UK Tile Distributor Enjoys the Benefits of Solar Technology
When ceramic tile distributor Craven Dunnill wanted to be more sustainable, solar was a natural fit. But with a roof structure with 11 different pitches and four orientations, installer Abbey Solar had an interesting challenge.
Paving the Way for Future Savings
UK-based tile distributor Craven Dunnill, knew its 46,000ft2 of warehouse, showroom, and office space at its Bridgnorth site was a candidate for solar PV. In 2013, the company turned to renewable energy specialist Abbey Solar to install and commission a 124kWp commercial installation, and by August that year, the system was already saving Craven Dunnill money. The brief for the project was to design a system that had the flexibility to encounter design challenges such as shading plus several different orientations and roof pitches. Abbey Solar specified the Enphase System, which they see as a high-quality and trusted brand with a proven track record of reliability.
The install comprised 496 Enphase microinverters and 496 Axitech 250 poly modules. The solar panels are fitted to the roofs of Craven Dunnill’s two warehouses, and were located to the rear of the Stourbridge Road HQ site so they would be largely hidden from view.
Choosing Flexibility and Quality
Microinverter technology was the only solution for the challenging installation, with a shading issue plus complex roofline. Enphase was chosen due to the 20-year warranty available on all Enphase microinverters along with its advanced monitoring solution, Enlighten. Enlighten allows the system owner to accurately monitor the performance and efficiency of the system. The system can be monitored remotely to ensure maximum reliability is achieved and downtime is always at a minimum.
David Beech, Finance Director at Craven Dunnill said: “The Enphase monitoring system, Enlighten, gives me all the information I need to manage my PV investment effectively.” The Enphase Microinverters installed by Abbey, not only met, but exceeded, the customer expectations.
Offsetting the Electricity Bill
In the three months following installation, the system generated 26,500 kWh of the estimated annual output of around 112,000 kWh of electricity. The peak output period each year is expected to be during the May-July period. Now live for more than twelve months, the installation is producing 50 percent of the company’s energy requirements, however the bottom line after feed-in tariffs is even more impressive.
David Beech at Craven Dunnill, championed the investment and said the economics make good sense: “Not only are we now generating 50 percent of our electricity requirements, we also benefit from the feed-in tariffs, which means that in reality the company’s electric bill for the site has been reduced to zero and the carbon off-set is the equivalent of around 3400 trees each year. The financial and environmental benefits go hand-in-hand and make perfect sense.”