A 100kW commercial solar system is now operational at the Historical Aircraft Recreation Society (HARS). In October 2016, Todae Solar completed the installation for the popular specialist not-for-profit museum located within the Illawarra Regional Airport in Albion Park, NSW. HARS is home to Australia’s biggest collection of historical aircraft, particularly those of significance to Australian Aviation history. The most recent addition to the Society was a Boeing 747-400 known as The Canberra, the oldest aircraft in Qantas’ fleet. It is a popular destination that has received a Certificate of Excellence on Tripadvisor.com.
The system is expected to produce approximately 134,000kWh of electricity per year and cover 62.9% of the organisation’s electricity bill. It is also expected to offset 2,549 tonnes of carbon emissions over its lifetime. As HARS is located within an airport, our engineers and installers had to take extra care to ensure the operations of the airport were not disrupted which involved ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations set out by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Airservices Australia. In particular, a reflectivity and glare study was conducted to ensure the panels did not affect pilots approaching or leaving the airstrip. Todae Solar has significant experience in conducting reflectivity studies, which can often be quite onerous and challenging, having completed them in the past for installations in near airports in both Canberra and Bankstown.
Despite the additional challenges, airports are great locations for commercial solar systems. They are typically situated on open landscape with minimal shading from nearby buildings or trees. Apart from rooftops, they also have un-utilised land by the airstrip that is perfect for low profile ground-mounted solar systems. Airports also typically have very high operating costs which a solar system can help drastically reduce. Todae Solar congratulates HARS for their new system and hope it becomes an example of the significant environmental and financial savings organisations can leverage through solar.