Solar Integrity Community Projects
This project consists of 14 installations to create a fully operational mini grid on a SWER line in the Ausnet Services network area. The research project was partially funded by ARENA, and is a project in partnership between University of Technology Sydney, Ausnet Services and Mondo Power. Solar Integrity were the chosen installation delivery partner, completing the sales and installation processes.
The project aims to are to integrate solar, battery and a control tool called UBI (designed and made by Mondo Power), to assist in creating grid harmony by managing voltage rises and drops in a SWER scenario. Thus creating greater energy security for those living on the SWER; less/no power interruptions, less maintenance costs for the network provider. This particular SWER was chosen as it was due for an upgrade.
This SWER had been experiencing voltage rises during the day, when the rises in voltage occur outside the acceptable thresholds the UBI can identify when batteries have the capacity to store excess energy and divert power to those, thus bringing voltages back within range.
A more significant concern was the voltage drops occurring at approximately 2am when electric storage water heaters were switching on. To help manage this via the UBI, a small amount of power from the customers’ batteries is fed back into the network in order to bring the voltage back up into the acceptable range.
The needs of each customer were assessed individually and the systems designed to their needs first and foremost. However all the batteries were to be the same size as stipulated by the project owners.
All current data is showing success in creating grid harmony, and the customers are excited to be a part of such a significant trial.
It was for an installation in this project that Luke won a national solar installers CEC award. The photos featured are our award winning installation.
Yackandandah have a renewable energy target of 100% by 2022 and in order to meet this they are looking at numerous ways to achieve. One of the large energy users in Yackandandah is water heating. So to combat this Solar Integrity in partnership with Totally Renewable Yackandandah were able to offer subsidised Apricus Hot Water units. 20 customers took up the offering. However 12 months earlier when the solar bulk buy was on offer we sold 10 hot water units. So you could say that TRY through their efforts to date in these 2 projects have replaced 30 hot water units… that we know of. We also engaged 4 local plumbers to do the installations, a great way to upskill and encourage local growth.
Kangaloola is operated in the bush of Yackandandah, so no mains power connected. They care for injured, orphaned and abandoned wildlife. The work they do there is nothing short of amazing. They have limited resources and is a not for profit so not a big budget. Up until 2017 they had operated on a diesel generator for power (now a standalone system), and LPG & wood fire for their hot water.
In early 2018 Kangaloola, Solar Integrity and Totally Renewable Yackandandah joined forces for a hot water project. Hot water is vital for the wildlife and the volunteers alike, and LGP is just too expensive, and wood is labour intensive. Solar Integrity were able to donate a nice little Apricus commercial style system, with 3 x 315L tanks and 90 tubes they should now have plenty of hot water for their needs now and into the future.
In 2017 we were incredibly blessed to have been chosen as a major partner in the Yackandandah Community Solar Project which was an initiative of Totally Renewable Yackandandah & Mondo Power (a brand under the commercial arm of Ausnet Services).
We managed the sales and installation process of Australia’s first commercial mini grid of 14 houses, these 14 installed solar hybrid systems and the results have been amazing. Also 100+ solar only installations that are getting ready for batteries in the future.
What made this project different? The commercial mini grid is at the fore of where our energy network is heading – sharing energy among peers. Also, Mondo Power developed their own energy monitoring/management device called an UBI, the plans for this product alone is a game changer for every household and business.