Case Study: Remote Communications Solar Installation

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The following is a case study written by Virginia Streit about a solar installation by Energy Matters, a leading commercial solar solutions supplier.

Remotely and permanently unmanned, the radio and data communications systems at a mining site in Western Australia require reliable and automatic power.

While diesel gensets are an option for such remote power requirements, they do require regular refueling and servicing and the cost of shipping fuel to remote locations can be as much as $3 per liter.

Energy Matters was engaged to design and install standalone solar power systems for three communications towers at the site, each with slightly different requirements.

The systems had to power transmitter/receiver equipment, phone and IT servers, some running on DC power and some on regular 240V AC.

All components were chosen for their durability and reliability in the harsh conditions of the Western Australian outback. For example Sanyo HIT solar panels perform better than other panel types in high temperatures and are extremely durable.

The remote location added logistical complexities to the installation. The components for the solar power systems travelled by train and then by 4WD to the three installation sites. All components were meticulously checked prior to being shipped, as there would be no opportunities to purchase spare parts once they had arrived on location.

Energy Matters’ installers had to abide by the complex safety requirements for mine site operation and completed lengthy site inductions and safety briefings.

In the six months since they were commissioned, the three systems have run reliably and continuously without any downtime and minimal use of backup generators.

Source: Energy Matters

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