For many entities, provision of power, whether it is in support of their operations or central to them, is proving to be increasingly expensive. We work with our partners to provide power from traditional and renewable sources to reduce cost and minimise the logistic tail. Utilisation of wind or solar as a source of prime or supplementary power (as part of a hybrid system) can provide a system with low or zero external fuel requirements, low maintenance and hence a very low operating cost.
A hybrid power solution is one that takes a power source, such as a diesel generator, and combines that with an energy storage system, such as a battery bank. The battery bank meets the day-to-day site power load. When its state of charge reaches a configured threshold the controller starts the generator. The site is then powered by generator which also recharges the batteries. The generator is running under near ‘full load’ conditions and therefore is operating at optimum efficiency. Correctly sized, the generator will run between four and eight hours to charge the battery bank under full load. This is compared to most site operations where the generator is running 24 hours a day at 30% of its capacity, just keeping the site powered up. This style of optimisation results in a reduction of up to 40% of diesel consumption.
The overall result is reduced fuel costs, longer equipment service life and fewer refuelling and maintenance site visits. Additionally, renewable sources (solar, wind) may be used to top up the batteries, further reducing diesel consumption and total cost.