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PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

  • 1.  PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

    Posted 22 August 2018 00:43
    ​Hi All

    I am looking for the best and most cost effective way of designing up a number of new environmental initiatives in our city. We have a number of projects that deal with the installation of solar panels and systems on public buildings and our project team have been getting consultants to design these up for every individual building - at a premium consultancy cost! There must be a better way!

    Does anyone out there have a procedure/policy that they are following that has worked for them regarding the design and installation of these facilities..

    Thanks in anticipation.


    Ian Daniels
    Manager Infrastructure Project Delivery
    City of Rockingham WA

  • 2.  RE: PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

    Posted 22 August 2018 21:08
    ​Hi Ian

    Purely off-the-top-of-the-head answer, but you might consider having a scalable, generic set of base specifications drafted (relating to quality, brand of products, micro inverters, battery systems, structural assessment, applications to Western Power and your supplier, warranties, defects period and applicable Australian Standards etc) and use that for all installations, then requiring quotation/tenderer respondents to submit a detailed design to suit the individual building. This is more of an outcome based approach which should hopefully cut down on consultant design costs.

    Following this, a check-over of submissions by a specialist consultant for compliance with electrical standards and quality should be carried out as part of the assessment. I'd also use that consultants services to check the installation before granting practical completion.

    Again - just a brain dump. Hope it helps.

    Rene Baur
    Manager Building Assets
    Shire of MUndaring

  • 3.  RE: PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

    Posted 22 August 2018 21:40
      |   view attached
    ​Hi Ian,
    We have used the attached specification for our solar PV installations seeking quotes via the WALGA panel of suppliers.
    I estimate a ball park size of the system using the last 12 months load data from the electricity supplier and establish a size to minimize export to grid. We have not gone to batteries yet until the payback time gets down a bit.
    Include with the specification the load data, schematics of the electrical installation of the facility and an aerial photo to show the available roof area.
    This specification invites the contractors to offer alternatives of the most cost effective system taking the load of the building into consideration.

    Jim Browning
    Renewal & Projects Advisor
    City of Gosnells


  • 4.  RE: PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

    Posted 22 August 2018 22:56
    Dear Ian

    We deployed the largest rooftop PV in the Southern Hemisphere 2 years ago and are about to deploy Stage 2 across 4 other campuses.

    Our approach was to use an independent assessor to run a blind tender specifying total budget and asking tenderers to submit optimal approaches. Our performance contracts specify shared risk approaches so that roof space, install, maintenance, design and operation, warranty etc are all maximised.

    By sharing risk and financing out of existing power budgets we feel both value for money and performance has been optimised.

    Again using CEC accredited installers and only DNV GL Quality Assessed and Rated components is critical. With the rush to solar - total quality has fallen with about 8% of total equipment and BOS failing globally . The Bill of Materials component assessments by DNV suggests sub standard minerals and materials are being introduced to meet demand.

    My 20+ yrs experience in renewables suggests increasing casualness and deprofessionalism is leading to poorer design and installs. In larger projects especially with power operators an engineering design led performance warranty is priority. Now financial engineering is taking precedent as new components are rushed into install. My gut feel is that a mixed warranty approach built on a better engineering design will be better in the long run.

    Contact me directly if you'd like further suggestions.

    kind regards


  • 5.  RE: PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

    Posted 22 August 2018 22:57
    At Coffs Harbour we have installed solar on top of our library/art gallery, council office building.  Been there awhile.  I am trying to track down information from our staff who managed the installation and will followup when I get a hold of him.  We are currently in the process of installing a lot of solar throughout our facilities.  We have hired an outside project management company for a design/build contract.  Nothing to share yet.  But if I find drawings for our existing system, will let you.

    Alison Ratliff
    Asset Strategist
    Coffs Harbour City Council

  • 6.  RE: PV Arrays (Solar panels) on public buildings

    Posted 22 August 2018 22:59
    Maybe contact Brad Rowe
    Franklin Price
    1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW2000
    Phone Mobile: 0404603344
    Office: 1300561014
    Online Email:

    He knowledgeable abour Solar Panels and great quotes.