Powering the aluminium factory

Aluminium Factory
Panels: 208 Upsolar 230-watt polycrystalline
Inverter: Fronius CL 48
Peak power: 47.84 kWp
Predicted output: 41,066 kWh/year (SAP)
Achieved output: 18.4% above SAP so far
Switched on: 28 February 2012

Panels close up

Quality In Components Ltd (QIC) make aluminium frames and specialist metal products for the building industry, including materials for some solar companies. Their landlord, Apollo Business Parks LLP, commissioned Soltrac to install a large sub-50 kWp PV array on the roof.

Because the roof faces east and west, the panels are mounted on frames so they face due south, to optimise output. The rows are spaced apart, both to avoid covering the roof lights and to ensure one row of panels does not shade the one behind when the sun is low in the sky.

This is an ideal use for PV. The factory has a 1000 kW feed from the grid, so all the 50 kW generated will be used on the premises. The panels are more or less invisible from the ground and are completely unshaded.

Everyone benefits:

  • QIC and their landlord from the electricity generated;

  • The Grid from reduced demand, especially at peak times; and

  • The environment from some 25 fewer tons of carbon dioxide emitted.