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Bargara Cane Farm - Case StudySolar Irrigation replaces expensive grid power
Bargara Cane Farm
Solar Irrigation Installation
80ha family-owned and operated cane farm at Bargara, east of Bundaberg
The farm required a total off-grid solution that reduced the running costs of the travelling winch irrigator system.
The family had been approached by 34 other solar companies, however only GEM Energy was able to provide a solution that met all criteria at a reasonable price.
- GEM Energy custom-designed a high-pressure irrigation system. To ensure that the irrigation system works properly, with minimal weight losses, evaporation and pooling, a balance between water pressure and flow rate must be met by the pumps.
- 55 kWp ground mounted solar array, comprised of 208 x Q CELLS Q.PRO G4.1 265Wp panels.
- Replacement of the single high-pressure 37 kW winch pump with two smaller pumps (15 kW and 17 kW) responsible for independently controlling water pressure and flow rate.
- Installation of a specially designed variable speed drive which coordinates the pumps, ensuring that they only function under the correct conditions.
- The full system is designed to allow up to six hours of full operation per day; more if a lower water pressure is used.
What our customers say about us
…it wasn’t until we met with GEM Energy Australia that we were confident we were dealing with a compay that had the expertise to get the job done.Phil Sellwood
GEM Energy was recently featured in an article on Commercial Solar and Battery Storage on ecogeneration.com:
At GEM Energy, we like to keep our fingers on the pulse. We constantly update our cash flow analysis and pricing sheets to reflect the latest developments in the wholesale and electricity retail market.
Last week we were stunned when Aaron picked up on the truly insane price increases in the Australian wholesale electricity market.
According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, electricity prices have been rising at an average of 6.5% per year.
However, from January 2016 to January 2017, the wholesale rate for electricity in Queensland went up from 5.7cents per kWh to 7.9cents per kWh – which spells a 38% increase!
These price increases have not yet been passed on to consumers, as retailers are on rate contracts for several years at a time. But some of them are coming off their contracts now, and the results will be felt all across the board…fortunately there are alternatives to look at!
In the face of rapidly escalating energy rates, going solar and improving your home/business energy efficiency are smart options – get in touch today!
An exciting day and even more exciting times ahead for this Rockhampton school:
Today, we installed Australia’s first Tesla Powerpack 1.5 battery to complement their 100kW solar system!
The school will enjoy massively reduced electricity bills and provide a live learning environment for their students in terms of sustainability, technology, and economics.
We commend the school’s management on their foresight and business sense and look forward to report back on how their investment is doing.
It becomes quite obvious when looking at thermal imaging of solar panel-covered roofs. And the research was done a few years ago at the University of California – San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering:
Solar panels act as insulators and will save you on cooling costs.
The research team measured a 38% reduction in annual cooling costs at their test site. They also found that a tilted panel array resulted in a cooler roof than a flush array, airflow being another insulator.
Over the solar panels’ lifetime, the amount saved on cooling the building added up to a five percent discount on the panels’ price. And the more efficient the panels, the greater the cooling effect as more solar energy is captured.
Check out the images below for some visual proof. Note that 303-309 Kelvin equals 29.85-35.85 degrees Celsius.
At GEM Energy we use thermal imaging when working out array designs. We want to make sure that our customers get both maximum outputs as well as maximum life spans out of their investment. The cooler a solar panel is, the more power it produces. That is why we work with different panel tilts and add-ons such as solar extraction fans to reduce roof temperatures at poorly insulated sites such as older-style work sheds – see the pictures below from a job we completed in 2016.
It is clearly visible where the panels are sitting on the roof, and there is a massive 20 degree Celsius difference in temperature.
So, on top of producing free energy for at least the next quarter of the century, your solar panels potentially offer the following benefits:
- Reduced cooling costs.
- More energy yield from your solar panels.
- Increased lifespan of your solar panels.
- Less thermal stress on the roof through less severe temperature changes.
- Better working conditions inside the shed or building.
- Possibly lower heating costs.