iGen Energy deliver Q-Cells' first major UK roof project


The commercial rooftop project is the first in the United Kingdom to utilise the world's most efficient thin film modules Q.SMART from German manufacturer Q-Cells and when it is completed, the new system covering 1,500m² will be one of the largest in the North of England.

Faced with a flat roof pitch of just six degrees and a location notorious for its challenging weather conditions, iGen chose to install Q.SMART thin film modules.

Particularly suited to the UK due to their superior performance in low light conditions, in shade and at unfavourable angles, the Q.SMART CIGS technology has under such terms consistently outperformed traditional crystalline cells in field tests and was the top performing thin film module in Photon's recent Energy Yield Test (June).

To reduce on-site storage at Selden's factory, offices and warehouse at Staden Business Park, iGen worked with solar distributor Carbomat UK Ltd to deliver the 96kWp system, which features 873 Q-Cells Q.SMART solar modules, Schletter mounting systems and SMA inverters.

"As experienced commercial installers we know its vitally important to choose the right modules at design stage and our simulations show us that the Q-Cells Q.SMART product will provide a much greater return on investment for our client than traditional crystalline panels and this is always our first priority," said iGen Managing Director Peter Hewart.

"Added to the fact that the frameless modules provide less stress on the building structure and a reduced wind loading, we have been very impressed with the quality and ease of installation of the Q-Cells modules."

The installation, which represents a £280,000 investment by Selden, is forecast to produce 74,791kWh of energy each year, which will meet 25 percent of the company's needs and will save 165,000kg of CO2 emissions. The solar energy generated will power production lines manufacturing zero carbon dispenser refills, including foaming soaps, skin cleaners and sanitisers.

This environmental investment is in line with Selden's ‘Clean-Green Charter' which has driven a succession of product and manufacturing process innovations.

"As a company whose products ensure everyone can live and work in a clean environment, our use of clean energy to help make them is a natural step," said Mark Woodhead, Selden Sales Director and current Chairman of the British Cleaning Council.

Commenting on the project, Andrew Troop, Q-Cells UK Key Account Manager added, "We're delighted that iGen Energy specified Q-Cells for this our first major UK roof project and that it is with such an environmentally friendly company as Selden, in the Peak District an area of outstanding natural beauty. Our Q.SMART thin-film and Q.PRO crystalline modules which are both MCS and BRE Green Book accredited, offer class-leading efficiencies and guaranteed yields and are part of a growing UK product portfolio. In July we will also launch the most efficient 60-cell module on the UK market, Q.PEAK which is our new monocrystalline product with power classes up to 265Wp and efficiencies up to 15.9 percent."

Q.SMART modules come with the Q-Cells YIELD SECURITY seal of quality. This includes an innovative Anti PID technology (APT), protecting solar cells and modules against potential induced degradation, which can reduce output by up to 20 percent; Additional Power Boost (APB), an increase in output by up to 15 percent through positive sorting and the light soaking effect, a proven benefit of thin film technology; plus 360 efficiency (TDE – Three hundred and sixty Degree Efficiency) through flexible installation in diffused light conditions, in shade and at unfavourable angles.

This is all backed by an unrivalled linear performance guarantee of 25 years, with Q.SMART CIGS modules keeping their performance at 100 percent during the first three years and achieving more than 85 percent of rated output at the end of the guarantee period.