Ground mounted array

This solar PV installation, in a paddock in Westley Waterless, Cambridge, proved a good solution for a client who wanted a large solar array but had limited available roof space.

ground mounted array 1


The work began by digging a 110 metre trench for the DC electrical cable to run from the panels in the paddock to an outbuilding by the house. It is important to consider the increased voltage drop when running long cables lengths. We used a 6mm2 cross section armoured cable – this is gives a power loss of ~1.6%, which is far better than the ~ 5.3% loss had we used a 240V AC cable run. Another advantage is that the inverters can be located in an outbuilding as opposed to beside the solar panels.



We drilled two foot anchors into the ground to support our custom made stainless steel frames to provide the mounting structure. The frames were positioned to face due south so the system generated the maximum amount of possible energy. 32 Moser-Baer 240W solar panels were then attached onto the mounting frame in two rows of sixteen. In all, the array was 16 metres wide, 2 metres deep and 1.5 metres high.

 


We used two Eltek 3800S inverters located in an outbuilding to change the power from DC to AC which is the type of electricity used in the house. The system will generate about 6980kWh of energy per year.