Innovative connections in Ravensthorpe improve reliability and customer satisfaction
For remote towns long stretches of powerlines have the potential to be impacted by wind, rain, vegetation and lightning.
An alternative may be to disconnect from the network and generate power via a stand-alone power systems (SPS).
In the southern town of Ravensthorpe, we gave six households a SPS as part of a year-long trial.
Each system included solar panels, a battery, an inverter (to convert DC to AC) and a backup diesel generator.
In addition to day-to-day use, the battery had enough storage to provide two days’ supply of electricity.
If the sun doesn’t come out for more than two days, the backup generator kicks in to provide power.
Customer satisfaction with the SPS has been very high due to improved power reliability. During local floods in February 2017, the SPS units continued to supply uninterrupted power, while other areas experienced outages due to damage on the network.
In remote locations it was found that SPS may be a more cost efficient way of supplying electricity compared to maintaining expensive grid infrastructure.