Mace Midlands, a specialist in the design, specification and installation of electrical and security systems had been keen to invest in a solar array at its headquarters. As MCS accredited installers, the company knew that because it didn’t have a south-facing roof, the generation of an array might not be as great as expected. Traditionally, a south-facing roof has been required as one of the key requirements for an efficient solar install

Mace Midland’s headquarters, Granary House has already seen a large number of green measures fitted in an attempt to boost efficiency; including, sun tubes to illuminate stairwells, an air-source heat pump and a system that ensures all electrical sockets are isolated when not in use. However, the company was committed to installing a solar array to complement the existing eco-features and begin generating carbon-free electricity. 

The undesirable location of the roof required an alternative approach. Mace Midlands therefore enlisted the help of IBC Solar UK to model a new system. 

Granary House’s roof has an east west elevation and a slightly shallow 20-degree pitch.. Simon Chapman, Managing Director of Mace Midlands said: “There’s not much historical data in the UK that shows the performance of solar panels situated on roofs with an east-west elevation.”

In spite of the lack of data, IBC Solar UK helped design a unique array that sits across the east west-facing roof. The design utilises over 100 SunPower modules paired with Sunny Boy inverters to make up a 27kWp system.

Chapman explained: “Historically, industry says that you need a south-facing roof to make solar work. That simply isn’t the case as we are getting some excellent results with this set up. The monitoring of each elevation allows us to collect some interesting data which backs this up.”

Despite the unusual east-west configuration of panels, Mace Midlands is experiencing excellent performance results, with an estimated 21-23,000 kWh/year output, slashing the company’s CO2 output by 12.5 tonnes every year.

Discussing why Mace Midlands decided to opt for IBC Solar’s uncommon proposal, Chapman stated: “I’ve seen first-hand how the company operates. IBC SOLAR isn’t satisfied with a manufacturer’s guarantee, which is why it batch tests all of the panels it supplies at its own purpose-built test facilities in Bad Staffelstein, Germany.

“During a three-month period, panels are subjected to a number of quality assurance examinations, including flash testing, which shows the efficiency of each panel. A whole shipment may be rejected if products are not up to scratch. 

“This level of commitment towards supplying quality products made it an easy decision for us to partner with them. IBC Solar strives to put product in to the market that is thoroughly tested and checked out.