India's First Net Zero Office Complex
MALANKARA PLANTATIONS, KOTTAYAM
Malankara Plantations Limited’s administrative office is an 86-year old heritage building in Kottayam, Kerala. Built mostly of wood, it has a tiled roof mounted over wooden rafters. Its ‘Heritage’ classification means that its preservation is mandated by the state and no structural changes are permitted.
Blackouts and power shortages were rampant in Kottayam so the Malankara office relied on diesel generators. But with soaring diesel prices and increased electricity tariffs the Management approached us to propose a Renewable Energy system for their power needs
Like we do on every project, we first undertook a detailed survey of the site and conducted a detailed Energy Audit. By replacing inefficient devices and incorporating energy management measures, we reduced the existing energy consumption by 50% which, in turn, helped reduce the array capacity.
We designed a unique space frame structure to mount the solar modules 9 meters above the ground-level courtyard. The four columns of the frame occupied minimal space, required no alteration to the heritage building and provided shade over the courtyard. What’s more, the space frame structure now became a rainwater harvesting system for the building.
We successfully implemented a 25kW Off-Grid SPV Power Plant which powered all the energy requirements of the Office Complex, including 18 tons of air conditioning, computers, printers, lighting, fans, ventilation, office equipment, water pumps and packing machines. Our solution ensured uninterrupted power and offered an energy cost savings payback in less than five years. In addition, it reduced up to 47 tons of carbon emissions per year, saving an estimated 97% in diesel fuel consumption.
The Heritage Building Complex of Malanakara Plantations became the First Net Zero Office Complex in India when it was disconnected from the grid and now functions off-grid wholly on its own self-generated solar power.
SPV System Components
The Main components of 25kW system comprise:
• A-si thin film Solar Modules for optimum performance even under low light and cloudy conditions
• Mounting Space Frame Structure
• 9 OutBack GVX inverters
• 7 FLEXmax Charge Controllers
• 2 MATE3 communication devices
• Battery Bank
Array Capacity : 25 kW
Inverter : 27 kW
Battery Bank : 2040 Ah @ 48V