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Powering an off-grid remote energy solution in Australia

Case study • 06.12 2023

Bunda Station, energized by CE+T's advanced multidirectional converters.

A Northern Territory Cattle Station, located in Australia, is an agricultural property spanning around 10,000 square kilometers. It is primarily dedicated to livestock farming. However, due to its remote and isolated setting, ensuring access to sustainable, reliable, and efficient power poses a significant challenge for meeting the energy requirements of the station’s residents.

Navigating Power Options

To achieve access to power, three potential solutions have been considered.

Diagram illustrating various power solutions considered for energizing this remote site, incorporating CE+T solutions

Connection to the grid

Connecting the Northern Territory Cattle Station to the grid presents a major hurdle due to its remote location. The significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) required to extend the grid to the station, including infrastructure investments like transformers, poles, and cables, makes this option financially unviable. Moreover, the transportation costs associated with a remote location further increase the expenses.

Use of gensets

A common solution for remote locations is to utilize gensets to provide power. However, this approach comes with several disadvantages. Operating expenses (OPEX) are high due to the need for fuel, such as diesel or gasoline, which can be expensive in remote areas. Additionally, regular maintenance is necessary, adding to the operating costs. Furthermore, gensets emit pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, posing environmental and health risks.

Hybrid solution

The Northern Territory Cattle Station has chosen a hybrid solution that leverages renewables as the primary energy source. In this approach, batteries are charged when photovoltaic (PV) production exceeds consumption needs, and a smaller genset serves as a backup. CD Power has developed a solution integrating CE+T’s Sierra and Inview equipment to implement this hybrid approach.

CE+T and CD Power Solution

CE+T's multidirectional converters and monitoring control in action.

CD Power’s Sierra Hybrid system is an AC-Coupling solution that utilizes Inview and Sierra to optimize local energy use, reduce environmental impact, and create a microgrid. The system provides higher efficiency when powering AC loads during the day, reduces installation costs for larger systems, and leverages existing infrastructure.

The offered solution involves the installation of PV panels, batteries, and a genset as a last resort. The Sierra system, in combination with the Inview monitoring solution, converts energy to power the Northern Territory Cattle Station. PV panels are connected to the AC output, ensuring a continuous energy supply, even when AC input is not available. The AC input, which manages the genset, is activated only when necessary (i.e., when there is no PV production and batteries are depleted). The transition between energy sources occurs seamlessly, without any interruptions.

9 reasons why they chose Sierra and Inview

The Sierra & Inview solution offers numerous advantages, including:

  • Integration of two converters in one module: you don’t need an inverter and a rectifier, Sierra can do both within only one module.
  • Integrated controller: The solution features an integrated controller that manages and coordinates the different energy sources for efficient operation.
  • Low and easy maintenance: The Sierra & Inview system requires minimal maintenance, reducing the time and effort needed for upkeep.
  • Modularity and expandability: The system is designed with modularity in mind, allowing for easy expansion and scalability as power needs grow.
  • Real no-break 0ms transition: The transition between power sources is seamless and instantaneous, ensuring uninterrupted power supply during the switch.
  • Lightweight and space-saving design: The solution’s compact and lightweight design optimizes space utilization, making it suitable for various installation scenarios.
  • Ability to connect DC loads directly to the batteries: Direct connection of DC loads to the batteries eliminates the need for additional conversions, improving overall efficiency.
  • Series operation with no energy reinjection: The series operation ensures that energy generated by the photovoltaic system is not reinjected into the genset, optimizing energy utilization.
  • Reliable use of PV power under any condition: The Sierra & Inview solution enables the reliable use of solar power generated by PV panels, regardless of environmental conditions.

Empowering Northern Territory Cattle Station with Sustainable Energy

The Sierra Hybrid system by CD Power provides a sustainable and efficient power solution for the Northern Territory Cattle Station. By delivering reliable and affordable power, this system reduces the environmental impact while meeting the energy needs of the station. With its advanced features and seamless transition between energy sources, CD Power’s solution ensures a bright and eco-friendly future for the Northern Territory Cattle Station.

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