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Project Summary 
System size and configuration50 x ZEN 250W Polycrystalline Panels,
ZEN 500W Micro Control Centres
Systems averaged output per day51.75kWh
CO2 savings606.75 tonnes


ZEN Energy Systems installed a 12.5kW solar energy system at St Peter’s Cathedral in July 2013. The 50 solar panels are helping to offset nearly half of the Cathedral’s energy use.

About the project

St Peter’s Cathedral is a landmark building in Adelaide, attracting more than 50,000 visitors each year. Built in the 1870s, the King William Rd building is used by people, who travel from all over Adelaide to share in Cathedral life. The Cathedral is open to visitors each day and holds more than 15 services each week.

The Dean of St Peter’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Frank Nelson, suggested the church look at installing a solar energy system to reduce its electricity costs and to lessen its impact on the environment. This, he said, fitted with the Anglican Church’s stated objective to care for creation.

The Cathedral’s Office and Facilities manager, Denis Falland, started researching solar suppliers online, with a focus on price and the different technology companies were offering. Mr Falland, a former electrician, said ZEN’s products stood out as the best.

He said of the four solar companies he asked to provide a written quote, ZEN’s staff were the most professional and the technology the most efficient.

In July 2013, ZEN Energy Systems installed 50 panels on the Cynthia Poulton Hall, next to the Cathedral.

Designing the project

St Peter’s Cathedral wanted to generate its own electricity to power its hall and offices.

ZEN Energy’s expert solar team worked closely with Cathedral staff to tailor a system to meet their needs and their budget. They evaluated the roof space available and found there was plant and equipment on the roof that the system would need to be configured around.

It was decided the most effective system for the Cathedral would be a ZEN AC Energy System. This offered the Cathedral a system that could easily be split over two separate roof lines and sub-boards, and still be effective.

ZEN also discovered that building approval had been granted to a neighbouring property, next to the Cynthia Poulton Hall. With this information, ZEN’s installers designed a system ensuring that once the building was constructed, it would not impact on the performance of the solar system.

How the system works

The 50 solar panels are attached to the roof of the Cynthia Poulton Hall in two rows of 25 panels each. This allows the system to provide an even feed into multiple sub-boards.

The state-of-the-art panels operate individually, with the system offering up to 10% more power yield for the Cathedral.

The system’s technology also allows Cathedral staff to monitor the performance of the solar panels from anywhere in the world, via a mobile phone or tablet.

All the energy generated is powering the Cathedral’s hall and office, which makes up for about half the Cathedral’s total electricity use.

Project outcomes

The detailed site inspections undertaken by ZEN’s staff prior to the Cathedral’s solar installation ensured the project was delivered on time and on the budget. Mr Falland said he had been most impressed with the system’s monitoring capabilities.
“You can be told a system is performing, but this technology is constant proof that it really is working,’’ he said.

Mr Falland said he would not hesitate to recommend ZEN to other businesses considering installing a solar system.

“I had previously not been convinced of solar energy, but after my research and rising electricity costs, I am certain it is the way to go.”

Dennis Falland | Office and Facilities Manager

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