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The biggest PV installation in United-Kingdom.
1.16 MegaWatt – February 2011

A-SUN (MCS certified module manufacturer) and its technical partner SOLAR SW (MCS certified installer) created a
strong collaboration to achieve the largest PV system commissioned in England, since the FIT’s started in April 2010.
This installation represent a massive input to the PV industry and a very interesting case study.
In the documentation below, we suggest you to follow every phase of the development, through the installation up to the commissioning of this project, and offering a non-exhaustive description of the various steps.

Case study : Large Scale Project

Building-up a large-scale photovoltaic installation requires several steps from the preliminary surveys, in
order to confirm the reliability of the project, to the final grid connection. Each phase is essential to the
success and it takes around 9 months to achieve the overall project.


> PV System Description

Overview


> Project Overview

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Pre-feasibility study July 2010

That’s the first step of the project. When the decision is made to invest in a photovoltaic system, it is required to collect all the useful information in order to identify the interest and the feasibility of the project.

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Photovoltaic system design August 2010

The potentiality of the site has been confirmed. The PV system could be set up in that condition. The system design will help to get precise information about the system configuration such as number of modules, area of the array, type of mounting system; and also the annual production of electricity during 25 years.

In our case, Solar SW has designed the system with Sunny Design software provided by SMA (inverter brand). A-SUN modules are referenced on most of the main PV systems design (Sunny design, PVSol, PVSyst…).


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Business plan August 2010

Previously, feasibility and potentiality of the site has been identified. One of the most important base of a project is also the economical issue. One simple question: what will be the ROI? How much money I will have to invest? What will be the income of the PV system electricity production per year and on 25 years? Due to the location of the site, the irradiation is excellent. More sunny it is, faster is the ROI.

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Planning permission September 2010

Here is the paperwork step. Implementation of a PV system, whatever its size, required authorisations from the local council hall and grid authority. Moreover the Planning Permission, you will sign your contract which rules the FIT for 25 years. It has been showed than the PV installation won’t have any environmental impact, the Planning Permission was issued in less than 8 weeks.

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Selection of suppliers October 2010

Things are getting concrete from now and it is time to select the products and services to realise your PV system. You know already what products you have to purchase, they were identify during the system design. The question is which brand you will choose. Same situation for the contractors. SOLAR SW: “We selected A-SUN for their reliability and their reactive service”.

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System installation December 2010

D-Day, the building or land is getting ready to host the PV installation. Installers will set up the mounting system, then the modules and install the inverters. In a few days or a few weeks, depending of the installation size, your system will produce its first kWh/h. The commissioning marks the beginning of the generation system. It took 3 weeks and 8 people to complete the installation of the first phase on the roof.

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Management of the installation February 2011

Even if your PV installation will be self-running for 25 years, it is essential to manage your system. The management of the system means the minimum maintenance and the monitoring of your production day to day. SMA inverters from Germany were installed for the system, naturally, we use the efficient monitoring solution tailor-made for these inverters.

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