Solar powered Qld hotel

Situated on the remote Balonne River in Queensland, St George Hotel sought to offset some of the energy consumption of the premises by investing in a 50kW rooftop solar power system.

Solgen was awarded the installation and design of this solar power system in late 2014, with completion taking place shortly after.

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Challenges

The building has a complicated roof design, with no single surface being able to accommodate all of the panels in the system. In addition, these surfaces are facing different aspects, with different tilt angles. This implies a potential of mismatching losses for the solar power system which can have a significant impact on the solar power system’s production. The various roof areas also consist of both corrugated metal and kliplok metal resulting in multiple roof fixing methods.

Recently Queensland energy providers introduced new rules that require solar generators of 30kW and above to include technology that limits or removes the ability to export solar energy back into the grid. Therefore the energy generated by the St George Hotel 50kW solar power system cannot feed back into the grid.

Taking into consideration these constraints, Solgen Energy designed and developed solutions to tackle the unique challenges presented by the project.

Solar power project details

Client: St George Hotel
Location: 1 Henry Street, St George QLD 4487
Date completed: April, 2015
Solar system peak capacity: 50kW/td>
Panels: 200x Trina Solar Honey Poly 250W
Inverter: 2 x SMA STP 17000TL-10

1 x SMA STP 15000TL-10

Green savings: 86.8 tonnes of emissions per annum
Solar electricity generated: 81.1MWh per annum

Solutions

In order to minimise any mismatching losses, Solgen Energy developed a string layout so that only panels with the same tilt and orientation would be connected together. Each string consists solely of panels that have a similar output, and would therefore eliminate the mismatching of performance within the system.

For the klip-lok metal roof areas, Solgen Energy utilised a non-penetrative klip-lok solar clamp to fasten the solar framing to the roof. This ensures that no roof penetrations were made and negates the risk of water ingress into the hotel.

In addition, Solgen Energy implemented the use of the Sol-0-X control system, designed and manufactured in-house, to ensure the system met the non-exporting requirements of the utility.

The remote location of the St George Hotel, located six and a half hours’ drive from Brisbane, led to further innovation from the engineers, as seen in the installation of a Wi-Fi enabled tablet to the solar power system’s monitoring system. This was a key component and varies from traditional solar monitoring in that it allows the Solgen Energy’s installers and engineers to remotely configure the generation of the solar system, and trouble shoot where a normal monitoring system will only allow for viewing of the solar generation data.

This will allow Solgen Energy to configure the settings of the system remotely, as well as monitoring all aspects of the system performance and production.

Benefits

By installing a 50kW photovoltaic system, St George Hotel will:

  • Capitalise on the current federal government incentives whilst also saving money on electricity bill and overall facility operating costs.
  • Generate an estimated energy output of 81.1MWh annually.
  • Showcases the flexibility of photovoltaic system design to satisfy various demands.
  • Offset up to 86.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
  • Demonstrate the commitment towards carbon reduced operations of Australian businesses.
  • Represents the potential financial benefits that could be achieved by renewable energy systems.

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

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