In February 2017, EvoEnergy commissioned a 450.36 kWp solar PV array on DPD’s busy Hinckley depot in the East Midlands, just three months after completing a 1 MWp array at their HQ site in Oldbury. With a zero export limitation mandated by the regional Distribution Network Operator (DNO), EvoEnergy designed the system with Schneider CL inverters that utilised ‘dynamic’ export power control – the first of its kind in the UK with Schneider inverters.
Without an export management solution, the array would have been denied connection to the grid affecting, DPD’s ability to use their rooftop to contribute financial and carbon savings towards their ‘Driving Change’ CSR strategy that aims to ‘deliver every parcel carbon-neutral at no extra cost to their customers’.
Since pioneering the export power control device back in 2014 when it was first used on Hagg Farm, EvoEnergy have called up on the innovative solution on numerous occasion to enable clients to obtain permission from the DNO to connect a PV system to the grid when export limitations have been imposed.
The solution at DPD Hinckley was different in the sense that it was ‘dynamic’; automatically decreasing the amount of power produced by the inverters when the system is close to breaching export limits instead of shutting them down entirely. This dynamic control protects the longevity and future performance of the inverters whilst also ensuring that the system continues to generate electricity as close to DPD’s onsite usage as possible in real time.
Using a temporary access tower to reach the rooftop, the EvoEnergy team worked onsite for 4 weeks utilising demarcation and rope access to move around the roof safely. These health and safety practices prevented the need for edge protection scaffolding and allowed DPD’s logistics operations to continue uninterrupted during the install.
The array at DPD Hinckley consists of 1,668 Trina 270 Watt panels and 15 Schneider CL inverters, with the system expected to generate around 374 MWh of electricity every year; offsetting over 130 tonnes of carbon emissions it it’s first year (2017 grid intensity).
As part of an ongoing operation and maintenance service, EvoEnergy also installed a weather station adjacent to the array to collect regular weather data that could be matched against the array’s generation data to ensure that the guaranteed performance ratio of the system was being achieved by the client. This data includes solar irradiation, wind speed air temperature and panel temperature.