Designed and installed by British renewable energy specialist Solarsense, the 80 kWp plant on the new Living Systems Building features the best technologies on the market to maximise yield.

The new, seven-storey, 7,500m2 Living System building, known as LSI, has been designed to embed inter-disciplinary research practice and will house 29 research groups, of more than 200 researchers, with complementary expertise in biosciences, medicine, physics, engineering, mathematics and computer science. LSI is expected to open to researchers and students in the autumn of 2016.

Living Systems Building - Exeter university photovoltaic plant optimised with BlackMagicBritish installer Solarsense, took up the challenge of achieving a very high yield target out the available flat roof area. Solarsense have been known to hit the headlines in several occasion since its establishment in 1995. Among the pioneers of the British solar industry, Solarsense list more than 10,000 renewable energy installs across the country and have received an outstanding number of awards for quality and innovation.

Exeter University project detail - optimised with BlackMagic

The roof features a number of elements which add to its complexity, such as vents and a chiller compound. Careful design considerations led to the conclusion that the best possible set up should feature the high efficiency Sunpower E20/327Wp panels to achieve optimal power density. Panels are fitted at a pitch of 15° to achieve the best balance between space use, yield and ballasting weight. BlackMagic optimisers were specified for two sections of the plant, in order to harvest the maximum string output even where shading elements are going to affect some panels during some hours of the day. Due to its geography, flat roofs in Exeter also tend to attract gulls for nesting and the use of panel-level power management helps ensure high system performance when module cleaning is not an option.

British installers wishing to find out more about BlackMagic optimisers can get in touch with Navitron, UK distributor with stock in Oakham, Rutland.

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