Case Study - Illawarra Medical Center

Illawarra Medical Centre is one of the biggest medical centres operating for more than 20 years in Ballajura, approximately 12 km from the Perth CBD. The medical centre has a strong focus on training General Practitioners, Medical Students and Nurses for the future and are involved in numerous research projects aimed at increasing the support and care of the patients. The medical centre is spread over two buildings, the Medical Centre and the Pathology Building.

An energy reduction review conducted by Regen Power revealed that the average consumption of electricity is about 450 kWh/day for the medical centre building and 180 kWh/day for the pathology building. The medical centre had a peak electricity tariff of 39c/kWh (ex GST) while the pathology building had a tariff of 31c/kWh (ex GST).

Energy Assessment

The Director of the medical centre, Dr Alan Leeb, wanted to offset as much of the Medical Centre’s electricity costs as possible while making a positive contribution to the environment by generating green electricity.

Regen Power designed a 50 kW solar power system to meet the day time electricity demand which is mostly lighting, refrigeration and air-conditioning. The system is the largest such roof top solar installation for a medical centre in Western Australia.

System Design

The engineers at Regen Power collected average radiation, air temperature and other climate data throughout the year prevalent in that particular area to determine the appropriate system design for the required 50kW solar power.

Illawarra Medical Centre

System Size 40kW
No. of PV Modules 160 x 250W
Hanwha SolarOne Polycrstalline Modules
No. of Inverters 2 x 15kW SMA Tri-power 15,000TL
+ 1 x 10kW SMA Tri-power 10,000TL Inverters
Annual Energy Yield 70,000 kWh per annum
Estimated CO2 Savings 58 Metric Tonnes per annum

Pathology Building

System Size 10kW
No. of PV Modules 40 x 250W
Hanwha SolarOne Polycrstalline Modules
No. of Inverters 1 x 10kW SMA Tri-power 10,000TL Inverter
Annual Energy Yield 17,500 kWh per annum
Estimated CO2 Savings 14 Metric Tonnes per annum

Perth’s annual peak electricity demand occurs in summer during prolonged heat waves as experienced on 11 Jan 2014 when, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the temperature reached 44 degrees Celsius in parts of Perth. As can be seen from the data obtained, a major portion of the electricity consumption of the medical centre during the day was met by solar power. In addition, solar electricity produced between 2:00pm-5:00pm assists in bringing down the peak demand of the entire Western Power electricity grid.

Carbon Reduction

The solar power installation is expected to meet about 35% of the annual electricity consumption of the medical centre. This is equal to about a carbon footprint saving of 64 tonnes of CO2per annum –equivalent to eliminating the carbon footprint of 12xaverage Western Australian household’s annual electricity consumption.