Powering Food and Beverage With A Twist

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Local wholesale food supplier introduces energy solution that not only benefits the environment but also meets economic and operating needs.

While a business might be deemed successful from its return on investment or the longevity of operation, many companies are investing in a sustainable plan that also meets their economic and operating needs.

Asian United Food Service (AUFS) is a wholesale food supplier with cold store warehouse in Darwin, Northern Territory. Operating since 1978, this locally-owned business uses large machines daily which inefficiently consumes power supplied by the network. This results in higher than necessary electricity bills. To add insult to injury, the network distributor in NT also issues penalties for poor power factor.

The Directors of AUFS wanted to introduce a sustainability plan into the business; beginning with solar. The introduction of solar will not only benefit their green credentials but work towards counteracting their large electricity consumption and poor power factor.

Located at the Top End of the Northern Territory in the tropical cyclone region, AUFS worked with Solgen Energy Group to design, procure and install a 400kW rooftop solar power system together with a power factor correction unit.

Most businesses have high electricity costs from lighting, cooling or heating systems, cold storage or refrigeration. Solar energy will help reduce these running costs. “The beauty of solar technology is that it’s scalable which benefits all sized businesses,” said Solgen Energy Group Executive General Manager David Naismith.

“Solgen provides turnkey solar PV systems for the commercial and industrial sector that are renowned for delivering certainty around financial returns and solar power generation.”

Due to AUFS’ location and the tendency to encounter Category 2 tropical cyclones, Solgen engaged independent structural engineers and a testing laboratory to certify the solar panels and the rooftop layout to ensure the selected products could withstand these extreme conditions. Solgen installed 1536 Trina Poly 260W panels and 16 SMA Sunny Tripower inverters over a two-month period. To host the inverters, Solgen’s engineers designed a custom freestanding inverter station which is protected within the warehouse. The in-house design is composed of a steel structure that is embedded into the cement slab.

The NT energy provider indicated that due to the high rated output of the solar power system in combination with local grid instabilities, it would need to comply with zero export requirements. The zero export policy enabled Solgen to utilise its in-house designed, and Northern Territory approved, Sol-0-X control system to ensure the system met the non-exporting requirements of the utility.

Due to power factor requirements from the utility, a 175 kVAr Power Factor Correction unit was installed along with the 400 kW solar photovoltaic system. A PFC unit ensures that power is imported from the grid in a more efficient manner.

Together with integration of the power factor correction unit, the solar power system at AUFS is not only saving money on electricity usage, but also using electricity much more efficiently.

Benefits at a glance
The installation of the 400kW photovoltaic system will:

  • Generate an estimated energy output of 633MWh annually.
  • Offset up to 30 per cent of previous fossil fuel energy consumption, with greater independence from the utility.
  • Offset up to 430.71 tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • Provide the business with 25 years of clean energy from the sun.

To find out how Solgen Energy Group can provide cost-effective, environmentally sustainable power for your business, visit the website.