AES Solar is in the running for a national award for its installation on an energy efficient new build in the north west Highlands. The company has been shortlisted in the Residential Solar PV Project category in the Solar Power Portal Awards. The combined solar PV/thermal system is particularly unique because the property isn’t connected to the National Grid.
Josh King, operations manager with AES Solar said he was delighted the project has been shortlisted. He said: “This was a fantastic project to work on in an absolutely stunning location on the banks of a loch.
“It is a fine example of how a residential installation can be adapted to suit specific environmental conditions and requirements, and meet a detailed customer specification.
“Access was a challenge. With is no nearby connection to the National Grid, the solar PV system was designed to be completely self-sufficient in the summer months. Battery power and diesel generation provide backup when required.”
He added: “The panels we installed have twice the power output compared to conventional PV, so the configuration required careful consideration and bespoke design. We designed a way to safely feed the panels into the battery without impacting on performance. It was a challenge but that is what we like at AES.”
Josh also explained that due to the nature of the build, several customisations and considerations were required: “The roof isn’t a typical construction, so that had to be taken into account and the panels themselves do not follow a typical mounting pattern.
“They are neither above the roof nor integrated, and so required consideration for additional wind loading calculations.
“Throughout this project, we came up with new ways to get around all of these challenges. As a result, the customer has a very slick, productive system.
“Overall, this project is a superb example of AES Solar’s ability to work closely with other contractors on projects which have custom requirements. We could never have achieved this without the cooperation of the architect, HaysomWardMiller, and solar panel manufacturer, Viridian Solar.
“AES Solar provided the skills and expertise required to make this off-grid system a reality. The connection to the battery system and integration with the solar thermal system were key elements of the specification, and required considerable planning to ensure smoothness of operation and efficiency.”
Last year, AES Solar was nominated for a Sustainable Scotland Award in The Green Energy Awards and also took home the gong for SME of the year at the Moray Chamber of Commerce Awards.
George Goudsmit, managing director of the independent firm said: “This latest nomination illustrates the forward thinking of AES Solar with regard to harnessing the use of solar in challenging circumstances. This was fascinating to work on and we are delighted that the intricacies of the installation are recognised.
“The project shows that even in Scotland, a well-designed and installed solar system will play a key role particularly when installing with other forms of renewables.”
AES Solar has been involved in a number of landmark projects such as the first ever domestic Solar PV/Thermal roof installation in the UK in 1995, and more recently has carried out work on a project on the Royal Estate at Balmoral.
The company trades worldwide and has export customers in markets as diverse as Scandinavia, Africa and South America. AES Solar is always looking at new ways to branch out.