SunGift Solar’s 50kWp solar array installed at Air Control Industries’ offices in Axminster is helping the company generate significant electricity and lower its carbon footprint and bills.  

The system, which was installed at the end of 2012, has already generated in excess of 40,000kWh. However, Air Control nearly missed out on a solar array due to the structural integrity of the roof.

At first glance, the large surface area and south orientation of the company’s roof lended itself perfectly to solar generation. But after an initial survey and further consultation with structural engineers it was clear that the design of the system would have to ensure that the roof maintains its structural integrity.

SunGift’s design team, led by Oliver Grogono, liaised closely with an independent firm of structural engineers and designed a solution that allowed sufficient spacing between the rows of panels to ensure that the roof structure wasn’t compromised.

Commenting on the array, Nick Wilson purchasing manager at Air Control Industries, said: “Solar PV is an obvious choice for us, as it makes perfect financial sense: the payback period is short and we’re continually generating free electricity that receives feed-in tariff payments. The spin-off is that it’s great for our green credentials too.”

 “Air Control Industries were also looking for high-quality, reliable parts with exceptional performance,” added Grogono, “so we specified BenQ Solar 250 kW panels.  These European-manufactured premium panels are made by a trusted global manufacturer, which has some of the highest quality-control measures in the industry.  This meant that – as with all of the products we use – Air Control Industries could be assured of their reliability.  What’s more, BenQs are extremely competitively priced, so it was a cost-effective solution that is generating an excellent return on their investment.”

Wilson added: “If the structure of our roof will allow it, with some additional strengthening – we will seriously consider increasing the size of the system to 2500kWp.”