Yorkshire Valley Farms is a producer of certified organic chicken. The farmers, Tom Ahrens, Tony Ambler, and partners, have ambitious and exciting plans for broad scale availability of organically grown chickens. (Their chickens can now be purchased at Loblaws stores across the province.) To support these plans they are building a number of new barns and elected to include a FIT PV system on the first new barn.
The barn was built in the fall of 2010 with the first batch of chicks arriving in November. The roof-top portion of the solar project had to be finished well before the chicks' arrival so as to not disturb the chicks with construction noise.
This project includes 540 Conergy P235 modules and 270 Enphase D380 micro-inverters. Enphase was selected as the project inverter in part owing to their availability as Ontario Content within the timeframe of the project. The array was broken into 3 sections, each feeding its own Enphase Line Communications Filter and Envoy Communication Gateway. The Envoy allows module-by-module performance and error monitoring for maximizing long term system performance.
The building design was optimized for solar in 2 ways: roof pitch was increased for improved PV performance, and roof structure was designed to accommodate vertical PV mounting rails and a landscape module orientation.
The site had great access all along the southern side, and was only a single storey high. This allows us to use a telehandler (sometimes called a zoom-boom) to retrieve full skids of modules from the storage trailer, move them to the installation location, and place the entire skid right at working height at any point from the eave to the top of the roof.
This project encountered many bureaucratic hurdles along the way. This owes largely to the degree to which it was pushing the envelope in the province: Among the first FIT projects to reach commercial operation; The first Enphase FIT project to reach commercial operation; The first FIT project for this Hydro One service region