Rural Energy Partnership
TEAL INLET PROJECT
The aim of this project is to significantly reduce the amount of fossil fuel required to provide adequate electricity to a single domestic dwelling by introducing a sustainable technology for the first time.
The current energy system at Teal Inlet is a diesel hybrid system, installed to supply the house with electricity
1 x 5.6kW diesel generator, installed in 2014
1 x 3kW Outback Inverters, installed in 2011
550Ah battery bank, installed in 2011
The current system uses on average 2500 litres of diesel a year costing £1250 (Diesel price £0.50 per litre). It is estimated that the generator runs between 500 - 700 hours per year.
1.5 kW of Solar Photovoltaic Panels installed facing north at an angle of 40° is estimated to provide around 1350kWh per year of electricity. It is predicted this will reduce the running time of the generator by 200 hours a year, saving around £300 per annum.
After the award of the Rural Energy Partnership Development grant the design of the array began. The first thing that was to be decided was to install a roof mounted system or ground mounted system. As there was no suitable buildings with north facing roofs, the decision was made to install a ground mounted array.
Once the decision was made we contacted the Falkland Islands Government Building Advisor to find out it any permits were required for the installation. The building advisor was very helpful and informed us that the array would not require planning permission but would require a building permit. The form was very easy and quick to complete and was submitted along with a drawing of the building and map of the settlement. Very quickly we received the approved building permit.
With all permissions in place the array was ordered in April 2015 through the local renewable supplier and installer PowerSense.
While the system was being shipped from the UK, I was thought it would be a good idea to get the electrical systems of the property checked for safety. A proportion of the expense for this work on the domestic property can be covered under the Domestic Electricity Safety Check and Improvement Grant Scheme. This scheme is managed by FIDC and is open to all domestic properties owners across the Falkland Islands to improve the electrical safety.
The installation started in September 2016 with the concrete footing blocks pored, after the blocks were set the ground mounting frame was installed by family members. The installation of the panels and associated parts took PowerSense under 2 Days to complete the installation of the array. The array was commissioned on the 11th October 2016. The total cost of the installation was £1,940, if the system generates as predicted the payback will be 6.5 years.
1. The array output from the installation on the 11th October 2016 until 31st January 2017.
The solar array has covered 100% of the demand for the property. Before the array was installed the diesel generator would normally operate 2 hours a day to cover the electricity demand and this has not been required. The diesel generator required around 2.5 litres of fuel per hour to operate but the solar array have meant that the diesel generator has not been required, meaning that around 550 litres of diesel haven't had to be burnt to meet the demand; a saving of £275 (diesel price at £0.50 per litre) over a three month period.
2. Period - 1st February 2017 until 30th September 2017
The array has continued to work without a fault. With the limited number of daylight hours in the winter months and overcast days within this period, the array has still covered just over 75% of the properties energy demand over this period. The installation of the solar array has reduced the expected operating time of the diesel generator by almost 360 hours, meaning 720 litres of fuel have not been used, saving £360 (diesel price at £0.50 per litre).
FIDC is committed to helping reduce the costs of running and make a business more sustainable. Our Energy Advisor is available to visit and make detailed recommendations on how this can be achieved. This case study highlights the real gains from following our guidance.