Richmond Town Hall revamps with solar
In the midst of an award-winning global sustainability campaign, the City of Yarra added multisized solar systems to the roofs of seven public buildings - including the heritage-listed Richmond Town Hall. The City enlisted Smart Commercial Solar to help bring solar to buildings throughout the municipality, with the latter recruiting microinverter supplier Enphase.
While the majority of the solar systems are small in size, ranging from 1.5 to 15 kW, the Richmond Town Hall showcases a 70 kW system. The Town Hall system proved to be the most challenging to design, as Smart Commercial Solar was tasked with maintaining the building’s aesthetic integrity; luckily, the company’s choice of Enphase technology saved it from the problems that would have ensued with string inverters.
“The hall roof’s imperfect nature required us to install panels in irregular locations and orientations that would have been almost impossible to do with traditional string inverters,” said Huon Hoogesteger, CEO and founder of Smart Commercial Solar. “Enphase microinverters were flexible enough for us to arrange the system to fit the roof’s available space.”
Enphase microinverters require less cabling since they convert solar power directly from DC to AC, allowing Smart Commercial Solar to comply easily with building code guidelines. Its modular technology also allows solar panels to be installed in different orientations, maximising its rooftop space and system size.
Enphase’s technical team provided on-site support that helped guide Smart Commercial Solar on the best way to accommodate the project’s many obstacles. Furthermore, the owners of Richmond Town Hall will now be able to monitor the solar installation in real time using the Enphase MyEnlighten platform, which provides insights on energy production, the health of the system and pre-emptive alerts of any potential issues.
“Enphase Energy is delighted to have partnered with Smart Commercial Solar to deliver an outstanding solar energy solution which complies with the strict planning codes associated with improvements for heritage-listed buildings,” said Nathan Dunn, Asia-Pacific managing director for Enphase Energy. “We are proud that Enphase technology has contributed to the sustainability and energy efficiency goals of this iconic building while preserving its heritage status.”
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