When we moved from our old Northcote warehouse into our brand-new Coburg North location, it was important for us to not only manage our ever-growing space needs and energy costs, but more importantly, become carbon neutral. Wherever we are located, we aim to be a model for what other businesses in the area can achieve when considering their environmental impact and are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Ongoing energy needs
As with all warehouses and offices, our power usage informed our choice in the type and size of system. We use a 3-phase electric forklift that requires DAILY charging, efficient heating and cooling, a commercial printer, and office equipment to keep our 20 office-based staff powered up. We calculated our average electricity usage which showed a 12kW system would be the most suitable option for our current circumstance.
Using older panels
Over time we have accrued a backlog of panels as new products emerge and supersede previous models. We still love our older panels though, and they still function just as well as newer models, so why not use them to our advantage! We used a combination of different sized Trina and Winaco panels – while we offer our customers the latest and greatest technology, older panels are still useful.
It was also important for us to wire in additional panels above and beyond what we would be using so our dedicated in-house service team can test components for faults from our warehouse.
We have also installed Solar Analytics, which allows us to monitor our energy produced, our electricity consumption and what we’ve exported back into the grid in real time.
EnviroGroup designed the system with the future in mind as well. We left suitable space on the rooftop to expand the array if our energy usage increases, and upgraded the switchboard to accommodate a solar sub-board which will allow for additional PV power, install solar battery storage, and electric vehicle charging when the time comes.