Giuliano digilio the prosperous future and business opportunities for electrical contractors

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  • 1. UK Solar PV Conference The Prosperous Future and Business Opportunities for Electrical Contractors Giuliano Digilio ECA Head of Technical Services London – 22 June 2010
  • 2. About the ECA •  The UK’s leading trade association representing the interests of electrotechnical contractors •  Formed in 1901, the ECA has over 3,000 member companies •  Collectively, ECA member companies: •  Generate an annual turnover of £5.5 billion •  Employ some 30,000 people and support 8,000 apprentices in training •  Undertake the greater part of all the recorded electrical installation work in the UK.
  • 3. Scope of Presentation • Electrical contractors’ perspective, challenges and opportunities • Promotion of new PV technology • Planning issues • Design issues • Installation issues • Inspection, testing and commissioning • Training and up-skilling • Technical support and guidance
  • 4. Photovoltaics create many Challenges & Opportunities The electrical contractor has been blessed with a flood of new technology which introduces challenges and opportunities. One of these new technologies is photovoltaic systems.
  • 5. What is a Solar PV System? •  Solar PV systems convert light energy into renewable electricity. •  The electricity generated is fed straight into the electrical installation of the building and is used to power electrical services and appliances. •  Solar PV systems should not be confused with solar hot water (or solar thermal) systems which provide hot water.
  • 6. Benefits to Clients • Climate change / sustainable agendas • Renewable energy • Legislation • Planning pressures • Available grants • Feed-in tariffs • Energy cost savings • Pay-back is improving
  • 7. There are many good reasons why electrical contractors should promote the use of solar PV systems: •  Easily fitted to most buildings – retrofit or new build •  Reliable and practically maintenance-free •  PV modules typically offer a 25-year performance warranty (life expectancy is 50 years) •  Clients benefit from generous capital grants •  Clients benefit from cheaper energy costs •  Meets climate change and sustainability agendas
  • 8. Promotion of PV Technology • Electrical contractors must better promote their skills and services •  Understand the technology •  Core skills for electrical installations •  Training and up-skilling •  Guidance and technical support •  Marketing skills and support
  • 9. Design Team Member Early involvement of the electrical contractor and better coordination of sub-contractors is essential to ensure good compliant installations.
  • 10. Planning Issues • Planning application • National Building Regulations • EU legislation/directives • Liaise with Building Control and Fire Officer • Health and safety risk assessment (CDM & FSO in UK) • Utility requirements • Available grant / funding • Type of system connection
  • 11. Design Issues • Competent designer (electrical engineer) • Interface with architect and structural engineer • Orientation, pitch, shading and space planning • Designer’s risk assessment • System sizing • Grid connected / off-grid system • Feed-in tariff • Structural support / fixing system • National standards and legislation • Switchgear • Lightning protection
  • 12. Installation Issues • Competent operatives/management • Installation programme • Interface with main contractor • Early builder’s work information • Sub-contract package interface • Site-based risk assessment • Damage, protection and theft • Lightning protection and earthing • Grid connection and interface with utility company • National standards and legislation • Inspection, testing and commissioning
  • 13. Commissioning • All electrical installations including PV systems should be inspected, tested and commissioned by a competent person and the relative certification/documentation should be issued in accordance with national standards and legislation. • Operation and maintenance documentation must be provided by the installer for the person that ordered the work.
  • 14. National Standards and Legislation BS 7671 Wiring Regulations Building Regulations Industry Guide
  • 15. Conclusion • Electrical contractors do have the core skills, but they will need to up-skill and include PV system solutions within their scope in the future. • Electrical contractors will need technical support and guidance from the PV equipment manufacturers, suppliers and their association. •  If electrical contractors do not embrace the opportunities offered to them by PV systems and other new technologies in the future, others will. • Early involvement and good coordination is essential.
  • 16. Thank you for your attention Giuliano Digilio ECA Head of Technical Services