Manufacturer BP Solar
Array Rating 5.1kW
PV Technology mono-Si
Array Structure Fixed: Ground Mount
Installed 2008

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Current Output

BP Solar monocrystalline silicon array, fixed ground mount.

Monocrystalline silicon is a proven technology that has been used in a wide range of applications for over 30 years.

Monocrystalline panels convert sunlight with a higher efficiency than polycrystalline and thin film panels. This means that fewer panels are required to produce a given amount of energy. They are often used when space is limited, or when there are high costs associated with installing a lot of panels.

This BP Solar monocrystalline array has a similar kW rating to the BP Solar polycrystalline array installed at the Solar Centre. Their output can be compared over a range of conditions.

A large part of the cost of monocrystalline panels is associated with the production of their silicon cells. These cells are sawn from large single crystals of silicon. The single crystals are grown with high precision in a process that consumes a significant amount of energy.

BP Solar is a global business that designs, manufactures and markets solar electricity systems.

Array Rating 5.1kW
Panel Rating 170W
Number Of Panels 30
Panel Type BP 4170N
Array Area 37.8 m²
Type Of Tracker N/A
Inverter Size / Type 6 kW, SMA SMC 6000A
Installation Completed Tue, 11 Nov 2008
Array Tilt/Azimuth Tilt = 20, Azi = 0 (Solar North)

Notes on the Data

  1. Inverters replaced

    Original SMA inverters that where experiencing intermittent issues (no output) have been replaced with new Fronius units.

    Thu, 15 Dec 2022

  2. Intermittent Inverter Issues

    Ongoing intermittent inverter issues with site 10 and 12 causing periotic loss of AC outputs, generally during the middle of the day. Procurement activities for sourcing replacements are ongoing.

    Wed, 1 Jun 2022

  3. Failed Inverters

    In addition to the failed inverter on site 33, additional inverter issues have been identified at the following sites.

    • Site 32, complete failure.
    • Site 34, intermittent issue.
    • Site 12, Intermittent issue, tends to be in the middle of the day.

    Remediation work is underway for each array.

    Mon, 14 Feb 2022

  4. System Disconnection for Cabling Works

    All arrays at the Solar Centre were disconnected from approximately 2.00pm to 3.00pm on Monday, 9 July 2018 in preparation for the cable between the main switchboard and distribution board being upgraded. Array sites #23-38 remained disconnected while the main feeder cable to these sites was replaced in subsequent days, but all systems were re-connected by early afternoon on Thursday, 12 July 2018.

    Mon, 9 Jul 2018

  5. Monitoring Interruption for UPS Battery Replacement

    The disconnection and re-connection of the solar arrays and weather station equipment while a new site connection was being established prompted the already flattening UPS batteries which power the site’s energy meters to fail and require immediate replacement. Data recording was affected from approximately 2.30pm ACST, Monday 10 July to 4.00pm, Wednesday 12 July.

    Affects weather data for DKASC, Alice Springs

    Wed, 12 Jul 2017

>  Answer to Spotlight Question

Onsite at the DKA Solar Centre in Alice Springs are a series of quiz-like Spotlight Questions at each array. Visit the centre and scan the QR code at each sign to test your knowledge – and check your answer here!

Q: How many solar manufacturers are operating today, and is that number getting bigger or smaller?

A: Solar manufacturers can be understood as companies that manufacture solar PV modules, inverters, mounting systems or related components (such as cells, wafers, encapsulants and electrical ancillaries). The PV module industry comprises thousands of companies ranging from very small local operations to global top-ranking companies, so it is difficult to estimate how many there are in total. Various factors drive the number up and down: mergers/acquisitions reduce the count but increase the average company size, and competition sees smaller players drop out of the market or be acquired by larger ones. New technology and product opportunities also give rise to emergent companies, widening participation and increasing diversity in the sector. When it comes to inverters, there are not as many companies (compared to those manufacturing PV modules) and a tendency for greater market share by a few individual companies. But one thing is certain: in the world of solar, business is always on the move!