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The prestigious University of Cambridge Department of Engineering is housed in historic buildings in the heart of Cambridge. A renovation of the Inglis Building in 2013 created the opportunity to significantly improve its energy performance.
The saw-tooth roof was re-covered with high performance structural insulated roofing panels to improve the thermal insulation. The roof pitch facing onto the street was retained as a slate roof to preserve the character of the buildings. Intrinsic Power designed a solar system to reduce the department’s electricity requirements as much as possible, without compromising the looks of this historic building.
133 500W Viridian PV 30 panels, and 40 smaller Viridian PV 15 panels were specified, giving a total power of 74kWp. The complex roof layout and shading patterns posed a design challenge. An aerial view illustrates the issue. A shadow from the tall chimney sweeps across the roof like a giant sundial. The design team at Intrinsic Power collaborated with researchers in the Engineering Department to arrive at an optimum solution for the electrical design that uses a combination of string and micro-inverters to minimise the impact of shading while controlling costs.
As the building is listed, and in a conservation area aesthetics were paramount. Viridian Clearline panels are suitable for installation either above or integrated into the roof. Integrated panels were used on the sensitive roof pitches.
The installation was such a success that Intrinsic Power was chosen as the solar contractor for Phase 2 of the development – a further 12kWp. The client also replaced an existing solar thermal system with matching Viridian solar thermal collectors to provide hot water to the laboratories below.
A division of Viridian Solar
We were delighted with the technical support we received from Intrinsic Power, from the design phase where the complex shading of the roof was addressed to the comprehensive assistance provided to the contractors. We even added a matching Clearline solar heating panel to the array to provide hot water to the laboratories below.
The expertise and technical support has provided the Department of Engineering with the confidence to use Intrinsic Power again on a second large scale project later in the year.
University of Cambridge Department of Engineering
Number of Panels