Over the last week we have continued fitting panels at our new 200kwp solar system at Shed 3a, Shoreham Port. Our bright yellow inverters also arrived and were put into position and the grid connection cable established. While there remains work to do on the electrical side, this install has been great work by our installers, the Little Green Energy Company, and we look forward to getting the system commissioned and generating over the next few weeks – taking advantage of the cracking weather.

See here for details of last week’s works – meanwhile here’s the progress over the last seven days:

818 Renesola PV panels now in position

818 Renesola PV panels now in position

So now all the panels are in position. Importantly, so is the support infrastructure that runs the electricity of the roof. At its most simple, this infrastructure begins with a short wire running from the panel to what’s called an MC4 connector; the MC4 connects to long wiring routes which are laid out under the panel matrix.

A gaggle of MC4 connectors - these clip from the backs of the panels to the wiring system

A gaggle of MC4 connectors – these clip from the backs of the panels to the wiring system

The wires (and hence panels) are grouped together into more than fifty “strings”. Each string operates at a similar voltage and has its own dedicated cable to the inverters.

The view from underneath the panels, showing the light that the silicon has missed!

The view from underneath the panels, showing the light that has passed through the silicon grid

Once at the inverters the electricity is converted from DC to AC. The inverters also provide a point at which we can monitor the system – the reason we’ve six on this install is so that any problems can be isolated into its respective string.

Our wall-mounted inverter system

Our wall-mounted inverter system

At 3a there’s also a hefty distance between the roof and the point at which we can connect to the national grid. To provide a pathway we’ve hauled an 80mm cable more than 100m underground. This cable weighs in at over a tonne, and it’s been no mean achievement to get this bit of kit in position (and on budget).

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Our 80mm copper cable runs more than 100m from the inverters to the nearest grid connection point

As mentioned above, we’ve a few weeks before our system is commissioned  – in the meantime I’ll be keeping you updated on progress at 3a via our twitter account and our Facebook page .

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