The full story
Dobinsons Springs had a highly fluctuating electricity load due to the operation of furnaces. To make Solar work at the site, GEM Energy’s electrical engineers had to find ways to smooth out the demand curve. The high ambient temperatures required special cooling solutions for the manufacturing shed, inverter room and the solar panels on the roof.
First of all, our electrical engineers worked together with the Dobinsons team to smooth out the fluctuating electricity load. We installed solar extraction fans on the manufacturing shed, customized the array design to allow more air flow between roof and panels, and added a reverse cycle air conditioner in the inverter room.
To achieve maximum system reliability and lifetime it is important to keep all components as cool as possible. Solar components work more efficiently the cooler they are.
Dobinsons would have liked to install battery storage to become completely independent of the electricity network immediately, however, we advised them to wait until they become more cost-effective in a year or two. All of our system designs allow for future expansion.
The Dobinsons Springs site has been able to generate 30% of their total energy requirements on site. The investment was cash-flow positive from the first quarter, with an expected electricity bill reduction of around $162,436 per annum. The estimated revenue of Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) is $39,000 per year.
As a bonus, the Dobinsons’ staff ended up much better off because of the improved air quality and temperature in the manufacturing sheds since our system installation.