Sunshine for more than just fruit and veg growth

Brisbane Markets is the third largest Central Market in Australia spanning 77 hectares of land and facilitating the trade of more than 600,000 tonnes of fresh produce annually, worth more than $1.3 billion. The company was looking at alternative energy sources to reduce their dependence on grid-electricity and their exposure to the huge cost escalations they had seen in recent years. They also believe that with the current energy landscape, renewables will play a key part in the future electricity mix.

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Consequently, having a significant portion of their own energy generated on-site with renewable energy was not only seen to be a good business decision but would also show the local and greater community the company’s commitment to being a leader in sustainability. With ample roof space and the price and benefits of solar power in the current energy market largely positive, solar power was the obvious choice for them to investigate.

As a result, the company put together a 3 stage roll out of solar PV systems to cover any suitable roof space. In addition to this, significant structural works were also to be carried out by Brisbane Markets to ensure the roofs were structurally sound for current and future PV systems.

Solgen Energy Group was awarded the 2nd stage of the roll out, which encompassed a total of 1.567MW across 7 buildings with almost 5000 panels and 52 inverters to install. Solgen was chosen due to the bespoke design and superior technology that was put forth during the tender process.

Solar power project details

Client: Brisbane Markets Limited
Location: Brisbane, NSW
Date completed: September, 2017
Solar system peak capacity: 1.567MW
Panels: Trina Tallmax 320W
Inverters: SMA Tripower

Customised solution with quality technology

For technology and components, the use of SMA Tripower inverters and Trina 320W panels were included, due to their superior quality in both output and durability. Due to the complexity of the existing electrical system, in addition all the switchboards were fabricated by the same switchboard manufacturer that was previously contracted by Brisbane Markets. This ensured quality control and consistency in the electrical system, particularly taking into consideration the level of maintenance onsite. With the potential for more solar and electrical works on the horizon, while not completely necessary, this made the installation and maintenance easier for both Solgen and Brisbane Markets.

For design and construction, each system had to be customised as per the site requirements, but to ensure ease of maintenance there needed to be some form of consistency. As a result, each site had a few adjustments that were taken into consideration during the design and construction process.

On majority of the buildings, panels were designed flush-mounted in a portrait orientation and affixed to the roof using Clenergy klip-lok framing. This was decided upon due to the orientation and angle of the roofs. The exception to this was Building Y2 which used insulated roof panels, meaning the klip-lok system would be unsuitable for this type of roof. Working with a structural engineer to find an alternate, rivets were used instead of screws. this also resulted in a non-penetrating solution which additionally minimised risk of rain leakage through the roof and avoided creating a cold bridge, as the building was being used for cold storage.

Usually inverter stations are installed close to the main switchboard on the ground in a cool and secure area, however due to the consistently high thoroughfare of traffic in the buildings, all inverter stations were installed externally on the roof of each building with six of the seven sites requiring custom shade structures. These were designed by Solgen, structurally certified and then fabricated and assembled on site to ensure that temperature and sun exposure, which are usually problematic to external inverter stations, were a non-issue.

With the expected output of the completed systems to generate 2,267,059 kWh of electricity and offset over 2425 tonnes of carbon emissions each year – the equivalent of taking 515 cars off the road each year – Brisbane Markets have made a switch to a cleaner, more sustainable future with solar power as their solution.

Benefits

The installation of a 1.567MW photovoltaic system is expected to:

  • Contribute to their carbon neutrality goal by reduce carbon emissions by more than 2425 tonnes per annum;
  • Offset a significant portion of their electricity bills to be used for other initiatives;
  • Produce almost 2,267 MWh of clean energy through an optimally designed and installed system;

To enquire about how solar can facilitate your business, contact our energy consultants today.

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