Australian-made innovation could soon replace diesel generators as temporary power supply in off-grid areas

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Canberra-based ECLIPS Engineering has received $289,725 in funding from ARENA to design, manufacture and test its rapidly redeployable Container Roll Out Solar System (CROSS).

CROSS is a relocatable solar array that has been developed to tackle the logistics challenges associated with deploying solar PV generators.

Designed to fit inside a standard shipping container, the CROSS units can be stacked up to seven units high, making them a very suitable replacement for diesel generators as temporary power supply for military operations, disaster relief efforts and music festivals.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the systems come available in 20ft and 40ft configurations, with a maximum output of 2,175W and 4,350W delivered in minutes ready for connection to an inverter.

“CROSS units can be deployed in off-grid and fringe-of-grid areas, displace or offset diesel consumption and improve the security of existing networks,” he continued.

“These renewable options can reduce some of the barriers to entry for potential renewable power users in remote locations, including short project durations and where power systems need to be periodically relocated.”

“Renewable energy can provide an emissions-free, silent energy system that could replace diesel generators in the long run.”

ECLIPS Managing Director Shaun Moore noted that whilst the original objective for CROSS was to improve power self-sufficiency for defence, the units could also find application in disaster recovery, humanitarian, construction and temporary network augmentation.

“One of our early objectives was to provide rapidly deployable utility scale PV generators to improve the self-sufficiency of Defence’s deployed forward operating bases,” Mr Moore said.

“Diesel consumption related to the provision of electricity can account for up to 70% of deployed forces’ fuel usage and is a significant cost driver. More importantly, deploying CROSS to forward operating bases also reduces the frequency of convoys for fuel resupply, which reduces the threat to soldiers in contested environments.”

“These same logistics efficiencies and benefits are transferable to commercial and utility customers in remote areas of Australia,” he concluded.

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