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MEDIA RELEASE 04 August 2016

Solar for iconic town hall - with 30 degrees of difficulty
Brunswick Town Hall is an iconic Melbourne landmark which was built in 1876 and only survived the wreckers ball in 1974 after a local protest campaign and although it earns its keep today as a popular social venue, it was one the top ten energy users in the municipality.

This did not fit well with Moreland Council which was the third accredited carbon neutral council in Australia, but installing solar panels on the three storey historic building with a 30 degree slope on its corrugated iron roof presented some difficult installation problems.

Installers Envirogroup also faced the need to overcome the problem of potential traffic disruption, as the location of the Town Hall on Sydney Road, Brunswick is one of Melbourne's busiest arterial roads. Safety was also a major requirement and required the installation of safety rails on the roof and harnesses for all the installers.

The main roof area was also found to be insufficient to house enough conventional solar panels to generate the required energy level of 100kWp and using the lower roof area was seen to be inefficient as it is subject to shadowing for part of the day.

The eventual solution was to use the new High Efficiency PERC Mono Trina Solar 290Wp panels are more efficient than conventional panels.

The final installation used 345 panels on the main roof which will generate 111kWh per year and provide a greenhouse gas offset of 13,981 tonnes or 33 cars. To get the same energy output with conventional 260Wp would have required more than 400 panels.

The more efficient panels not only reduced the number of panels that were required it also reduced the installation time as well as obtaining more energy out of the roof space.

According to lead electrician on the install, Nick Garric it was the most difficult job he's tackled in the seven years he has been an installer.

"Our installing team members were in safety harness for the four week installation period and because of the number of panels, we had to lay them in a landscape pattern, rather than the usual portrait configuration.
"This meant our roof access had to be up the 30 degree slope, rather than along the roof.

"Because of the age of the building and the roof, another difficulty we had to overcome was in running the cables from the panels to the inverter.

"Clearly the 290Wp panels were the solution for us to get enough panels on the roof to generate the required level of energy and we had no handling difficulties compared to the standard 260Wp panels.

"Being on a 30 degree slope the panels are largely self-cleaning, whereas if we had to use the lower flat roof areas there would have been significant soiling as the traffic in busy Sydney Road generates a high level of road grime," Nick Garric said.

Trina Solar Sales Manager Govind Kant said that the Brunswick Town Hall installation is the first use of the 290Wp solar panels in Australia.

"Although the standard poly modules still have a niche market, the rapid improvement in efficiency with mono modules coupled with the minimal price gap between the poly and the mono modules, will soon see mono modules becoming main stream. The extra price on the mono modules is offset by the greater savings on the balance of the system," Govind Kant said.

Moreland City Council: It was formed in 1994 through the forced amalgamation of the previous municipalities of Coburg and Brunswick and the southern part of Broadmeadows. It is located in the north of Melbourne and comprises of twelve suburbs ranging from four to twelve kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.

It was originally on the main northern route into Melbourne and is dissected by Sydney Road.

The Council vision is for a sustainable city that supports a resilient community who live in an attractive, accessible and safe environment with a strong local economy and services that meet their diverse needs.

EnviroGroup: EnviroGroup is a specialist provider of renewable energy products and systems for commercial applications, government clients and residential home owners. Founded in 2004, EnviroGroup is a leading authority in sustainable technology, with a team of expert engineers and installers delivering projects Australia wide. In addition, its retail division EnviroShop offers a large range of equipment, services and sustainability products to a growing client base.

About Trina Solar: Trina Solar is a tier one world supplier of photovoltaic modules. Founded in 1997, it employs 15,000 people in 22 countries and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2006 and was declared the most bankable company in the 2016 Bloomberg Finance Report. It has shipped more than 15 GW of solar panels world-wide since 2007. In Australia Trina Solar has an R&D investment through support of the Australian National University and the University of NSW and is a major module supplier nationally to the commercial and domestic markets.

Released for Trina Solar by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Dennis Rutzou on 0411 510 888.

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