In the fall of 2016, express parcel delivery company, DPD, partnered with EvoEnergy to install a 1 MWp system on the rooftop of their busy distribution site – and headquarters – in Oldbury as part of their ongoing commitment to being carbon neutral.
The site, which is used for sorting and distributing regional parcels for both National and International delivery, offered a good south facing, trapezoidal roof with over 5,000 square metres of space with minimal shading on which to install solar.
When applying for grid connection, the regional Distribution Network Operator (DNO) enforced a 500 kWp export limitation. EvoEnergy therefore designed the system with a unique High Voltage sensing Export Power Control (XPC) device to constrain the amount of power that would be exported at any given time, allowing DPD to install the full size array they wanted to maximise the energy and carbon savings onsite.
The 999.9 kWp system was installed using 3,636 Trina 275W panels, connected to 28 SolarEdge inverters that were mounted on purpose-built frames in a designated area within the building. Special attention was also given to the system’s cable management for a more organised installation, easier maintenance and overall aesthetics.
In addition to SolarEdge inverters, which DPD purchased an extended 25-year warranty for, SolarEdge optimisers were also fitted to each panel to maximise the generation of the system. In addition to enhancing system performance, Solar Edge technology also provides arc fault protection to prevent fires by automatically reducing the voltage to a safe level should any issues by detected; a huge safety benefit that was important to the company.
A ten-man team installed the system over an 8-week period in November and December utilising a single point of access to the roof to minimise disruption to the busy operations below. A telehandler was utilised to transport pallets of panels from the specially assigned storage yard and site office onsite before hoisting to the rooftop where they were manually offloaded and carried into position.
Health and safety was also of paramount importance with D-marcation in place around the roof edge and rope access equipment to allow the workers to move safely around the rooftop. Temporary staircases were also constructed for workers to safely move between the varying roof heights.
Now fully operational, the system will generate approximately 860 MWh of clean electricity every year with 85% expected to be used onsite. With over 400 tonnes of carbon also expected to be saved every year, the investment forms part of DPD’s ‘Driving Change’ Corporate Social Responsibility strategy which aims to make every parcel they deliver ‘carbon neutral’ at no extra cost to their customers.
Mark Wilkes, Director of Technical Services at DPD commented;
“The service provided by EvoEnergy has been excellent throughout this project. Their project delivery programme was well thought out and integrated seamlessly with our own operation and was delivered on time with professionalism and attention to detail.
It is important for us to partner with like minded businesses and for them to be able to work alongside us delivering on the needs and vision of DPD.”
The Oldbury site is situated next to a raised section of the busy M5 motorway and the completed array is now a proud spectacle to the thousands of commuters every day to remind them of DPD’s outstanding commitment to the environment.
View a short aerial video of the site below;