Stellenbosch University Installs Rooftop Solar PV System at Student Centre

  • EPC SEM Solutions has installed a 315kWp solar PV rooftop system at the Neelsie Student Centre at Stellenbosch University (SU).

“The Student Centre is an iconic venue for the University. It was important that the solar PV project didn’t detract from the overall culture of the location,” says Menno Sulsters, Operations Manager at SEM Solutions. “All of the modules were mounted at a 15° tilt and oriented virtually due north. In total, 6 Huawei 60kW inverters are installed, 829 PV modules of 380Wp and a further 174 PV modules of 450Wp each. To do this, 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.”

John de Wet, Stellenbosch University’s environmental sustainability manager, said the power generated via the PV modules provides a third of the energy requirements of the entire Neelsie Student Centre. “This type of project fits within our aim to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and dependence on fossil-fuelled energy through dynamic and continuous energy management programmes. We aim to reduce Scope-2 electricity consumption emissions by 20% compared to 2019, including self-generation. Towards the end of the Neelsie Student Centre PV installation project, it was clear that we were comfortably within budget, and an additional 78kWp was added.”

Says Sulsters: “Maintainability was considered, and a full layout of walkways was also installed. It is expected that the installation will save the University about 685.4 MWh per annum, which equates to an estimated Rand saving of R960 000 annually.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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