Greenbuddies Tips – August 2022

4.4 MWp project in Wijchen, NL – The largest Greenbuddies rooftop PV of 2021

This section will discuss the project on the roof of a DHL building in Wijchen, in the east of the Netherlands. It is one of thirteen projects that Greenbuddies have worked on in 2021 in The Netherlands.

Situated on a flat roof, which this time was not challenging in terms of the specifics of the construction or the shape of the roof but was both interesting and challenging in its dimensions. The scale of the project is not so different from the other roof installations that our company has already realized however, the other installations were spread over several roofs belonging to the same owner. However, this installation is exposed on the roof of a single building (one roof unit). 

Rooftop project in Wijchen, Netherlands

The solar plant‘s installed capacity is 4.4 MWp. The DC installation of the project, which was handled by Greenbuddies, included the installation of 10,632 panels, 25 combiner boxes and 25 inverters. Moreover, the SADEF East-West Landscape construction was used. We were able to realize the DC installation of this project of an unusually large size for it being a roof structure in only 3.5 months.

If we compare the number of panels on this building with the publicly known statistics that relate to solar energy, we get a better idea of the size of this project. For example, in 2021, Greenbuddies worked on more than 40 PV projects across the European Union, and the average size of the power plants built that year was 2,8 MWp. In total, Greenbuddies built over 100 MWp of solar power plants that year. By comparison, in the Czech Republic, a total of 62 MW of PV plants were installed in 2021 country-wide [1], which is about 14 plants of the same size as the Wijchen project.

To give you a visual aid of the installation, have a look at the birds-eye view of this rooftop installation.

Bike Ports – solar powered shelters for cyclists with ebike charging

The popularity of electric bikes is growing worldwide, and with that, comes the need to charge them. Often, batteries run out during a cycling trip, whereby the journey must be continued by only using human power. Therefore, it is useful to have another solution such as solar-powered shelters.

Even if there is an electrical outlet available (e.g. at a restaurant during lunch), the cyclist can often be out of luck when they do not have the right charging adapter with them. Another issue is that there are often no electrical outlets in the middle of nature areas.

Illustrative picture, Source: David Marcu, Unsplash.com

In the middle of nature, a solar bike shelter, which has integrated solar modules including battery storage, will do a great job of keeping your bike charged despite the absence of mains electricity. In addition, this shelter protects against harsh weather conditions. Moreover, not only cyclists will benefit from this, but anyone can make use of the shelters, such as hikers. and not only the cyclist does not have to sit in the rain while charging, but it can also be used by passing hikers. The battery can also be used to power anti-vandal surveillance cameras and vending machines, or the operator can allow mobile phones to be recharged. It is then up to the operator to choose a suitable form of monetization for the whole device.

The bike port can be made of different materials to best suit natural conditions. The individual components related to the power plant are ingeniously integrated into the design of the entire shelter so that, for example, the roof is made up of only photovoltaic modules. Therefore, no additional materials are required for roof insulation. This shelter can be built in a so-called island operation where the PV modules only supply electricity to the battery storage and where the shelter is not connected to the distribution system. Naturally, it is also possible to connect this bike port to the grid and send any surplus to the grid, thus guaranteeing a faster economic return on the project. The shelter can be optionally complemented with covered tables, chairs and other things to best serve the desired purpose. The bike port itself can be installed virtually anywhere with frequent cyclists and is an ideal resting place for those who need it.

Bike ports can also be supplemented with bicycle parking stations with the option of locking them. This will offer secure bicycle storage while charging. After a tour of a castle, chateau or a visit to a leisure centre, the tired cyclist can pick up their bicycle at full strength and reach their destination with minimal effort.

Photo of bikeport in the Czech republic, Source: www.powerbox.one                                                                                                                                                                     Photo of bikeport in nature, Source: ecoload.fr             

Meet our site managers from all over the world

Greenbuddies was founded in Prague and this beautiful city is still where we have our base. However, Greenbuddies is now a pan-European company which, to be able to take care of customers in all 14 markets of the European Union, needs to have enough skilled workers in both construction and construction management.

During the first few years, we had been able to reliably bring several qualified workers from the Czech Republic to the photovoltaic markets. As time went on, we began to collaborate more and more with teams and individuals from other countries, as the Czech PV market itself began to have high demands for skilled labour.

Illustrative picture, Source: Los Muertos Crew, Pexels.com

Therefore, on our construction sites today you will find colleagues from Hungary, Poland, Bosnia and Hercegovina and even Senegal. It is truly an international team working together like the famous “Swiss watch”.

We would like to introduce you to some people in this team and the background of their home countries:

El Hadji Amadou Bamba Diarra

Bamba has literally become our universal soldier. He was starting his first project for a Belgian mounting system manufacturer near Avignon in southern France. The project is interesting because the mounting system is based on earth screws, which are more suitable for hard and rocky terrain. His second task is to provide and supervise the DC wiring on single-axle rotating structures near Bologna, Italy.

Bamba was born in Dakar, Senegal, where he finished his high school education with honours and received a scholarship to the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Since completing his studies, he has worked in Italy and Kuwait before joining Greenbuddies. He says that working in the solar energy sector is his true passion. Bamba is a family man with three daughters and a love of jazz and Cuban music.

Languages: native French and Wolof, English, Italian and Slovak

Education: Master’s degree in Power Electrical Engineering at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Emin Džomba

As our business activities have expanded to Sweden and Croatia, we will be hiring a young and talented professional who speaks Croatian and knows the cultural habits and business approach in this region. The first project where Emin will be involved in as a Junior Site Manager is a 10 MW free-field PV for an important Croatian grid operator. There are several other upcoming projects close to Zagreb and Split which will start in the fall and Emin will be taking part in these projects as well.

Emin grew up in a small town named Kakanj in the middle of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he finished his high school education. Then he moved to Sarajevo to attend university and get his degree. After finishing his studies, he came back to his hometown, which has a lot of industry in it, including a thermal powerplant that has been working for more than six decades. It was easy to see how devastating this can be for the environment, so he chose to work in the field of green energy. Emin has experience with the design of different types of power plants from his previous work as a Mechanical Engineer.

Languages: Croatian, Serbian, English

Education: Master’s degree in Process Engineering and Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sarajevo