Solar PV unit roof installation marks latest Chester University Energy Centre development

The University of Chester’s Energy Centre is continuing its mission to develop renewable energies, with the installation of a solar PV unit on the Centre’s roof.
The newly installed PV panels have been donated by Energy Gain UK. The solar energy equipment supplier recently completed a 4kW south facing Solar Edge panel installation. It is now fully optimised and will form part of the Energy Centre’s ongoing research into solar energy technologies, connecting to the Energy Centre’s pioneering microgrid.
The Energy Centre at Thornton Science Park provides a flexible place where industry and academia come together to innovate, develop and demonstrate new energy technologies connecting to a microgrid with 1,000m2 indoor and external test areas available.
The microgrid currently comprises of the following electrical units in addition to the Energy Gain solar panels:
45 kVA diesel generator
300 kVA load bank
25kW(e) Arensis E3 CHP
10kW redT flow machine.
All are connected to advanced ABB supervisory control.
The aim of the Centre is to promote growth and acceleration in the development and exploitation of new technologies for the energy market and it is available for use by SMEs to connect to as tenants on a short or long term basis. The test zone is extremely versatile, allowing tenants to work in and connect to an individual bay; through to full use of all the microgrid equipment listed above.
Paul Vernon, Senior Executive Director of Commercial Operations at the University of Chester, and Chief Executive of Thornton Research Properties Limited, said: “Our thanks go to Energy Gain UK for their donation of the unit. The solar plant itself provides a wonderful platform for research and development, and learning. The company’s support in our ambition for Thornton and the Energy Centre is another example of how the University of Chester is working with industry to allow business innovation and development to happen.”
Craig Jones, Head of Renewables at Energy Gain UK, said: “I am extremely delighted to be able to support the Energy Centre microgrid project, which will bring real benefits and opportunities to the energy sector. Energy Gain UK work with hundreds of businesses across the North West to help reduce their energy costs.   Our involvement with Thornton Science Park, with its focus on energy and support of innovation, makes the University an ideal partner for us.”
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