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September 04, 2017

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Solar Power Takes Off at Cebu International Airport

More than 6,300 PV modules are now installed at the roof of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 1. The solar grid-tied system is expected to generate 2,169,900 kWh of energy per year that will offset a considerable amount of the daytime load peaks for the 2nd busiest airport in the Philippines. The 1.64MW PV system is also calculated to save 1,301,580 kg of CO2 each year.

 
The project was awarded to Solenergy by GMCAC, an International consortium of GMR Group (developer and operator of airports worldwide) and Megawide Construction Corp. Solenergy’s successful track record of large-scale embedded solar plants throughout the Philippines and high component specifications made for the most compelling proposal. The system comprises 65 Fronius Symo 3-phase inverters, offering real-time online system monitoring and added safety functionality, such as arc and ground fault protection. The racking system was custom designed by Solenergy, with a cast in place ballast solution offering resistance to elevated wind speeds that are often experienced in the Visayas region. Solenergy also supplied a bespoke curtailment solution to enable the client to operate the PV system in parallel with their gensets, in case of brown out. In addition to such a notable solar power system, GMCAC also commissioned Solenergy to re-engineer the power room of Terminal 1. This included design, supply and installation of panelized switchgear and resin encased busduct system. The ability to offer advanced AC-side power solutions, further differentiated Solenergy from other suppliers. GMCAC demanded a full-service contractor for their ambitious new power plant and only Solenergy fit the bill.

MCIA-coverphoto

In recent years, airports around the world have been embracing solar power installations. With these facilities having large amounts of available space, both for rooftop, car park, and surrounding runways, they are in many ways an ideal fit for large-scale solar installations. They are also a very clear endorsement of clean energy to the millions of passengers who will have a bird’s eye view of the solar panels whenever they depart or arrive in the airport.

 

Sustaining a Brighter Future

A portion of the 1.6 MW rooftop project at Mactan Cebu Airport.

Solenergy’s Installation coincided with the MCIA’s Terminal 1 renovations, particularly the re-waterproofing and repainting of the roofs. Two racking systems were used to mount the PV system, (1) Clenergy EZ-rack for tin roof and (2) Clenergy Solar Matrix for a ballast solution to a portion of the airport’s concrete roof.
The Fronius Symo 24.0 kW inverters where placed at the roof deck. These inverters are the ideal compact three-phase solar inverter for commercial applications wth a 480V grid connection. The new line of Fronius SnapINverters are rated for outdoor use (NEMA 4X) which permits exposure to all weather conditions. Full in country warranty support is also provided by Solenergy, as the exclusive Service Partner Plus.

Lightning protection devices were also added to provide additional protection the PV system. A custom Busduct system was also installed for a more reliable and efficient connection to the 4000AT switchgear, which was also part of the Solenergy’s scope in electrical room modifications.

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