Pop-up solar put to test
CANBERRA-BASED engineering company ECLIPS has developed a pop-up solar PV system that has the potential to replace diesel generators as a temporary power supply. In April, ECLIPS, in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), held a demonstration day of the Container Roll Out Solar System (CROSS) in Canberra. CROSS is a factory-assembled, relocatable ground-mount solar power array, which can be stacked seven high and fit easily in standard ISO shipping containers. The systems are available in 20 foot and 40ft configurations with a maximum output of 2175W and 4350W, and can be removed from a container and setup in minutes ready for connection to an inverter. Following the demo, ARENA announced it will grant $289,725 in funding to enable ECLIPS to manufacture and test its CROSS system. ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said the project opens up markets not previously available to the renewables industry, including providing temporary power to the defence and construction industries, or for emergencies and remote events, like music festivals. “CROSS units can be deployed in off-grid and fringe-of-grid areas, displace or offset diesel consumption and improve the security of existing networks,” Mr Frischknecht said. “These renewable options can reduce some of the barriers to entry for potential renewable power users in remote locations, including short project durations and where power systems need to be periodically relocated. “Renewable energy can provide an emissions-free, silent energy system that could replace diesel generators in the long run.” ECLIPS managing director Shaun Moore said the original objective for CROSS was to improve power sustainability for the defence industry. “Diesel consumption related to the provision of electricity can account for up to 70 per cent of deployed forces’ fuel usage and is a significant cost driver,” Mr Moore said. “More importantly, deploying CROSS to forward operating bases also reduces the frequency of convoys for fuel resupply, which reduces the threat to soldiers in contested environments. “These same logistics efficiencies and benefits are transferable to commercial and utility customers in remote areas of Australia.”
ECLIPS and ARENA held a Container Roll-out Solar System (CROSS) demonstration day in Canberra in April.