The Coach House Museum is hoping for steady daylight and sunny conditions in the future to gain the best out of its new solar installations, one of the largest solar arrays put together in Feilding.
A total of 208 Suntech solar panels, each with 330 watts, have been installed on the Coach House Museum roof, capable of producing a total of 68.6 kilowatts of power.
They have been wired in 11 sections of panels to 11 DC isolators in the museum’s switch room and wired to an 80 kilowatt inverter.
The three-phase power system has been designed by GDN Solar in Palmerston North and installed by APB Electrical of Feilding. The system will provide more than enough power to cover the museum’s daily opening hours of 10am to 4pm. Any early/late sunshine power produced will be fed into the national electricity grid, so the museum will receive a small return from excess power generated. The system does not require batteries to store excess power, which would have been an extra cost.
The $120,000 system has been paid for by a Central Energy Trust donation of $60,000, and the other half from Museum trust funds.
Museum Trust spokesman David Stroud said the project has been about four years in the making, with the ultimate aim to reduce power consumption costs – one of the largest components in the museum’s operating budget. The trust previously spent around $15,000 a year on power bills.
Museum Trust chairman Bryan Guy said the museum owed Central Energy Trust a huge ‘thank you’ and is very grateful for receiving the funds toward the solar project. The donation will mean the museum will be able to drastically reduce its operating costs, particularly its electricity costs. It also means the museum continues moving toward meeting its sustainability goals.
The solar panels have been erected on the museum roof facing Kawa Kawa Road. The roof is said to be perfectly sloped to gain best advantage of the sun and daylight.