners to reduce their bills and to increase the amount of renewable energy in the grid. This is all great, of course, but it’s not the only show in town, because elder care homes are also playing their part in the solar revolution.
Solar power is the ideal solution for elder care facilities
Elder care facilities operate round the clock, 365 days a year and to maintain a comfortable, safe environment for the residents, the home must be kept within the optimum temperature range of 18-21C. This can cost a huge amount of money – heating during the winters and air conditioning during the summers. With concerns about energy prices increasing, many care home managers and clients worry about the impact this could have on care fees.
In recent years, air conditioning has become more important than ever as annual average temperatures rise; older people are more vulnerable to heatwaves, so it’s vital that they stay cool.
Care homes have lots of roof space
Care homes offer a lot of roof space for arrays, with some single-site homes opting for systems capable of delivering 150kW and multi-site care providers installing systems capable of more than 3.2MW. Not only is this amount of energy good for the home itself, but it reduces the load on the grid supply and may even earn the home some money through solar tariffs.
Elder care homes are busiest during the sunlight hours
The other thing that makes solar ideal for elder care facilities is the fact that while they operate 24 hours a day, they’re busiest during the day, when the array is doing its best work! Most domestic solar power systems are, unless the household also has solar battery storage, pouring out power into an unpopulated space. In an elder care home, most of the action takes place during daylight hours, so if the air conditioning is powered by the hot sun, it’s a perfect symbiosis!