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Ravenswell Farm, base of top racehorse trainer Fergal O’Brien, invests in 26kWp solar PV and 36kWh Powervault storage

Ravenswell Farm is the training base of leading National Hunt Trainer, Fergal O’Brien. It consists of 8 accommodation units for staff who live on site 24/7, 80 boxes, office facilities, state of the art horse walker, along with all the associated washing and drying capabilities needed to run a modern racehorse training yard.

Unsurprisingly, the activities and operation of the premises use large amounts of electricity, and with tariffs rocketing in price, Fergal O’Brien Training sought to review their usage with the goal of future proofing their supply, by contacting highly respected Oxfordshire-based electrical and mechanical contractor Lowe & Oliver, who are a Powervault installer.

Lowe & Oliver and Powervault worked together to tailor the optimum solar and storage combination, based on the electricity consumption profile and site configuration. For the solar PV, the most suitable roof area was 100% covered to give a 26kWp solar PV array. A 50kW Solar Edge 3 phase SolarEdge inverter was fitted so that additional solar PV panels can be added to the installed system at a future date, by using other roof areas.

For the battery storage specification, the aim is to maximise the self-consumption of the solar PV electricity generated on site each day, because even though there may be sufficient daily generation from the solar PV, much of the daily demand for electricity is in the evening when the sun is not shining. Furthermore there is little reward for exporting solar PV to the grid during the day because export tariffs to the grid are very low, at 3p-5p per kWh. Thanks to our modular product configuration, Powervault are able to appropriately size the storage capacity for the site based on its  demand and solar generation profiles.

As the site has a 3-phase supply, Powervault provided 3 appropriately sized units installed one per phase. Prior to installation, Lowe & Oliver were able to provide accurate consumption data per phase which was used to leverage Powervault’s modular energy storage system, creating a fully optimised system to maximise the return on investment. Lowe & Oliver completed the installation in February 2022.

With the combination of solar generation and energy storage, we estimate that the yard will consume nearly all the solar PV energy generated from the initial installation and be able to self-generate on site 30% of its total annual electricity consumption.

Powervault portal showing the power generated and power used on phase 1 at Ravenswell Farm on 19th March

A key benefit of this project comes from the Powervault portal where the data collected can be interrogated per phase allowing for future improvement opportunities to be clearly identified. In particular this data will enable Lowe & Oliver to further reduce the site’s electricity costs; firstly reducing demand by providing better choices of electrical heating, and secondly further increasing self-generation of electricity by fitting additional solar PV panels into the existing system and additional batteries into the Powervault modular storage.

Through this capital investment, the racing yard will significantly reduce both their energy costs and their carbon footprint.

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