Photon Energy installed a 9.8 kWp ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) array for the Hestercombe Garden Trust on their land at Hestercombe House in Somerset.

Details of the installation

The PV system was installed as a single array at ground level adjacent to a glasshouse undergoing full restoration. The installation was challenging as there are many mature trees in the gardens which create a very shady environment. Due to the historic nature of the buildings, no suitable roofs could be found. The only appropriate area for the PV was a thin strip of land at the top of a bank behind some gardeners’ sheds.

Even here the available un-shaded space was very limited so high efficiency modules were used to minimise the PV module area required to achieve the system size for which the Trust was aiming for. 

A SolarMax inverter was used as they are suitable for outdoor installation.  The inverter was fixed to the module support framework underneath the top row of modules.

The PV system was connected to the electrical supply in one of the garden’s ticket offices and distributed from there around the site.  The system will generate around 6,500 kWh of electricity and save 3½ tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Oliver White, Hestercombe’s Operations Manager said:

”The Hestercombe Gardens Trust was pleased to commission Photon Energy. At all times they showed themselves to be highly professional in their approach to our project” 

Equipment summary

  • System size:
    • 9.8 kWp
  • PV modules:
    • SunPower E19/240
  • Inverter:
    • SolarMax 10MT
  • Mounting system:
    • Aluminium frame
  • Commissioning date:
    • November 2011