Situated on the NSW mid north coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council opted to turn to renewable solar power in 2014, both to offset their energy consumption and cut down their greenhouse gas emissions at the Port Macquarie Glasshouse.

The solar power works, falling in line with their vision of creating an innovative and environmentally sustainable facility, included the design, installation and commissioning of a 70kW roof mounted system.

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Challenges

As the Port Macquarie Glasshouse is located on the main street of Port Macquarie, Solgen Energy had to take into consideration the busy traffic conditions when planning the construction of the 70kW rooftop solar power system.

The unique architectural design of the Glasshouse building meant that the standard roof access equipment, the scissor lift, was unable to be used for the transportation of the 270 Trina Solar Poly 260 Watt panels.

The Glasshouse also has a visually substantial elevated roof structure on the centre of its rooftop, limiting the available space for the placement of solar panels. Possible shading as a result of the height of the structure also had to be taken into account when designing the array.

Solar power project details

Client: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
Location: Port Macquarie, NSW
Date completed: December, 2015
Solar system peak capacity: 70kW
Panel: 270 x Trina Solar 260W Modules
Inverter: 1 x SMA Sunny Tripower 20000TL,
3 x SMA Sunny Tripower 17000TL
Green savings: 85 tonnes of emissions per annum
Solar electricity generated: 125MWh per annum

Solutions

On this occasion, works were completed outside of business hours, however Solgen Energy’s experience in working in public, fully operational environments meant that the system was delivered safely and without disruption to the business.

Solgen Energy utilised a crane lift to efficiently transport all necessary equipment and components to the roof of the Glasshouse building, although this resulted in its own challenges.

To reduce any potential adverse effects due to the usage of the crane lift, Solgen Energy had to engage a team of traffic controllers to redirect traffic from the main street, where the Glasshouse facility is located, while the crane lift was operational. This was made possible through extensive coordination between Council personnel and Solgen Energy.

To overcome the challenges associated with the centralised roof structure, Solgen Energy had to implement a number of controls to mitigate any detrimental effects.

The solar power system was split into two smaller systems, sized at 35.88kW and 34.32kW, to work with the east to west roof layout, and sit either side of the central structure. This east-west layout will help mitigate any mismatching losses throughout the day. The solar panel arrays were also spaced at a significant distance from the elevated structure to prevent possible shading at certain times of the day.

The tilt and flush mounted solar power system was a result of an extensive shading analysis conducted by Solgen Energy. The panels were mounted in landscape orientation on a klip-lok, non-penetrating roof. This design will ensure the optimal solar power generation for the Glasshouse, and maintain the roof’s integrity.

Solgen Energy provided a public display for the solar power system’s monitoring, so the community as a whole could see generation data, and the associated added benefits of installing a solar power installation.

Benefits

The installation of a 70kW photovoltaic system will:

  • Generate an estimated energy output of 125 MWh annually.
  • Offset a sizeable amount of fossil fuel energy consumption, with greater independence from the utility.
  • Offset up to 85 tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • Provide the Port Macquarie Glasshouse with many years of clean energy from the sun.

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

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