Bailey of Bristol is set to invest £400k in solar power for its large panel laminating plant in Clevedon, North Somerset.
The investment is part of a company-wide energy management programme which, in addition to targeting the reduction of overall power consumption across all of Bailey’s three sites, also includes increasing the amount it generates itself by expanding its own solar power provision.
The new roof mounted installation consists of approximately 800 individual panels and is capable of generating 333 kilowatts of energy by harnessing the power of the North Somerset sunshine – which is equivalent to approximately two thirds of the annual power requirement of this facility. Installed by local company Your Eco Construction, based in Frome Somerset, the total cost of this exercise was £400k with costs expected to be recouped over the next four years.
Bailey of Bristol’s aim in future is to become a carbon neutral business and this installation is the latest in a number of initiatives which the company has undertaken to help achieve that goal
The plant itself is a 3,250+ sqm modern manufacturing building which accommodates four fully automated laminating lines capable of producing 1,500+ body shell panels (floors, sides, and ceilings) per week.
The manufacturing process begins with the assembly of the panel components on a laser-guided jig for improved accuracy and consistency.
This assembly is then bonded together using a bead application system featuring a water-based agent to provide a superior bond before the panels are then individually loaded into separate ‘multi-daylight’ vacuum presses again to maximise bond integrity
Once the lamination process is complete, the resulting body shell panels are machined for final assembly on a fully automated CNC Router.
Managing director Nick Howard said: “This new solar panel installation reaffirms our commitment to taking the positive action required to help us achieve our sustainability and social responsibility goals.
“In future the laminated bodyshell panels which go to make up our caravans and motorhomes will be manufactured, partially at least, using the power of the North Somerset sunshine.”