Claraville Station - 41.4 kW off-grid
Bye bye diesel – here comes solar!
Duxton Asset Management, who look after Claraville Station in Northern Queensland, began looking into off-grid solar PV systems with battery storage in late 2016. Diesel costs to run the on-site generator for powering the homestead, water pumps and refrigeration rooms have been rising for years, with solar providing the opportunity to reduce the station’s running costs as well as its greenhouse gas emissions.
GEM Energy’s off-grid specialists went to work and designed a bespoke off-grid solar PV system that could take care of the bulk of Claraville Station’s energy needs. In September 2017 we went north to install 41.4 kW of solar PV, or 148 ground-mounted solar panels covering an area of around 300m2, combined with 160 kWh total energy storage.
|Client||Claraville Station c/o Duxton Asset Management|
|Location||Claraville, Nth QLD 4871|
|Solar PV system size||41.4 kW|
|Battery system size||160 kWh total energy storage|
|System type||Off-grid solar PV system, 3-phase|
|Solar panels||148 x Q CELLS Q.PRO G4.1 280W>|
|Ground mount||148 x Clenergy pole driven>|
|Solar inverters||4 x Fronius Primo 8.2kW>|
|Batteries||15 x 15 * LL1500AS8 Hitachi modules>|
|Battery inverters||1 x Selectronic SPLC1202 20kW>|
|MPPT chargers||2 x AERL 5kW>|
|Housing||Insulated, air-conditioned, 20ft container|
|Generator||Existing generator integration|
Solar is now replacing the diesel generator over 90% of the time and saves Claraville an estimated 17,000 liters of diesel fuel per year, equating to over 67 tons of CO2 emissions.
Because the inverters, lead-acid batteries, and other components function best when they are kept cool, they are housed in an insulated 20ft shipping container, which is covered in heat-reflective paint and fitted with an air conditioner.
To ensure the system’s smooth running, we integrated the existing generator by programming the various components (generator, inverters, and chargers) to communicate with each other. We are also monitoring the system remotely as part of our Turn-Key Project Package.
Gone are the days when Claraville Station had to buy and store thousands of litres of diesel fuel. Now they merely require a small amount of backup to run the generator in case of prolonged cloudy weather conditions.
Investing in off-grid solar PV is fast becoming the norm among farms and cattle stations – a move that makes excellent financial and environmental sense as both grid electricity and diesel costs are on the rise. In some cases diesel fuel is accounting for up to a third of cattle stations’ expenses. Another advantage of modern off-grid solar power is that the power quality produced is often substantially better than grid power, especially in rural areas. A higher power quality extends the lifetime and reduces maintenance costs for appliances and machinery.
The installation in the far north of Queensland came with some challenges for our project management and installation teams, mainly due to the long distances and heat, but ultimately went very smooth.
The specially insulated battery and inverter container housing the R.E.S.S. (Remote Energy Storage System).
GEM Energy specialise in renewable energy consultancy, photovoltaic engineering, electrical engineering, energy efficiency audits, financial feasibility analysis and the integration of solutions.
From challenging custom installations to small home solar systems, GEM Energy’s experienced team has the skills to turn every project into a thriving investment.
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