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18 January 2019

Solar plus storage pilot project for Prologis

Prologis solar plus storage 
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.”


23 October 2018

Photon Energy winners in residential rooftop category of SPP awards 2018

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

04 December 2018

Photon Energy install 384 kWp of SunPower at Cambridge University Accommodation

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.”

28 September 2018

242 kWp solar PV for NW Bicester Eco Town

Photon Energy has installed 242 kWp of solar PV at North West Bicester, an eco-town that was recently awarded Bioregional’s One Planet Living Status in recognition of its commitment to sustainable living.

Photon Energy won the tender to install the solar PV at Elmsbrook, phase 2 of the project, on 67 houses and one block of flats, in a competitive tender for regular client, Hill. This phase provides a mix of homes, from two bedroom starter properties to five bedroom executive family homes for private sale, as well as a number of affordable homes managed by the developer, A2Dominion.

North West Bicester is one of the UK’s first eco-towns governed by Central Government’s Eco-town Planning Policy Statement. This flagship project, is the first of its kind and scale, and aims to establish a vibrant and sustainable community, designed to be good for the environment and the local economy. The masterplan has specified a total of 6,000 true zero carbon homes to be built on a 1,000 acre site during a number of strategic timed phases.

Each home features a substantial solar PV array, sized between 1.75 and 5.25 kWp. Viridian Solar Clearline Fusion integrated roof panels were chosen for their high quality performance combined with a sleek and uncluttered aesthetic. The PV systems were carefully designed to consider the orientation of the roofs and any shading on the terraced properties. Maximising the efficiency of the solar PV was a key consideration at the planning stage, so consequently, approximately two thirds of the homes on this development feature south facing roofs.

As integrated roof panels were not suitable for the flat-roofed block of flats, the 11.96 kWp installation on this building featured instead, an array of 46 Solar World 260 Wp modules.

A combined total of approximately 1,000 panels were installed across all the properties, generating an estimated 219,236 kWh per year and saving 113.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Rikki Baker, Project Engineer of Photon Energy said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for us to work on this project where we were tasked with installing as much solar PV as possible and homes were designed to be zero carbon.”

Narinder Jheeta, Technical Coordinator at Hill said: “We were pleased to be working with Photon Energy on this flagship project at North West Bicester. Their project managers were very professional which helped the installation process go smoothly and keep to schedule. We have a long standing relationship with Photon Energy and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

* photo credit Viridian Solar