Yingli Green Energy Australia, popularly known as Yingli Solar, has just installed a photovoltaic (PV) system, through Photon Energy Australia, at the Australia Post’s Star Track House at its New South Wales headquarters in Sydney’s Strawberry Hills. This new PV system, completed over three months by Photon Energy Australia, has a solar capacity of 284 kWp.
The installation of the solar panels for StarTrack House is an Australia Post solar effort to improve its NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) score from 2.5 stars to five stars. According to Andrew Sellick, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Australia Post, their aim is to drive clean energy and efficient initiatives in their 1,200 facilities.
PV System Producing Electricity at 370 MWh Yearly
Lacking roof space did not deter Photon Energy. Using Yingli Solar’s panels with n-type silicon technology called PANDA, Photon Energy installed 1,051 solar panels for maximum yield. Yingli Solar PANDA modules are capable of high outputs of energy especially in conditions with low light like evenings and cloudy mornings.
The Australia Post solar system can produce electricity at 370 MWh yearly with its 19% average efficiency. At that rate, the panels can sufficiently reduce the facility’s carbon impact by 325 tonnes, translatable to more than $65,000 in costs based on current prices. Australia Post aims to achieve a reduction in emissions of 2000 level at 25% by the year 2020.
According to Michael Gartner, Co-founder and currently Managing Director of Photon Energy, solar energy has attained the status of “have-to-have” in achieving energy efficiency and reducing costs of energy consumption for facilities.
Solar panels have become an important part in the equation, Gartner said, a motivation for Photon Energy to provide maximum benefits to customers who use solar over a whole life-cycle. True integration of a building requires PV products to replace existing building elements.
What Needs to Be Considered Before BIPV Construction
It could also be fully integrated into it, like what was done with the Australia Post solar system, as a BIPV or building integrated PV construction. Incidentally, BIPV is internationally known as an element of contemporary and modern architecture. The Australia Post solar PV system may be integrated into skylights, roofs, awnings, and façades, although façade systems are not advisable for installation in Australia because of its low energy output as a result of PV vertical elevation and high sunlight angles.
Several BIPV installations, however, are incapable of effective cooling of their crystalline modules, a condition that lowers output. This factor needs to be considered when designing a structure that may require solar PV installation later on. For a new building to have a solar power system, PV elements must face the north side or area at the nearest optimum, or tilted, angle. In Sydney, for instance, this optimum angle is 34° latitude with a 10° margin variance from said angle.
Sydney as Australia’s Solar Capital?
Yingli Solar has been a leading supplier of solar panels to Australia since 2009 and has partnered with Solgen Energy in the delivery of the country’s largest PV solar program with 5,500 of its panels installed on major buildings including libraries, depots, and grandstands in Sydney.
Said solar program is expected to solidify Sydney’s position as the country’s solar capital. The Australia Post solar installation is only one of several projects that Yingli has completed to help dispense solar power to meet the energy consumption of a country, more than any other in the world, with the highest solar radiation average per square meter of land.