Australian Conservation Foundation Walks the Walk with Solar
To show how commercial and corporate buildings can go green, the Australian Conservation Foundation used its own office, a building nicknamed 60L for its address, as a ‘test case’. From building materials to location to physical orientation, 60L was designed to conserve.
Setting an Example
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) works to secure a sustainable and lasting environment, dedicated to transforming Australia’s energy production into clean energy sources. In their latest effort to prove just how easy it is to go green, ACF set up shop in what is now Australia’s premier green commercial building—60L. Even before the construction of 60L, environmental design, energy and resource use were the critical focus of the building design. Measures were taken to minimise the consumption of materials used, and maximise their reuse, as well as minimise the consumption of mains water, and maximise recycling of treated wastewater.
When it was time to add solar, Going Solar used their 36 years in the solar industry to choose the perfect solution for the job.
“ACF wanted premium solar components to ensure the best long-term sustainability outcomes as well as a system that would allow for full reporting on electricity generation and ecological offset,” said Graham Sutherland, Project Manager of Going Solar. “By using Enphase Microinverters we were able to maximise annual production, alleviate shade effects, and provide access to system monitoring and production data.”
Despite 60L’s limited rooftop space, Going Solar was able to design the system that would reach maximum production potential by mounting the system north facing, with modules both flat to the roof and on a 10 degree tilt. Enphase technology maximises annual energy harvesting capability at this low inclination, while at the same time ensuring best daily performance despite early morning and late afternoon shade effects.
Going Solar recommended Enphase Microinverters because, unlike string inverters, they could decouple the panels from each other so that any shade from structural elements does not impact the entire system’s production capability.
Keeping an Eye on Production
Having solar on their roof wasn’t enough: ACF wanted to see the results as they happened. ACF requested a high level of operational transparency for their system to enable granular, module-level monitoring capability in real time.
Enphase’s cloud-based Enlighten software allows both the installer and building manager to keep a close eye on system performance and provides remote system diagnostic tools for any cleaning and long-term maintenance requirements.
“We were able to give ACF peace of mind with their Enphase System,” said Sutherland. “The respected brand name of Enphase technology, backed by a leading warranty, ensures the highest reliability.”
Enphase reliability is reinforced through Enlighten’s automatic alerts, which tell the installer and owner that the system is operating as designed, and safeguard against any unexpected downtime or loss in energy production.