Solar PV in focus: recent installation points the way

Activ8 Solar Energies recently completed the installation of a Solar PV System on the roof of St. Clare’s Abbey Primary & Nursery School in Co. Down, one of the latest in a long line of community-orientated works carried out by the company.

Gary Connolly, from the Activ8 PV department, discussed the challenges that presented themselves during the initial development phases of this project:

“Drawing upon our extensive PV experience, we were able to change the design of this solar panel array to suit this exact installation, opting for a GSE ‘In Roof’ integrated roof-mounting system, which fits into the roof rather than sitting up above it.

This design is less obtrusive and more aesthetically pleasing. Our experience has allowed us to work with many different types of structures and roofing compositions. The challenging aspect of our St. Clare’s installation was the Kingspan slate and tile support system. This meant that all regular mounting systems compromised the weather-tightness of the roof. This level of weather-tightness could only secured through this installation.”

Gary and the Activ8 Energies team were delighted with the solution as it looked extremely well on the roof and naturally complimented the architectural styling of the building.

Another aspect of the installation that was very important to all concerned, as it is with all of solar PV installations, is the ability to monitor the system going forward. To this end, Activ8 Energies worked with the MGA Communications crew to integrate the monitoring of the system into the onsite BMS.

This project is another feather in the cap of our Activ8’s PV Department which is carrying out increasingly complex and high-tech installations. As part of this installation, a Solis 3 phase inverter, boasting a highly efficient yield curve, and two MPPT Trackers were used. Not to mention Activ8’s main solar PV panel of choice, the Suntech 270w black mono solar panels, which are widely considered to be the best in the business with their Bloomberg Tier 1 rating.

The works carried out also came with a 10-year warranty – which is five more than the industry standard.

Having worked on projects as big as 100kWh systems on cinemas, right down to Part L compliant 1 kWp systems on new-build housing developments throughout Ireland, this latest installation at St. Clare’s school ranks somewhere in the middle for Activ8 in terms of project size and complexity.

Gary Connolly continued; “It is important to us that each and every job is approached in the same manner. With this in mind, we see a lot of new-build solar PV opportunities arising with the heavily publicised housing shortage in Ireland at the moment. With the growth of the economy and high demand for quality housing, we feel that solar PV in Ireland presents a great opportunity for developers looking towards Part L compliance in their upcoming developments.

We are the only ISO accredited dedicated solar installer in Ireland at present and with extensive experience of over 7,000 installations across the island itself, we are in an excellent position to consult, design and install solar on new developments.”

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