An Australian airport leading the solar charge.

The system on the short term multi-storey car park rooftop is expected to offset 100 per cent of the car park’s electricity consumption with excess power generated to be consumed within the main terminal. It will reduce the airport’s overall energy consumption and carbon emissions by close to 10 per cent.

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New technology and customized care

It consists of an impressive 4500 solar panels spread across the entire rooftop surface. Each solar panel was transported to the top of the seventeen-metre-high rooftop using the largest, and only crane of its type in Australia.

The installation is the first in Australia to include the SMA Sunny Tripower 60 inverters which are specifically manufactured for commercial solar applications. The size of the system also required a custom made solar distribution board and inverter room.

 

The inverter room comprises a perforated wall to allow for airflow allowing optimal airflow to dissipate heat from the electrical equipment.

Trinasmart panels were utilised for the project to minimise the impact of potential shading from other existing and potential infrastructure”. The panels incorporate TIGO optimisers which achieve maximum energy generation through module level DC power optimization. The TIGO optimisers allow each of the solar panels to be remotely isolated from a single switch at panel level. This ensures no DC voltage will be present in any of the array cabling equating to a safer scenario for emergency or maintenance situations.

Open, transparent and understandable

Ongoing maintenance of the solar system has been made easy with the inclusion of a non-penetrative fiberglass walkway around the perimeter and throughout the array to allow for access in the future. In addition to this, water outlet points were incorporated to allow Adelaide Airport staff access to easily clean the panels.

Detailed monitoring was achieved through the integration of an internet connected smart meter, Adelaide Airport is able to access highly detailed panel level generation data through the business management system (BMS) which means the systems performance can be monitored in detail.

Benefits

  • Creates overall sustainable awareness on a high profile Australian airport.
  • Showcases projects that will contribute to South Australia’s target of zero net emissions by 2050.
  • Offsets 2400 tonnes of emissions annually. The equivalent CO2 emissions produced by 358 passenger vehicles in a year.
  • Contributes significantly towards the airport’s commitment to minimise its environmental footprint whilst being an industry leader in environmental sustainability.

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