Solar power up your farm to save money
Alternate power sources and how to get the best from them
THE South East Burnett Landcare group has a reputation for putting on information days that provide what local landholders want to learn about.
As president Beth Shanks described it, “with the current concerns over the spiralling costs of electricity we had to do something to see what alternatives there might be.”
Ms Shanks said that many landholders in the area use irrigation as an essential part of their farming operations and rising costs are having a serious effect on profitability.
Solar Power Wide Bay Burnett, Barry Hunter spoke about different alternate power sources and how to get the best from them.
He said that he was not going to discuss costs and prices as each application is different and requires careful assessment and planning to get a suitable installation that may include having to upgrade the current facilities such as meter box.
“Whether it is for the house, shed or irrigation there are different requirements,” Mr Hunter said. “Many of the old tariff measures that allowed lower rates at times have been abandoned, and as is always the case with government or government controlled organisations the prices never seem to come down no matter what we are told.”
He said that standard fixed charges are a 30% component of the bill and remain the same no matter how much power you actually use.
Mr Hunter said that one of the bigger problems in many rural areas is the original installation of “single wire
Whether it is for the house, shed or irrigation there are different requirements.
— Barry Hunter
earth return” lines.
Commonly known as SWER, it is not possible to have a feed back into the electricity grid from that system.
Mr Hunter said that anyone on an SWER line will be aware that voltages vary depending on the time of the day and load.
To get power from a solar system back into the grid requires and inverter usually set at about 255 volts so that any generated current above that level feeds back to the grid.
Mr Hunter explained that with a feed back to grid system any power required on the property is used first with any leftover going to the grid.
“A 5kw generating solar system can fed that back to the grid,” Mr Hunter said.
“You get a feedback tariff up to 5kw, but any above goes into the system without feedback tariff being paid.”
Mr Hunter cleared up a couple of misconceptions regarding solar power saying that temperature has very little effect on the amount of power generated and that it is light not temperature that generates the electricity.
SAVING MONEY: Solar Power Wide Bay Burnett, Barry Hunter spoke about different alternate power sources and how to get the best from them.