Photon install solar PV for High Speed Rail training college

12 September 2017

Photon Energy has commissioned a 76.5 kWp rooftop solar PV system at the £21 million state-of-the-art HS2 training college in Doncaster and is delighted to have the installation shortlisted for 'Commercial Rooftop Solar PV Project' by Solar Power Portal Awards 2017.

The National College for High Speed Rail has its headquarters in Birmingham and an additional site in Doncaster. The college campuses, built by Willmott Dixon, boast cutting edge facilities that will provide specialist vocational training to the next generation of engineers working on the HS2 project.

The Doncaster site comprises 7,600m² of teaching and workshop space and will open its doors this month to the first intake of industry professionals and apprentices. Bond Bryan Architects designed this unique, modern building that features saw-tooth style peaks on the standing seam roof, made from British steel.

Photon Energy were appointed by building services contractor Briggs & Forrester, earlier this year, to install the 76.5 kWp solar PV array. Photon Energy had to meet Briggs & Forrester’s tight timescale for installation, requiring a team to be on-site within a very short space of time.

255 Bisol 300 Wp modules were attached to the south-facing sides of the saw-tooth roof, a total installed area of 490m². The 300 Wp high efficiency modules were specified to meet the energy target from the available roof space. 

Installing the modules on the 35° pitched roof peaks during windy and icy weather conditions created some health and safety challenges for the installation team.

Duncan Brewer, Engineering Manager at Photon Energy said “This project highlighted Photon Energy’s ability to take on projects with significant health and safety challenges and satisfy the strict requirements of our clients and contractors.”

The energy generated by the solar PV and a small CHP system will provide 16% of the building’s energy requirements, which has helped the building to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).

Darren Cousins, Project Manager at Briggs & Forrester said: “Photon Energy were very professional throughout the installation process. They were able to be on-site at very short notice, rose to the challenge of installing the modules on the saw-tooth shaped roof areas and managed the associated health and safety issues very professionally.”