Town Centre Car Parks
TCCP select GMI Energy to install a 128kW array on the roof of their car park in Clarence Dock Leeds
Town Centre Car Parks had the largest UK city centre solar PV system in 2011. The 128kW system may seem average-sized by today's standards but at the time GMI Energy's system was not only unusually large but also made the headlines because of its innovative and unusual cylindrical panels.
The car park is adjacent to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds and the top floor was selected as an ideal location for a solar array. The system was chosen for a number of unique benefits. There is no shading between rows, meaning the space could be maximised to deliver the greatest yield (128kW versus 70kW for a traditional flat roof system). The panels are incredibly quick to install and at Clarence Dock they were laid in just two days! They also have the added advantage that they can be moved quickly for maintenance and their lightweight frame is ideal for roofs with weight restrictions. Furthermore, the array is non-penetrating so there are no issues with attachment to a landlord's property and no risks of leaks from fixings.
Prior to the panels being laid, the roof area was jet washed and painted white to reflect more sunlight to the underside of the cylindrical panels and help to boost the yield.
Ben Ziff, MD of TCCP is delighted with the results of the system over the last few years. "GMI Energy took great care in designing a system that would maximise production from our car park roof. We now have an energy solution that not only supplies 15% of our car park's electricity demand from a carbon-free source, but delivers a generous income too. We are delighted with the results from the system, which have exceeded our expectations and could potentially lead to greater revenue and a reduced payback period."