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Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS) fact sheet


Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS) fact sheet

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									                                                    The Environmental Protection Agency is Queensland’s lead agency to promote

                                                    energy efficiency, renewable power and other initiatives that reduce greenhouse
                                                    gas emissions throughout the state.

                                                    Renewable energy

                                                                                                                                                               Stand-alone Power
                                                                                                                                                               Fact sheet

                                                 Stand-alone Power
                                                 Systems (SPS)

                                                                                            to tens or even hundreds of thousands
                                                 Electricity is an essential part of our
                                                                                            of dollars. An SPS using renewable         An SPS provides an ecologically
                                                 way of life that we take for granted. It
                                                                                            energy can often be a far cheaper          sustainable energy supply. It creates
                                                 provides energy services, such as
                                                                                            option and save hundreds or                much less pollution and greenhouse
                                                 lighting, refrigeration and home
                                                                                            thousands of dollars every year.           gas emissions than any other
                                                 entertainment. For the thousands of
                                                 houses and homesteads too far away         In some circumstances, houses              electricity supply option.
                                                 from the electricity grid, independent     located a short distance from power        An SPS provides continuous energy,
                                                 electrical power is required.              lines may be supplied by an SPS at a       free from the interruptions often
                                                                                            lower cost than connecting to the grid.    associated with mains supply.
                                                 Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS),
                                                                                            Properly designed, installed and           Furthermore, SPS support local
                                                 formerly known as Remote Area Power
                                                                                            maintained, an SPS can be more             employment as they encourage
                                                 Supply systems (RAPS), have
                                                                                            reliable than grid power.                  associated industries into the area.
                                                 traditionally relied on diesel
                                                 generators. Power systems                  Grid power in rural areas is supplied      Using an SPS requires careful planning
                                                 incorporating photovoltaic cells           through hundreds of kilometres of          as these systems are designed for a
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                                                 (solar), wind turbines or micro-hydro      overhead wires, and subject to falling     specific daily energy use. If usage
                                                 turbines are increasingly being used.      trees, storms and lightning strike as      increases significantly, the system can
                                                                                            well as voltage sags and surges. By        be expanded if adequate allowance is
                                                 An SPS can be designed to suit the
                                                                                            contrast, the technology used in SPS is    made for future growth in the initial
                                                 locality and loads, combining
                                                                                            similar to that used for Uninterruptible   design. The modular nature of SPS
                                                 renewable energy resources and
                                                                                            Power Supplies that provide power to       components usually makes expansion
                                                 conventional generating sets.
                                                                                            critical computer electronics when grid    simple.
                                                                                            power fails.
                                                 Benefits of SPS
                                                                                            In the last decade, SPS technology has
      Oct 2002

                                                 Depending on distance and terrain,         improved greatly and power failures
                                                 the cost of connection to the              are rare in well-designed and
                                                 electricity supply grid can be high - up   maintained systems.
                                           How an SPS works                          Renewable energy
                                                                                     Renewable energy comes from sources that are essentially inexhaustible
                                                                                     such as the sun, the wind and the heat of the Earth, or from replaceable fuels
                                                                                     such as plants. Prior to the industrial revolution, these sources were virtually
                                                                                     the only forms of energy used by humans. During the past 150 years, modern
                                                                                     civilisation has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels - oil, coal and
                                                                                     natural gas. Fossil fuels form so slowly in comparison with the rate of energy
                                                                                     use that they are considered finite or a limited resource.
                                                                                     Using renewable energy can provide many benefits, including:
                                           • The solar array, wind turbine or
                                             micro-hydro generator provides          • making use of secure, local and replenishable resources;
                                             power to the system.                    • reducing dependence on non-renewable energy;
                                           • This power runs connected loads         • helping to keep the air clean;
                                             such as lights and appliances etc.
                                                                                     • helping to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
                                           • On a normal day, excess power             gases; and
                                             from the renewable energy sources
                                                                                     • helping to create jobs in renewable energy industries.
                                             will charge the batteries.
                                                                                     Geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, biomass and wave are all examples of
                                           • At night, during poor weather, or
                                                                                     renewable energies.
                                             during periods of heavy power use,
                                             there may be insufficient power
                                             from the renewable sources and the
                                             batteries discharge to provide
                                             additional power.
                                           • During longer periods of poor
                                             weather, a generating set provides
                                             power for the loads and recharges
                                             the batteries.
                                           • An SPS generates low voltage DC
                                             (direct current) while household
                                             appliances use AC (alternating
                                             current). An inverter converts the
                                             DC power into AC.

                                           How much will an SPS
                                           Most SPS designers or installers would
                                           need to do a formal quote to give a
                                           cost estimate. Costs vary greatly due
                                           to the range of factors involved. As a
                                           rough guide:
                                           • daily energy use of around five kWh    Block diagram of major SPS components (N.B. - system
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                                             AC, the installed cost may be          configurations vary depending on actual equipment used).
                                             around $15,000 - $20,000.
                                           • daily use of eight kWh AC, the                             For more information
                                             installed cost may be around
                                             $20,000 - $30,000.
                                                                                                        call  1300 369 388
                                           Government support                                           email

                                           An SPS for your residence, business or
Oct 2002

                                           community may be eligible for a
                                           rebate from the Queensland
                                           Government (see contact details ).

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