Microred in Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary (Australia)

Year: 2023
Client:
Success stories E/Bick 280Pro Micro-networks

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is a popular ecotourism destination and centre for scientific and environmental research, located 600 km from Adelaide, Australia.

A World Heritage nominee, it is described as "a great open-air museum" for its significant fossil deposits and geological formations.

The challenge:

To provide a clean energy source to this remote wildlife sanctuary that for decades has been powered by an expensive and polluting diesel supply.

The solution:

In a first phase, a solar and battery microgrid, integrated with the existing diesel generator system, has been chosen, the design of which took into account numerous considerations, from infrastructure, site factors, equipment requirements, stakeholder engagement and integration of communication systems, among others.

Following a thorough assessment of conditions and needs, an off-grid system based on the Australian-built Selectronic SP Pro 120v inverter/charger architecture has been installed and paired with 121 kWh of Cegasa's eBick 280 Pro lithium battery storage and 99 kWp of roof-mounted solar panels. The result is a system where capacity can be easily added without the need for major system restructuring.

Its daily operating cycle varies throughout the seasons and occupancy rates. An energy monitoring system implemented by Arkaroola Village in 2019 provided valuable information on energy requirements and identified that periods of high energy demand occur in the colder months of the year, when visitor numbers are higher and heating is required.

Thus, low occupancy in summer may mean that on some days no generator input is required, whereas periods of high visitor occupancy during the winter will require intense input. In the first two weeks of operation, preliminary data suggests that diesel fuel consumption has been reduced by 50%.

This project has been led by Apex Energy Australia and funded by the Australian Government under the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund programme.

Facts and figures:

Type of installation: Mini - Grid
Service: Apex Energy Australia
Inverter manufacturers, models and number of inverters: Selectronic SP Pro 120v inverter - charger, 3 units and Fronius Symo, 5 units.
Number of modules and model installed: 6x E/Bick 280Pro
Photovoltaic peak power: 99 kWp
Total storage capacity: 121 kWh

Solutions used in this project:

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