The 50kW array consisted of 192 modules and was positioned on the east-southeast facing roof face of the building. There was a plant room within the barn that housed the connection point, so it was not necessary to trench any cables into the ground. The inverters were fixed to the wall of the store at a high level and the AC connection was made within the building.
During the design process it was necessary to consider shading from each of the four towers of the building’s structure and careful modelling ensured that no panels were placed within the shaded areas. The shade risk was further mitigated through the use of Solar Edge optimisation and inverters.
In addition to the shade mitigation, we chose Solar Edge as a product for fire safety on this project. For non-Solar Edge systems, the inverters take high voltage DC electricity generated by the PV panels and convert it to usable AC electricity.
In solar PV systems there are high DC voltages present during daylight hours. With standard string inverters, even if desired, it is not possible switch the panels off. In the event a fire, the dangerous high DC voltage presents a significant risk of electric shock and will inhibit how effectively the fire can be tackled. Once the insulation on DC cables has melted, arcing may occur which will also fuel the fire. With the Solar Edge system in place, these risks are removed. Solar Edge inverters & Solar Edge optimisers provide all the safety benefits of solar panel switches, as well as providing panel level monitoring and maximising individual panel outputs.