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Solar panels for logistics hub

16 April 2024

AZTEC SOLAR has designed and installed a huge photovoltaic system of over 3000 PV modules and 10 inverters for a new £230m logistics hub located in the West Midlands.

The company designed the system to meet the hub’s kWh peak of 1260 kWp within the available roof space. The power will generate electricity for the operation’s internal and office spaces.

Such will be the demand for electricity from the new unit that it will need its own substation and in common with other environmentally conscious organisations, the company wants to provide most of this from renewable self-generation.  

With a roof space of 36,000 sq m on the larger of the two buildings, Aztec Solar designed the PV system to provide maximum output while avoiding skylights and providing safe passage for future operations and maintenance and in case of an emergency.

Aztec Solar construction manager David Ludlow, says: “This was a complex installation where unfortunately the main contractor went bankrupt and we had to work through variations to the original quotation to complete the job.  

“Due to the speed of the installation we also had to work alongside a number of other contractors at the same time including behind the soffit manufacturer which meant that there was no scaffold edge protection since they removed it as they worked. This meant that our team had to use mansafe harnesses and inertia reels. We also imported and stored the PV panels on site ourselves and craned them up onto the roof space in just one week to minimise disruption.”

Planning for future maintenance and safety was critical. Aztec Solar specified 10 Solis three phase inverters, which provide high precision intelligent string monitoring to reduce future fault location time. For safety the system is integrated into the main fire alarm systems with a manual stop button for firefighter safety in case of an emergency.

The new logistics hub is due to open in the summer.