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Alternative Power Solutions

There are a number of ways to power a site alternatively. We specialize in alternative solutions to fit you circumstance. We design, supply, install and maintain systems.

There are a number of Alternative power systems for various outcomes

They maybe:

  • STAND ALONE
  • BACK-UP
  • GRID CONNECT

Stand Alone

A stand alone system has no requirement for outside input of independent commercial power supply. The system will be made up of a Deep cycle storage battery bank (Fuel tank).

A charging system is required and that can be ie solar panels, wind turbine, hydro and or and including petrol or diesel generator.

An inverter charger is also required for the conversion of DC Power into Ac 230 volt power.

Charge regulators and monitors are required to control the charge entering the battery storage.

BACKUP

Generators are commonly used for this situation. They are electrically sized for appropriate electrical load. The system can be automatic or manual start and have auto or manual transfer switches installed

A minimum site load of 30% is needed to prevent “glazing”.

When generator sizing loads such as a electric motor starting current draw of 6 times its run current for Direct on line for Starting or 2 times its run current for soft starting. So a generator running a 750 watt motor would require up to 4500 watt generator to start

A good idea for a new house is a dedicated emergency circuit for fridge’s, freezers, some lighting and communication with change over switch from a caravan styled AI plug ready for a small generator to plug in during power cuts.

Milking sheds are another site that must have a strong consideration of either a Changeover switch for ease of connection of a trailer mounted generator or a decision at the time  of construction to install a set on site  to prevent lost of income thru dumping of milk, animal health and loss of profit due to bacterial count being high. The cost will be less than 4% percent of the build.

GRID CONNECT or GRID TIE

This system has the advantage of not requiring the battery bank as electricity is supplied to the demand of the house first and then any excess pumped directly back to the national grid.

Different power companies have differing methods and rates of payment.

Basically the customer has two meters, one (an import meter) which they pay monthly as per normal. The other (an export meter) which is recorded and payment calculated from the power company the following month.

These systems also require synchronisation equipment as part of the control gear to ensure wave forms of the electricity are aligned. 

NOTE:  When power cuts occur power must not be able to be exported off the site into the transmission lines for safety reasons. 

Commonly during power cuts the local power generation unit is isolated and does not generate power either

Systems advantages and disadvantages:

Hydro:           

Pros

  • Constant power supply 24 hours day
  • Minimal maintenance required providing the generator is will placed and suited to the site. Considerations to be taken into planning would be flooding and debris contamination of generator

Cons

  • Very high resource consent costs and restrictions
  • Water placement to the vicinity of the house is a requirement as transmission over distances is not recommended
  • A Large water volume required for operation
  • Smaller units may be developed to trickle charge batteries but to what degree is dependant on battery size and site current draw.

Wind Turbine:         

Pros

  • Works will for grid tie systems
  • If there is sufficient wind to start it will produce 24 hours per day
  • Most turbines will start rotation at 3.5m/sec (12.6km/hr). Electrical Ratings are usually at 12m/sec (43.2km/hr)
  • Parabolic power curve means 10% of output at 6m/sec
  • Wanganui average wind speed is 4.5m/sec
  • We can only state that a turbine of 6kW will create 9kWhr of electricity per day. (Approximately $2.40)
  • In practice this is often greatly exceeded, but we do not give guarantees beyond the manufacturers specifications

Cons

  • Most turbines require 500m of clean air for operation ( no trees or buildings)
  • Consent process can be long and costly
  • Towers 12m and higher

Solar:

Pros

  • Various sizes ranging from 80 watt to 300 watt panels
  • They can be electrically connected in a multitude of configurations to maximise efficiency to suit site requirements.
  • No resource consent required.
  • A minimal maintenance with occasional wash and wipe

Cons

  • A continued bout of bad weather will impede charging
  • They do not charge 24 hours a day due to sunlight being require

Generators:

Pros

  • Low cost for backup, emergency, and excess power requirements.
  • Varying sizes available

Component Function

Solar Modules - Generates electricity from sunlight
Charge Controllers - Regulates power to batteries
Fusing/Breakers/Disconnects - Over current protection
Batteries - Stores electricity
Monitor and Meters - Report system status and power flows both instantaneously and cumulatively
Inverter - Converts low DC voltage to 230VAC voltage
Generator - Provides backup AC power
Battery Charger Converts AC supply voltage (generator power) to DC charge voltage
Array Fixed Mount -Supports and aims modules towards the sun

 

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