RISC micro wind and solar PV, Reading



Reading International Solidarity Centre recently won a grant to transform their roof into a educational facility for sustainability and as part of this project they decided to install a renewable energy system as a demonstration project.

Equipment was donated from the Caversham Court centre and a student from Reading University conducted a feasibility system for using the system to irrigate the roof garden. TV Energy and Reading Borough Council financed the renewable energy installation.


RISC is currently undertaking an initiative called 'Growing our Future'. This is a development education centre working with schools and community organisations to raise the profile of international issues and promote sustainable development, equality and social justice.

'Growing our Future' consists of an environmental and sustainable development education programme utilising a section of the RISC building roof. The roof in question needed to be replaced and it was decided to build a garden on it in order to develop the following programmes:

  • Education and awareness-raising relating to sustainable development.
  • Biodiversity.
  • Waste minimisation.
  • Local food initiative.
  • Energy efficiency.

Scope of Project

The scope of the project was to use the PV panels and the wind charger to provide a recycled rainwater irrigation system for the garden in the summer and grey water system to flush the toilets in the winter.

The equipment was made available from Caversham Court when it was closed down. It comprised twelve 36Wp Newtec PV modules and a 72Wp @ 9.8m/s Rutland wind generator. The aim of the project was to assess the feasibility of using the PV modules and generator to power a water pumping system for irrigation of the roof garden and flushing the toilet. The main objectives were:

  • To design the irrigation and flushing system using the available equipment.
  • To assess the feasibility of the proposed system.

Reading University

Reading University imageTV Energy were approached by Reading Borough Council with regard to offering help and advice to the RISC project. It was decided that the project could make a good thesis for an MSc student at Reading University, and the Energy Group within the Engineering Department were approached.

As a result Giorgia Franco accepted the project and her final dissertation can be downloaded here.


Reading University imageWith funding from TV Energy and Reading Borough Council, the equipment was installed at the roof garden by Ernest Warren of Sustainable Energy Alliance. The completed installation can be seen opposite.

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