Mater Dei jumps into solar

Mater Dei is an organisation that provides early intervention therapy services and education for children and
young people with intellectual disabilities. As part of its curriculum, the school has a heated pool which is a
special feature to accommodate the needs of Mater Dei’s students.

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The school’s pool is heated year round and although numerous efforts had been made to reduce the energy consumption, it has resulted in extremely high energy bills for the school.

A cost effective solution was required and the Federal Government pledged $335,000 to the Mater Dei solar project. Solgen Energy Group was contracted to complete the end-to-end 151kW solar power system.

Working with the school required careful planning around design, installation and placement of equipment. Solgen’s engineers designed a solar power system that took into account these limitations while also matching the energy needs of the school.

Solar power project details

Client: Mater Dei
Location: Camben, NSW
Date completed: January 2015
Solar system peak capacity: 151kWp
Panels: 395 x Trina Smart 250W modules
204 x Trina Poly 260W modules
Inverters: 5 x SMA Sunny Tripower 25000TL
1 x SMA Sunny Tripower 15000TL
1 x SMA Sunny Tripower 12000TL
Green savings: 210.2 tonnes of emissions annually
Solar electricity generated: 196.5 Megawatt hours each year

The orientation of solar panels has a direct impact on efficiency, output, and ROI of a solar power system. Mater Dei had a generous amount of roof space that was north-east facing however, due to heritage restrictions, the solar array locations were limited to the new administration and the pool building.

Standing proud in front of the administration building is a large Eucalyptus tree that presented shading to various parts of the roof throughout the day. Rather than avoiding the shaded roof areas, Solgen used Trina Smart solar panels which come with in-built Tigo Enery DC optimizers that allow each panel to operate individually.

Safety during installation and management of the solar power system was a large focus for Solgen. We scheduled the installation to take place during the school holidays to minimise interference and disruption. The inverters were also set up near the main switch board in an isolated room that is not accessible to students.

Benefits

The installation of a 151kW photovoltaic system will:

  • Generate an estimated energy output of 196.5MWh annually which will cover a substantial portion of the schools consumption requirements.
  • Reduce the overall energy costs with greater independence from the utility.
  • Offset up to 210 tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • Demonstrates the school’s commitment to environmentally sound initiatives.
  • Inspire the next generation of Australians to embrace renewable energy technologies.

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

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