Smart solar is good news for retail outlet

In this exclusive excerpt from the April 2014 edition of EcoGeneration, we look at a solar installation at newsagency City Centre News in Grafton, NSW. 

When newsagency City Centre News in Grafton, NSW, began feeling the financial strain of high electricity costs, they decided to invest in an environmentally and financially sustainable energy system. 

Hundreds of shoppers circle through the doors of the City Centre News retail outlet every week. But keeping those doors open is a full time job alone. Electricity for lighting, air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems that require round-the-clock power is a big job.

Combating rising energy costs

City Centre News and the surrounding retail tenants operate seven days a week, placing big demands on their financial resources. Eaten up by large lighting and HVAC loads, the buildings’ electricity supply was in need of a way to replenish naturally – and at a cheaper cost.

Australian Carbon Solutions (ACS Solar) had a solar solution that would utilise the abundant natural light of Australia. Assessing the available rooftop space, which was narrow and inconsistent, ACS Solar was able to reduce the amount of solar needed by 4 kilowatts (kW), before construction even started, through the installation of 215 tubes of LED lighting.

Smart technology simplifies complex designs

Before the installation process could begin, ACS Solar struggled with the building’s tight rooftop space that ran 120 meters long but only six meters wide. Other solar installers had previously quoted the building using string inverters, but were only willing to go up to 18 kW. Though a fair assessment, given string inverters’ rigid restrictions and the issues with site structure and space, ACS Solar knew Enphase microinverters could help maximise potential roof space.

The full version of this article is available in the April 2014 edition of EcoGeneration. Subscribe today via the online shop.

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