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SA Power Outage 2016
 

Lovedale 5MW Solar Farm

Note: *Figures shown on this page are actual wholesale & new labour costs for evaluation comparisons. 

We supplied the initial cost modelling for materials & equipment delivered to site for this privately funded 5MW solar farm, located in Lovedale, 6klm north of Cessnock, NSW.

Our Costs, included 3mt high perimeter Security Fencing & Security Lighting (inc. WiFi Video), 11kVa Sub-station, Fixed Tilted Module Racking, 13'200x 380W, 72cell, 12BB, Perk, CCE approved Solar Modules, Pressure tested ground Conduit, Wiring from the Solar Modules too the Sub-station, and including the sub-station, the Net cost came in at $5 million, fully commissioned project within a 6+ month time frame allowing for delays.

In general terms, flat cleared ground and all equipment on site, a well organised & efficient team of 8~10 workers, should only take 10~14 days per MW to fully install any Solar Farm project!

This client is looking to claim/sell the REC to reduce there investment costs and environmental carbon footprint, for the Hotels and businesses they operate.

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We anticipate the owner would have the vision to invest in 1414° Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS), this great Australian technology has been proven to work very well, and the company has stated the technology will provide energy storage at 1/10 the cost of the commercial TESLA battery installation, and other Battery type Energy Storage systems.

In 2019, the smallest TESS unit available is a 10MW module for Commercial applications, and can store energy for several days, allowing the producer the option to first self consume and then sell any excess stored energy on National Electricity Market (NEM) during Peak demand (Peak Power), obviously providing a better financial return, instead of exporting to Ausgrid infrastructure  so a Retailer at greatly reduced/lower daytime energy rate!

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Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading (P2P) is the latest exciting development in Australia Energy Market in the last 100 years.

P2P energy trading is being led by Power Ledger , an Australian company, P2P energy is set to become a Disruptive force, that bye-passes the need of the deceptively named "Energy Retailers" that don't actually pay for the energy consumers use.

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Solar energy can vary greatly depending on the module Racking, you can Calculate the energy harvested for different modular Racking here, where 13'200 x 380W solar modules, rate this solar farm at 5MWh peak, e.g. with clear sky’s.

As a guideline, 5MW Solar Farm harvesting varies between different types of solar module Racking;

  1. Fixed, north facing, 20~30° latitude tilted solar array, will harvest Peak energy for approx. 4.5 hours =*20MW day.
    Provides approx. 4 hours peak power harvesting per day with shoulder/obscure light for approx. 2 hours
  2. Single-Axis east to west Vertical tracking, will harvest *30MWp day.
    Provides 5~6 hours peak power per harvesting day with little obscure light.
  3. Tilted Single-Axis east to west, Horizontal tracking, will harvest *35MWp day.
    Provides 6~7+ hours peak power harvesting per day with little obscure light.
  4. Dual-Axis Tracking, is Perpendicular to the sun, will harvest *50MWp day.
    Provides 10~11 hours peak power per harvesting day with no obscure light.

(*) approx. as figures relate to the Suns latitude difference throughout the year.

The latest 380W, 72 cell solar module/panel technology will harvest 40% more energy than the common residential 270W, 60cell panel, it should also be noted 270W panels requires a 10% larger racking footprint, the small additional expense of 380W panels is commonly recovered in a very short time by improver energy harvesting !

So, in short it is imperative to use 380W or better panels, less power harvested equates to a longer Pay-back period.  This is the same for residential or commercial usage, no matter what method of installation is used, be it Fixed Flat, Fixed Tilted, Single or Dual-axis Tracking Arrays !

The final cost of this fully commissioned Solar Farm varies considerably, as Labour plays a large part based on whether the site installs Fixed Tilted Racking, being the cheapest short term, with Single-Axis or Dual-Axis Tracking being more expensive in the short term, or a combination of both can be used as shown in the modelling below.

Be aware that besides standard 380W panels gaining 40% more harvested energy, Single-Axis & Dual-Axis Tracking will harvest an additional 20~35+% more energy, than a Fixed flat panel solar array ...and that will be for the next 25+ years !

Single & Dual Axis Tracking control box software, should stow the panels flat in high wind conditions or in snow prone areas will tilt to dislodge the burden of Snow, the control box software automatically backtrack the panels where neighbouring panels create shading, this commonly happens very early or late in the evening, to obtain maximum harvesting.

As an example:

  1. Use this Solar Farm energy calculator to see the different Harvest ability of the above mentioned Solar Array configurations, where Dual Axis Solar Tracking harvests energy for over *10hr a day, e.g. 1'000 x 350w DAT solar array harvests 3.5MW day.
  2. Where Single Axis Tracking using 1'000 x 350w Panels will harvest 2.3MW day, with peak harvest *6.5 hours day.

The main consideration between single & dual axis tracking is the final Material, Installation & operational cost, installation cost is usually calculated in MW per man hours.  No matter what system is used, the racking fittings & fixtures including motors & software play a significant part of the initial supply cost.  The DC~AC conversion stations, Cabling and Installation cost, inc. Sub-Station cost, are as equally expensive, and need to be planed well in advance, as speed of installation is critical to enabling a quick return on investment.

SMA 1500V MVPS 2500kVAA solar farm is divided into areas/sections, so that as power is harvested, it is sent to SMA 1500V MVPS 2500kVA (image right) or similar power conversion stations that are strategically located around the solar farm that best suits the site.  Stations incorporate a central PV inverter, transformer and associated switchgear and monitoring systems.

These stations convert DC solar array power to AC power, then the AC power is sent too the main switch-yard via underground high voltage 11kVA transition lines, power then fed into the local electricity grid, or stored for later usage as peak power.

NEWS: The 1414° Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS), is a new Australian commercial energy storage technology, 10MW is the smallest unit, reported to be a game changer to buck the trend in energy stored, click the link above to read more.

There is also another new and very interesting commercial technology Gallium Arsenide solar array, these solar Panels were designed by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and has held the worlds best harvesting record since 1984, now over 35 years.

Below modelling shows Harvesting potential of various Racking technologies, using the same footprint !

5MW Solar Farm

5MW Solar Farm

25° Fixed Tilted, North Facing Racking.

22MW = 4.5 hours peak harvesting.

25° Tilted, East/West, Single-Axis Tracking.

35MW = 6+ hours day peak harvesting.

5MW Solar Farm 5MW Solar Farm

Dual-Axis Tracking Arrays.

44.7MW = 11 hours peak harvesting.

Single & Dual-Axis Tracking Arrays.

27.61MW Day

5MW Solar Farm

5MW Solar Farm

Model of 23x 200kWh, Gallium Arsenide Super Solar Cell Towers, Wireless field using WiFi DAT Heliostat Mirrors.

Model of 1MWh, Gallium Arsenide Super Solar Cells, Field is Wireless & uses WiFi controlled DAT Heliostat Mirrors.

* Approx. figures do not include contracted labour, additional equipment & unforeseen costs characteristic, due to variations in racking, site conditions and council changes to project.

 
 
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