George Spencer Academy Maximises Solar Panel Return

Following the installation of a 120-panel, 30kWp solar PV system, Nottinghamshire-based school, George Spencer Academy, decided that a monitoring and maintenance package was necessary to preserve the integrity of their new system, while also helping to turn the investment into a valuable environmental awareness tool within both the school and local community.

George Spencer Academy decided that they wanted to maximise their solar PV system’s performance, while also showcasing what the panels have achieved in the school’s reception area via monitor and intending to use the installation as a learning tool for students during lessons.

Geoff Weightman, Governor for George Spencer Academy, said: “Ensuring that we are making the most of our solar panels, both in terms of generating electricity and teaching our students about the importance of sustainability, is of the utmost importance to us.”

“Financially, having invested in our new 30kWp PV installation and expecting annual returns and savings of approximately 17% ROI per year, knowing whether the system was performing as planned and whether there were any faults with it seemed crucial, but is something that can only be done by utilising Remote Monitoring.”

As a result, George Spencer Academy purchased a five-year Navitron Remote Monitoring & Reactive Maintenance package that not only includes Orsis monitoring technology and guarantees that the PV system is working at all times, but also identifies if it is unexpectedly switched off or underperforming. The package also cuts out the need for unnecessary and costly maintenance and meter-reading site visits.

Geoff continued: “For a small annual fee, we can rest assured knowing that the system is performing to its optimum all the time. Should a problem arise, though, we will be notified right away so the issue can be rectified.”

“In addition, the display information provided is a valuable educational tool, as we’ve installed monitors in the school that showcase the beneficial effects solar generation is having on the building, as well as the savings on conventional energy sources – plus, our teachers will be using the system as part of lessons about science and the importance of maintaining the environment.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with Navitron, not only for the purchase and installation of our PV system, but also while setting up our remote monitoring. The team has an outstanding track record of working to install PV panels on schools, and they did an excellent job, not only installing our system, but ensuring we understood everything there is to know about it.”

“With that said, I would definitely recommend Navitron and its monitoring and maintenance package to other schools throughout the UK. With such a large investment, it’s necessary to know your system is performing effectively and efficiently – plus, the system provides constant feedback for students and visitors and promotes awareness of alternative energy sources.”

Stephen Knight, Commercial Director at Navitron, commented: “Without remote monitoring, PV systems are usually only looked at to read the generation meters once per quarter, so a system could be switched off or underperforming for three months before anyone notices. For a 30kWp system, this could mean that £1,500 in revenue and savings could be lost before the fault was found.

“Reactive maintenance rather than planned maintenance saves the customer a lot of money, and the panels are a great way of teaching young people about the benefits of solar power, so we’re really looking forward to helping more schools like George Spencer Academy harness the power of the sun and make the most of their renewable systems through the use of remote monitoring technology.”

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