Pension Pot PV

In the middle of 2011 I tested one of my more memorable PV ground mounted sites. The system was a 250KW system that was situated in Devon. The owner was using some particularly rough ground adjacent to some woodland that he owned. He had a Sawmill business on the site and was supported by his 2 sons. He had decided to put his pension pot into an investment in a Solar PV array. He commissioned an Installer but did all of the manual labour with his 2 sons. They erected all the mounting systems and then the Solar panels which was no mean feat on the rough ground. To house the transformer and switchgear they had built a very special brick housing using some local brick pattern and a roof with very deep eaves to accommodate the local house martins.

On the day of the G59 Test there was great anticipation that their months of work were about to come to fruition. The DNO from Western Power arrived and we set about the test. The power to the site had only been switched on the day before so there was no opportunity to do some pre testing. Having verified the relay settings we then moved on and completed the functional tests on the Contactor. Then we fired up the inverters which were located underneath the solar arrays and set about adjusting them for G59/2 and for the prevailing voltage. The day was bright with some cloud cover but we managed a creditable output and then carried out the Loss of Mains tests. No hitches occurred and we were able to leave the system generating and sign the relevant forms.

The excitement was palpable by this stage and as if by magic ‘mother’ appeared with a bottle of bubbly.

It was a memorable experience to share their excitement and see the pleasure this final step had given them. I often get involved at the ‘switch-on’ point but this time the completion of their toils was clearly appreciated and sticks in my mind for the obvious pleasure that this project had given them.

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