“We found Solgen to be very professional and efficient throughout the design and installation process. They were quick to respond to any queries and were extremely helpful and adaptable.”

– Debbie Archer, Manager Environmental Control

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In November 2011 Solgen Energy was awarded the Solar Power Project tender to design and install a 70kW solar power system on the Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) in Dubbo.

WPCC is Dubbo’s focal point for Visual Arts, Heritage and Social History. The site is home to Dubbo Regional Gallery, Dubbo Regional Museum and Community Arts Centre. The photovoltaic system forms part of the Bathurst – Orange – Dubbo Alliance and draws funding from the NSW Environmental Trust’s Urban Sustainability Programme “Inspiring and Integrating Change”.

Solar power project details

Client: Dubbo City Council
Location: Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, NSW
Date completed: January 2012
Solar system peak capacity: 70.38kW
Panel 276 x Q-Cells Q-Peak Mono 255W
Inverter: 4 x SMA SMC 17000TL-10
Green savings: 113 tonnes of emissions per annum
Solar electricity generated: 102MWh per annum

Challenges

The WPCC facility presented unique challenges which required innovation in design and construction methodology. One of the key criterions for the installation was to ensure that the Centre’s roof was not penetrated by the solar panel’s mounting system. This non-penetrating system would ensure the integrity of the roof’s waterproofing and would in no way compromise priceless art exhibited below. The Centre’s roof was also relatively flat, so the system needed to be designed in a way to capture the sun’s light efficiently.

Solutions

Solgen Energy’s engineers investigated numerous clamping and framing systems which were compatible with the WPCC’s roof and substructure. The final design layout incorporated a non-penetrating framing system which clamped to the roof sheeting at uniform intervals. The array was raked (tilted) to approximately 20 degrees to the north, thus ensuring the output from the system was optimized.

The completed system incorporated 276 modules which utilized the entire roof space with the exception of access ways designed for maintenance of the system. In cooperation with Solgen Energy’s engineers a structural engineer reviewed and certified the final design.

Considerable planning was required to coordinate the installation of the 70kW system which was illustrated through a comprehensive project plan and program for Dubbo City Council. Solgen Energy’s team of installers and electricians worked to complete the system over 8 days leading up to Australia Day 2012.

The system was designed using 276Q-Cells Q-Peak 255W modules connected into 4 SMA 17000TL inverters.
A Sunny WebBox (data logger) was installed so Council could monitor the performance of the system and demonstrate its benefits to the wider community.

Solgen Energy provided training in the use of the monitoring system as well as maintenance, shutdown and emergency procedures upon handover of the installation.

Benefits

The system establishes Dubbo City Council as a community leader in environmental initiatives. It visibly demonstrates Council’s commitment to taking action on climate change and simultaneously provides it with financial and environmental benefits.

Dubbo City Council’s objectives included:

  • “To improve the sustainability performance of Dubbo City Council, and the local community such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, through the increase use of renewable energy options.”
  • To inspire an understanding of and commitment to sustainability through innovative on-ground works and community engagement.
  • Engage in inclusive community collaboration and build long term community capacity.

Testimonial

“We found Solgen to be very professional and efficient throughout the design and installation process. They were quick to respond to any queries and were extremely helpful and adaptable. Installation ran smoothly and was finalised well in advance of proposed deadline. Solgen was selected through a comprehensive tender process and came out on top for value for money and experience. The Dubbo community now have a high quality system which will assist to reach Council’s renewable energy target. In addition it will encourage our community to consider renewable energy technologies, ensuring Dubbo remains as one of the highest household solar users in Australia.”

Debbie Archer, Manager Environmental Control

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