50 kW Ben Q Solar system maintains manufacturer’s roof strength and provides excellent energy yield

When Air Control Industries in Axminster contacted us to investigate a solar PV solution, its factory roof seemed the ideal place. With a large surface area and

suitable geographical location it appeared at first glance to be a straightforward solution, so – as with all work carried out by SunGift – we began by undertaking a detailed site survey to ensure that we were offering the most appropriate system.

“The survey was extremely important, and re-inforced two priorities,” said SunGift senior designer Oliver Grogono. “Firstly, we needed to maintain the strength and integrity of the roof, and secondly we wanted to generate the maximum amount of electricity using high quality panels.”

Work with structural engineers
Oliver and SunGift’s design team liaised closely with the independent firm of structural engineers that we work with the check that roofs are strong enough to take the additional weight of the PV system. Oliver designed a system to ensure that the roof structure wasn’t compromised at any time by providing sufficient spacing between the rows of panels. This enabled us to make the best use of the roof’s existing structure, minimise the loading, and provide a system that met Air Control Industries’ needs.

High-quality, high-performance panels
“Air Control Industries were looking for high-quality, reliable panels with exceptional performance,” added Oliver, “so we specified BenQ Solar 250 kW panels. These European-manufactured premium panels are made by a trusted global manufacturer, which has some of the highest quality-control measures in the industry. This meant that – as with all of the products we use – Air Control Industries could be assured of their reliability. What’s more, BenQs are extremely competitively priced, so it was a cost-effective solution that is generating an excellent return on their investment.”

Nick Wilson, purchasing manager at Air Control Industries, said: “Solar PV is an obvious choice for us, as it makes perfect financial sense: the payback period is short and we’re generating free electricity that receives Feed-in Tariff payments. The spin-off is that it’s great for our green credentials too.”

Air Control Industries used strict selection criteria before choosing a company to carry out their installation, and chose SunGift after reviewing our detailed proposals and designs and being impressed by our responsiveness to their needs.

“Since the system was installed at the end of 2012 we have already generated in excess of 40,000 kWh,” added Nick Wilson. “SunGift did an excellent job, and – if the structure of our roof will allow it, with some additional strengthening – we will seriously consider increasing the size of the system to 250 kW.”

The system also included three industry-leading Sputnik Engineering SolarMax inverters (the same inverters that we used on the solar PV system we installed at the Met Office in 2012). These Swiss-made inverters are very efficient, meaning that the amount of electricity generated by the PV panels is maximised.