A NSW school has overcome heritage restrictions and the shading from a 25 meter gum tree to install a 151kW rooftop solar system and drastically cut its energy costs.
The Mater Dei School for children with special needs at Camden was awarded federal government funding to install a rooftop solar system that would help provide the power required to keep the school’s hydrotherapy pool heated to 30°C.
But the $335,000 grant had not accounted for the school’s heritage restrictions on some of the site buildings, or for the 50 year old forest red gum that caused significant shading at certain times of the day on the only available roof space.
To get around this problem, project installer Solgen Energy used Trinasmart solar panels, which would allow each module surface to operate independently so that the shaded panels would not have a detrimental effect on the overall system.
The successfully installed solar system now delivers 151kWp and will generate an estimated 196.6MWh per year – enough to cover a substantial amount of the school’s electricity needs.
The school solar system also includes a monitoring device in the school’s reception area, which displays how much energy is being produced in real time, for students and parents to see.