Flexicon Provides Long Term Cable protection for Liverpool School Photo-Voltaic Installation
Flexible conduit from Flexicon will help to keep the power running for a Liverpool primary school’s photovoltaic installation over the next 20 years.
The 24 kW system is part of a regeneration scheme for the Kingsley Community School, which is seeking to reduce its long-term electricity bills and its carbon footprint. The 24.3 kWp Solar PV system on the roof will generate an estimated 19,270 kWh per year, which equates to an income and savings of £4187.36 per year. Over its projected lifespan of 20 years this would amount to £83,747.20.
Installer’s Feed-it-Green approached Flexicon for cable protection to maximise uptime for the installation over its life.
Says Mark Reynolds, director of Feed-it-Green: “A photovoltaic installation is a long term investment and it is important that it stays up and running throughout its projected lifespan. It is therefore vital to specify top quality products. Sadly too many installers overlook cable protection, which is a mistake since this can have a serious affect on a system’s long-term viability.
“The cabling is exposed to all that the British weather can throw at it. Not only do the cables need protecting from UV light, ingress from water and dust and temperatures ranging from below freezing to a hot summer’s day, but mechanical forces due to wind and other factors such as rodents or birds.
“As a public building we also need to protect the cables from vandalism and potential cable theft, so mechanical protection is vital. This is particularly important because cabling from photovoltaic panels have DC current running through them and are live when it is sunny, so there is a serious safety risk for people.”
The project used different protective conduit systems from Flexicon, dependent on the potential hazards faced. Feed-it-Green specified Flexicon’s FPAS non-metallic conduit to protect the cabling on the roof. This provides enhanced UV resistance, good compression strength and when used with the FPA fitting has an IP rating of IP66. The conduit was used with the company’s FPA T-pieces, which provided a neat method for cables to branch off to connect to the individual photovoltaic strings.
To enhance the mechanical protection offered down the side of the building, a coupler was used to connect and convert the FPAS system into a metallic conduit called FSU. This system then fed underneath the eaves of the roof and inside the building to the inverter. As a metallic system, it has excellent mechanical strength to protect it from vandalism or theft. It is also highly flexible so that it can bend around the eaves and when used with compression fittings has an IP65 rating.
Flexicon has also supplied flexible conduit to protect all the internal cabling to the inverter and then from the inverter to the distribution boards.
Concludes Reynolds: “This project clearly demonstrates the benefit of working with a manufacturer who can offer a wide range of products to match the specific hazards faced by the cabling. Flexicon’s technical help will help ensure that this installation will remain working for many years to come. The flexible conduit systems that we used were easy and quick to install.”
Flexicon has a range of 52 different conduit systems available as standard to meet a wide range of hazards likely to be faced by cabling. The company has also launched an app called flexiapp, available on its website www.flexicon.uk.com, to help specifiers select the correct system for a project. Technical help is also available over the telephone on 01675 466900.