Adelaide's solar airport

1.17MW is added to Adelaide Airport’s short term car park to become the largest rooftop solar install in South Australia and Australia’s largest car park install.

Oh NO!

Airports use a huge amount of energy and service a vast number of passengers from all over the world, right around the clock. 

Adelaide Airport is currently the fourth-largest domestic airport and sixth-largest international airport in Australia, processing more than 7.7 million passengers annually.

Recognising that the world is heading towards a carbon-constrained future, Adelaide Airport was determined to find a more renewable energy source, and so in 2007, invested in solar PV as a potential solution – installing panels on their domestic and international terminals.

Oh YES!

Given initial success with solar PV, Adelaide Airport was determined to do more.

A huge, 1.17MW addition to Adelaide Airport’s rooftop solar capacity was installed on the roof of the airport’s short term car park. This brought the airport’s total solar capacity to 1.28MW.

The system is South Australia’s largest rooftop solar install and Australia's largest solar car park, and is expected to offset 100 per cent of the car park’s electricity consumption, with excess power to be consumed within the main terminal. It currently supplies just under 10 per cent of the major airport’s energy needs.

Drumroll please...

In reducing Adelaide Airport’s overall energy consumption, the new system has been incredibly successful. It has also:

Set a national and global example

Impressively, South Australia already leads the way when it comes to adopting solar PV technology, with PV penetration levels fast approaching one third of all households. In fact, Australia is a world leader in household solar PV, with double the uptake (15 per cent of households on average), compared to the next country, Belgium.

This new solution - on a busy and large-scale airport - provides an example for a range of businesses in Australia and around the world. 

Innovative design

The solution was designed and implemented by Solgen, who worked with Adelaide Airport to push engineering and design boundaries. The solution is the first installation in Australia of SMA’s Sunny Tripower 60 inverters. With these inverters, Solgen completely customised the solar distribution board and inverters into a single room on the top level of the car park, ensuring that valuable car parking space wasn’t lost.

In addition, almost 4,500 Trinasmart solar panels were installed with the unique capability of mitigating the effects of shading across the array from existing and potential infrastructure. A remote single switch was also installed to enable immediate shut-down at a panel level, which enhances the overall safety of the system in the event of an emergency.

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