Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star rating – 100kW of solar power project

Construction on Australand’s $40 million shopping centre at The Ponds has recently been completed.

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The Ponds Shopping Centre has earned Australand its first six-star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia. From the beginning, Australand was determined to receive this rating so this was a big achievement for the company.

As a development company, Australand is deeply committed to sustainable building designs and an important aspect of this is the implementation of commercial solar systems.

Australand awarded Solgen Energy Group the design and installation of the 100kW solar power system on this brand new shopping centre which will generate enough energy to power the lighting used in the car park, the common areas and the external areas.

Solar power project details

Client: Australand Property Group
Location: The Ponds Shopping Centre, NSW 2769
Date completed: 23 March 2015
Solar system peak capacity: 100kW
Panels: 384 x Trina Poly 260W modules
Inverter: 4 x SMA Sunny Tripower 25000TL
Green savings: 166 tonnes of emissions per annum/td>
Solar electricity generated: 155MWh per annum

Challenges

As a sustainable green building, The Ponds Shopping Centre incorporates a mixed mode air conditioning system where both natural and mechanical ventilation is used to maintain the thermal comfort and control of the building.

This proposed a challenge with the placement of the solar array. The large space positioned on the centre of the mall’s roof is used for natural ventilation and therefore solar panels were not able to be positioned here.

Also, the multiple air vents on top of the roof caused physical obstruction for the installation operation, as well as a shading obstacle for the panels. The solar power system had to be designed to factor in these restrictions whilst reducing the amount of wiring to minimise losses and achieving the maximum output.

Solutions

Taking into consideration the limited roof space available, Solgen’s engineers took advantage of the tilted roof orientation and flush mounted the array to make the most out of the roof space.

In addition, Solgen collaborated closely with Mainbrace Constructions during the shopping centre development to ensure that the photovoltaic array was positioned correctly within the approved roof areas. The communication between Mainbrace and Solgen was transparent at all times throughout the project, if there was a change to the building layout, our engineers revisited and adjusted the design accordingly.

Also, because the shopping centre is a brand new building, we installed new cable trays to enclose and protect the DC cabling on the roof area running between the array and the solar Inverters.

The result is a visually pleasing and optimised 100kW roof mounted solar power system that generates the desired amount of renewable energy to satisfy the overall energy demand.

Benefits

The installation of the 100kW solar power system will:

  • Generate an annual estimated energy output of 155MWh.
  • Offset up to 166 tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • Significantly increase the awareness of the sustainable practices available for large commercial buildings.
  • Demonstrate the community’s acceptance of renewable energy.

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

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