Solar energy for secondary school

DURING the recent summer break, academy secondary school Arthur Mellows Village College employed solar specialists, Manor Solar, to install PV panels to the school building, providing a clean source of renewable energy for a proportion of the school’s energy needs.

The project is the latest in a series of new construction and ongoing refurbishment works to improve the school building. The firm’s sister company, Manor Roofing, has completed extensive re-roofing works in the school’s main block to improve insulation levels and give greater energy efficiency.

Gary Wentworth, project manager at Arthur Mellows Village College, said, “The school is trying is to improve its green credentials and solar panels means we can produce our own clean renewable energy and help to reduce the school’s Carbon Footprint. The system’s energy monitoring tool will also be used as a lesson resource in subjects such as science, geography and design and technology to teach our students about sustainable energy using a working example of renewable energy in action.”

The installation took a total of just two days to complete, using solar panels that snap together on mounts fixed to the school’s flat roof. Manor Solar MD, Mark Cawood, explained, “This is the first installation of this kind of PV panel in the UK. It has come into the market to meet the needs of older buildings. They are light-weight which suits roofs with a low distributed roof load requirement and the simple snap-on mounts shortens the project time for large rooftop solar installations significantly.”

Manor Solar first laid a reflective roofing membrane that is part of the Solar Energy system and is designed to boost the PV panels’ light collection technology by refracting additional light off the roof surface.  The 20 PV panels, which are backed by a 25-year guarantee, are installed in an area of the roof with the least shade and close to where the 4000 TL inverter is housed. They generate an estimated 3365Kw, which is the equivalent to the energy used by a 4 bedroom house. The school has direct access to an online monitoring tool, which will allow students and the facilities management team to monitor its renewable energy performance.

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