Pop-up so­lar put to test

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI ACT

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.”

Im­age: ECLIPS.

ECLIPS and ARENA held a Con­tainer Roll-out So­lar Sys­tem (CROSS) demon­stra­tion day in Can­berra in April.

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