This section contains our current news releases and comment on matters affecting the solar PV, solar heating and small wind turbine industries. We are always happy to hear from journalists with a serious interest in our sector.
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Job Opportunity: Graduate Engineer
Established in 2006, Photon Energy is one of the UK’s leading independent installers of large solar PV systems to the commercial and public sectors. We have a reputation for engineering excellence and have an established track record of recruiting new graduates.
For further information on the company, please take a look at our website.
We are now seeking applications from new engineering graduates to join our Graduate Engineer Training Programme based at our headquarters in Reading, Berkshire. The programme has been established to ensure that our new graduate engineers benefit from the wide range of activities we undertake across the business. As well as participating in our extensive in-house training programme, selected graduates will gain experience of:
- Electrical and mechanical design of solar PV systems
- Project management
- Practical on site experience of installation work
- Sales, pricing and client meetings
- Purchasing and warehouse operations
Our Graduate Engineer Training Programme will provide you with the building blocks to enable you to accelerate your personal development and career progression. The programme runs over two years and has a focus on ensuring our engineers develop the leadership and project management skills to enhance their career progression.
Each successful applicant will be assigned a personal mentor who will guide them to make the most of the opportunities within Photon Energy.
Ultimately our graduate programme has been developed to enable candidates to become Chartered Engineers and to become future leaders within Photon Energy. In addition to a 2.1 or equivalent degree in electrical, mechanical or combined engineering (or similar) applicants should:
- Be organised reliable with a multi-tasking approach to project delivery
- Have excellent written and oral communication skills, and be completely fluent in English with a good telephone manner
- Be highly proficient in Microsoft Office suite and AutoCAD
- Be able to work with both office and site based staff
We are an equal opportunities employer.
The first phase of building of the University of Cambridge’s new development has now been completed and features 384 kWp of solar Photovoltaic (PV), installed by Photon Energy, mounted on nine apartment blocks.
The North West Cambridge development, receiving funding from University of Cambridge, is being built in a number of phases and will provide up to 3,000 new homes and community facilities to help overcome problems with overcrowding and rising land prices in the city. The University is hoping the affordable housing will help it retain the best researchers and staff, ensuring it can maintain its status as a leading global academic and research institution.
Photon Energy won the tender from main contractor Wates to install 384.23 kWp of solar PV at Lot 2 of the development, comprised of key worker units, local shops and a café, positioned around a market square.
This development has been carefully created with sustainability in mind. The apartments have been built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and contain a number of features including triple layers of insulation, brown roofs and a district heating system, as well as the solar PV arrays generating clean energy for each of the homes.
The solar PV arrays had to be designed by Photon to fit in with various elements on the roofs of the apartment buildings. These included the ‘brown roof’ areas covered with soil and sections that were laid with pebbles, to ease flooding and to improve insulation.
This largescale project took place over two years and required excellent project management to work around all the other trades on site and to deal with the restrictions that were placed on roof access.
Due to the limitations with roof space, SunPower 327 PV modules were chosen to ensure the maximum possible output, with a total of 1,175 being installed. The modules were fixed to a K2 Systems D-Dome mounting system, ideally suited to flat roofs, and then connected to Zeversolar inverters.
The solar PV will generate approximately 262,355 kWh of electricity each year for the local residents and save 136 tonnes of CO₂ emissions.
Lefteris Giraleas, Senior Engineer at Photon Energy said: “This was a challenging project, requiring coordination with the many other trades working on site at the same time. We worked well with the team at Wates, ensuring the installation went as smoothly as possible and was completed on time.”
Adrian Wells, Project Manager at Wates said: “Photon Energy successfully rose to the challenge of designing the solar PV arrays and installing them on the limited roof space. The brown roof and pebbled areas created obstacles that had to be worked around and in addition, they had to coordinate with many other tradesman working in the roof areas. The installation was carried out to a high standard across the development.”
Photon Energy has recently completed a sizeable solar plus storage installation at one of Prologis’ grade ‘A’ distribution centres, located in Northampton.
This new state-of-the-art £12m development, built by Buckingham Group was completed towards the end of 2018. Lewis & Beddows, a local mechanical and electrical contractor responsible for the building services, awarded Photon Energy the contract to install the solar and storage system. By installing a cluster of batteries alongside the solar array, this pilot project is hoping to see the building’s occupiers being able to use a large percentage of self-generated electricity on site.
Careful consideration went into the design of the 20,000m² building to achieve the maximum level of energy efficiency (a grade A energy performance rating) and this was attained through a number of measures. Passive design elements such as high levels of insulation and airtightness were incorporated alongside the installation of the most energy efficient building services and the 130 kWp solar PV array. Prologis was aiming to create a logistics centre that will benefit from minimal running costs and operational carbon emissions.
The solar PV array installed by Photon Energy was comprised of Trina 270 kWp modules and a stack of 4 Tesla Powerwalls, designed to have a total of 56 kWh capacity. The modules were fixed to the steel trapezoidal roof using a K2 SpeedRail system.
The Solis inverters were positioned in the main office plant deck, with cabling routed to minimise penetrations through the façade.
The solar PV will generate approximately 104,110 kWh of electricity each year for the building’s occupiers, with the batteries ensuring the minimal amount is returned to the national grid. The renewable energy generated should save approximately 54 tonnes of CO₂ emissions per annum.
Lefteris Giraleas, Senior Engineer at Photon Energy said:
“It’s very encouraging to know that all the electricity generated by the solar PV will be used on site to help reduce the operating centre’s carbon emissions.”
Steve Ward, Project Manager at Lewis & Beddows said:
“It was a pleasure working with Photon Energy on this ground-breaking solar plus storage project. Scott was one of the best on site engineers I have worked with and on any further projects I would be requesting his attendance.”
Photon Energy are delighted to have won best ‘Residential Rooftop Solar Installation of the Year’ at this year’s prestigious Solar Power Portal Awards. Held annually, these much-coveted awards recognise the best in industry across a variety of categories.
Photon are proud to have picked up a trophy for the 320 kWp solar PV installation at Roborough Eco Town in Plymouth, designed by ZeroC, an award winning builder of sustainable homes. Roborough Eco homes have been designed to be a low carbon community of 86 houses, located in Roborough, approximately five miles to the north of Plymouth city centre,
Plymouth City Council provided the seven-acre site with a planning requirement that the homes achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions when considering ‘regulated’ energy (energy used for heating and hot water, lighting and pumps and fans). The solar PV installed is playing a significant role in helping the developer achieving these targets.
Photon Energy won the tender to install the 320 kWp of solar PV at Roborough in a competitive tender for ZeroC. Due to the location and size of the project, Wessex ECOEnergy, based in Dorset, were subcontracted to assist with the installation.
The houses, as part of the eco-friendly design, feature large asymmetric, pitched roofs that have been mounted with up to 24 solar PV modules. The larger sections of the roofs have been almost completely covered with in-roof panels, orientated in the optimal direction in for maximum energy generation.
Viridian Solar Clearline Fusion integrated modules were selected for this project as the seamless appearance of the in-roof panels was ideally suited to the modern aesthetic of the homes. In addition to their sleek appearance, the Viridian Solar PV modules benefit from being a high quality product, requiring a simple installation process. Viridian Clearline Fusion 250 Wp modules have been installed for the majority of the houses, with 270 Wp panels specified for a small number of houses, to maximise the output of the PV on limited roof areas.
Sofar Solar inverters have been installed, with a variety of different models incorporated to suit the mix of system sizes.
Rikki Baker, Project Engineer of Photon Energy said: “We were delighted to be appointed to install the sizeable solar PV systems on these genuinely zero carbon homes. It has been a welcome change to work on a development where every aspect of energy efficiency and sustainability has been considered from the outset, delivering enormous long term benefits to the residents.”
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Shadow Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council, said: “Once again this shows Plymouth is at the forefront of providing modern, energy efficient, affordable housing for local people. This unique project will be the UK’s first large scale, zero carbon community that delivers direct economic benefits with sustainable jobs.”
* photo credit Viridian Solar