ENGIE Solar Pilot Plant

The Brief
The Solar Pilot Plant at ENGIE’s Fairfield headquarters in Melbourne was the first design and installation project for the newly created team in the ENGIE Electrical and Communications business. ENGIE wanted an accessible training ground for solar technicians and engineers, along with a working system to test technologies and design elements.

The solution needed to provide a way to measure the impact from various design variations along with simulation and testing of software data tracking accuracy. This project aimed to reduce electricity costs and CO2-e emissions of ENGIE operations, as well as providing a showcase for customers including a working installation, live data displays, and documentation of installation processes.
ENGIE Solar Pilot Plant
ENGIE Solar Pilot Plant
The Solution
The design solution enables various modifications for testing purposes, including measurement of impact from tilt (installing panels at various degrees of tilt, from 2 degrees or flush to the roof up to 10 degrees), string length (the number of panels per string, especially on voltage), and the number of trackers (inverters with one or multiple trackers).

The installed system also enables comparisons of software tracking and actual data generation, to measure the accuracy of the whole system. The team is able to test the dynamic export control capability of the inverters to make sure the system complies with DNSP requirements.

The Solar Pilot Plant has also proved a valuable training ground for technicians. During the design and installation, training was delivered by experienced and CEC accredited technicians.
The Benefit
Approximately 96 tonnes of CO2-e has been saved in the year 2018-19 by generating 90MWh.

The system was used to test the accuracy of software simulators and the effects of varying tilt, string length and trackers on the power generation. The system outperformed the expected generation, giving the Power Infrastructure team confidence in being able to estimate the expected generation for future customers.

The project has increased the awareness of Solar PV systems and other renewable technologies in ENGIE’s facilities, and expanded the business reach to customers concerned about using renewable technologies in builds and fitouts.

ENGIE’s in-house engineering team use the facility to model actual performance in comparison with initial design and for testing of new hardware and software applications.

The project is continuing to develop. Future enhancements being explored include custom data displays for customer installations, battery capacity, and EV chargers.
ENGIE Solar Pilot Plant
Solar system with 249 panels and more than 400m2 surface area
Specifications include 249 x Jinko 290W Mono PV Modules, Fronius Inverters, Flush & Tilt (Clenergy) mounting system
ENGIE ANZ has capabilities across the energy value chain, from installation of rooftop solar PV systems to construction of large solar farms. Interested in making your own facility more energy-efficient? Contact us to find out how we can help you save energy.

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