Energy engineering company SEM Solutions has completed the installation of a 393 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the Neelsie Student Centre at Stellenbosch University (SU).
The power generated by the PV modules provides a third of the energy requirements of the student centre, says SU environmental sustainability manager John de Wet.
In total, six Huawei 60 kW inverters, 829 PV modules of 380 W and a further 174 PV modules of 450 W were installed.
A complete steel substructure was required on the roof to evenly distribute the load and bear additional ballasts to counter the uplift of the PV modules, says SEM Solutions operations manager Menno Sulsters.
“The student centre is an iconic venue for the university. It was important that the solar PV project did not detract from the overall culture of the location.”
“This type of project fits within our aim to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and our dependence on fossil-fuelled energy through dynamic and continuous energy management programmes. We aim to reduce Scope 2 electricity consumption emissions by 20% compared with 2019, including through self-generation.
"SU aims to identify and reduce gross emissions and improve its overall energy efficiency in line with global targets on climate change and its overarching sustainability goals. To this end, the SU facilities management division is implementing energy-efficiency initiatives for the next decade to lower the university’s total emissions and reduce operational costs," notes De Wet.
He added that, towards the end of installation project, it was decided to add an additional 78 kW of capacity.