Edson Piggery

The property SWER Network connection for Edson Piggery was insufficient for their needs – both now and for any future expansion. This made off grid an attractive option.

The off grid system would need to power the Piggery feed lots, farrowing sheds, staff facilities, and growing pens.

Edson Piggery secured funding through the Coles Nurture Fund, for the installation of the power system – as well as other sustainability enhancements at the facility.

System Design

Ground mounted solar was deemed the most appropriate for the site, and land was prepared for the installation of the arrays.

A new shed was custom-fitted on site to house the battery and inverter equipment.

  • 296 x Trina 310W Modules (91.76kW)
  • Ground Mounted Frames at 30° pitch
  • 2 x SelectSun 40k Solar Inverter
  • 3 x Selectronic SPPro Inv/Ch
  • 120 x BAE VRLA Batteries (535kWh)

Project Outcome

Stringent project management enabled a streamlined installation process, despite unavoidable product supply delays that occured.

The off grid solution provided will generate enough energy to power the entire farm, slashing long-term power costs and cutting emissions.

A seperate grid connected solar system was also installed on the adjoining home.

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Port Authority Off-Grid Security & Communications

Reliable and stable power was required for critical surveillance & access control equipment – including site access gates and turnstiles – over two remote Pilbara port sites, which export vast quantities of high quality minerals.

Mains power wasn’t readily available, and powering solely via diesel generators was cost prohibitive and a potential power quality risk to sensitive equipment.

Reliability, clean energy, and the ability to achieve complete redundancy in the event of extreme weather events was critical for on-going operations.

System Design

Given the sites remoteness, which also lies within a wind region D classification, specific system design and fabrication was required to meet all relevant engineering principles.

Custom equipment housing included HVAC to provide a stable environment for system operation, ensuring longevity as constant high temperatures were a concern.

  • 162 x REC 320W Modules (51.84kW)
  • Transverse Strip Ground Mount Array
  • Selectronic SelectSun 40k PV Inverter
  • 45kW 1-3P Selectronic Inv/Ch Output
  • 455kWh L-ion BYD Battery Storage
  • 2 x IP55 Customised Enclosures

Project Outcome

At the time of installation, this is the largest BYD B-Box Pro installation in Australia

Off site prefabrication and comprehensive system testing was completed before deployment ensuring successful project fulfilment. This approach also reduced freight costs and on site operational disturbance.

15.8 tonne of CO2 will be saved for each year of system operation.

The installation provides 100% self sufficiency to the site, ensuring full operations can continue without the intervention of personnel.

PDF Case Study

Huntlee Off-Grid Development

off-grid housing

“If it can be done for a house, why can’t it be done for a town?” was the solar powered thought running through the mind of Off-Grid Energy Australia’s NSW manager, Damien Griffith as a standalone power system was installed on his Hunter Valley farm in 2009.

Huntlee is a 7500 home development, with a planned large town centre and a number of neighbourhood village centres, servicing an eventual population of 25,000 people. It is a development that closely considers the creation of a new social fabric as the new community is born.

The beginnings of the “autonomous town” project began in earnest in early 2012 after LWP property NSW General Manager Ian Wilks, agreed to incubate and fund the challenging journey Mr Griffith was proposing to decentralise utilities and take the town off grid. This journey saw the creation of the Huntlee Energy and Technology Alliance (HETA) where a number of experts in their respective fields met regularly to collaborate on the vision of decentralised utility provision, with a major focus on energy.

HETA Members:
LWP Property Group (Developer), Worley Parsons (Project Manager), Lume Energy (Project Concept & HETA Chair), Off-Grid Energy (Solar PV & Storage), Simons Green Energy (Co-gen & Thermal), Flow Systems (Water), Opticomm (Communications), Jemena (Gas), Frank Klostermann (Waste to Energy).

System Design: 

Off-Grid Energy, together with co-gen and thermal network experts Simon’s Green Energy found that the levelised cost of energy per lot is substantially lower for the microgrid than if the development were to connect to the national grid.

The initial design found the optimal balance between sufficient baseload power, and maximum renewable content.

Load control at individual premises and demand side management functionality will be included in Huntlee house design. Electric vehicle (EV) charging at the premise has included in the utility design, and the potential for time-of-use EV charging incentives has been identified.

Project Development:

$442,000 in ARENA funding will allow global asset manager, Brookfield Energy, to complete a $1.1 million dollar further study into reglatory requirements for microgrid implementation in Australia.

Microgrid System on Luxury Farm Estate

containerised batteries

Objective:

The system was required to provide the equivalent reliability, capacity (kW), and energy (kWh) availability of the grid, whilst maintaining an economic advantage.

The buildings on the property which required power included horse stables, heated swimming pool, bore pump, workshop, 2x guesthouses, painters studio, and of course the main residence.

Site Considerations:

No consistent view of the solar array or equipment building, hear no noise from the backup generator at the main living areas of the property, and not disturb the resident wombats.

System Design: 

The system design provides an average yearly solar contribution of 117%, peak delivery capacity of 300A per phase, with a 250kVA super silenced generator backup. AC coupled configuration allows the inverter/charger, solar inverters and generator to ‘layer’ and provide high peak power capacity.

  • 264 x Trina 260W Modules (68kW)
  • Ground mounted frames at 30° pitch
  • 3 x SMA STP20000TL Solar Inverters
  • 18 x SMA SI8.0 Inv/Ch (144kW)
  • 144 x BAE PVV1800 VRLA Batteries
  • 250kVA FG Wilson diesel generator
  • SMA Multicluster 36 Box switchboard
  • SMA Webbox Monitoring system

Project Outcome:

Off site assembly of the containerised equipment housing allowed for cost reduction, quality control, and passive cooling techniques to be included. Significant ground-works removed system visibility from the main residence. Generator sound attenuation achieved 65dba at 7m distance, and efforts were made to ensure a high-quality aesthetic.

“Communication was excellent, the team was professional and had a great attention-to-detail. They made sure every step of the process was delivered on time, and without compromise.”

Large New Home with High Cost of Grid Connection

off grid battery storage

Objective:

Had a cost of connection, which encouraged him to explore off grid. New build home with 2 semi-detached dwellings (both occupied). Needed a large capacity and robust system to deal with a large potential demand.

As an accountant understood the benefits/economics of owning your own power station supply.

Load Analysis:

51-45kWh average daily winter/summer demand; 16.5kW design surge

Site Considerations:

Large shed available for optimal system installation

System Design:

  • OEA Comprehensive 160-48 System – 16kW 1-phase output
  • OEA Adapt mount – install in shed
  • 136kWh sealed gel battery storage (made to order)
  • 3kW Monocrystalline solar array flush + optimally tilted on shed roof – yielding an estimated 119% of average demand, and 90% in winter
  • 9KVA backup generator (autostart)

Sheep Station Diesel Offset

remote battery storage system

Objective:

The station was running a large, inefficient diesel generation system 24/7 for their power supply, the renewable off-grid installation goal is significantly reduce generator operation costs and provide increase power self sufficiency for the the remote site.

Considerations included detailed load analysis under multiple occupation scenarios (Eg. Shearing) and understanding the most suitable solar and battery equipment locations given the large and complex power distribution network.

System Design: 

The system included robust system components with suitable tolerances for the harsh, hot and dusty conditions of the site. A diesel generator was incorporated into the system as a backup power source when required.

  • 2 x SMA SI8.0 Inverter Chargers
  • 79kWh Sonnenschein Battery Storage
  • 11.5kW Trina Solar 260W Modules
  • SMA SMC10000TL Solar Inverter
  • SMA SB5000TL Solar Inverter
  • 20kVA Diesel Generator

Project Outcome:

After the installation, fuel savings will achieve a return on investment in as little as 4 years. Additional benefits included massive reduction in onsite noisefromthegenerator,andtheneed to transport large volumes of diesel to the site. The system requires minimal user maintenance, and has made the property far easier to manage and operate for the client.

Not-For-Profit Mini-Grid

Off grid solar installers

Objective & Site Considerations:

The requirement for a renewable power solution for this project was primarily to reduce the on-going fuel consumption and maintenance costs of the remote facility. In addition, the promotion of clean and sustainable energy sources was a factor in the choice of the power system investment.

At peak occupancy the property accomodates 40 people for a short time, but for most of the year there is only one or two people on site.

The power system for this not-for-profit organisation would be funded by a private investment trust.

System Design: 

Property loads included pumps, workshop and office equipment, cooking equipment, fridges/freezers, and lighting.

The desert-like conditions dicated a choice of reliable and robust soalr modules, and the pre-assembled equipment container included passive cooling features.

  • 128kWh Battery Energy VRLA batteries
  • 52x Tindo Solar 250W Modules (18kW)
  • 44kVA Kohler Diesel Generator
  • 6 x SMA SI5048 Inverter Chargers
  • 3 x SMA SMC6000 Solar Inverters

Project Outcome:

Apart from the long-term financial and environmental benefits of the renewable mini-grid system, the property is now much quieter with reduced noise pollution removed, and cleaner with less fuel & oils kept on site. The diesel fuel savings from the installation of the system will have a payback of roughly four years.

“The consultation, support and service during the development of speci cations for the plant was exceptional. The standard of workmanship on the plant is outstanding. The installation whilst carried out in very trying conditions, was first-rate.” – John Shepherd, Operation Flinders Foundation

Remote Train Monitoring System

Solar Ground Mount Array

Objective:

An off-grid system was required to power trackside monitoring and computer equipment 24/7. The harsh conditions and remote location meant that the power system’s reliability, robustness, and redundancy was critical to maintain uninterruptible power.

Site Considerations:

Installation crews would be required to meet rigorous client-specific safety training and conduct detailed pre-planning before accessing the site. The equipment needed to be capable of withstanding temperatures commonly higher than 45°C during summer.

System Design: 

  • 2 x SMA SI6.0 Inverter Charger
  • 32 x Tindo Solar 250W Modules
  • 2 x SMA SB4000TL Solar Inverters
  • 2 x 48V PVV770 BAE Battery Banks
  • SMA Webbox Remote Monitoring

Project Outcome:

After two years of operation the system has not required a technician visit. Remote monitoring allows assessment of system performance and proactive addressing of any system warnings before they become an issue.

“The CEO personally asked for a brief to be presented to the company board in the US on the outcomes of the project. Feedback was extremely positive. We cannot be more happy. Good job, well done!”