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 System Stand-alone Power Fact sheet CLEANER ENERGY Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS) Electricity 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 1 o f 2 B P 1 4 3 1 ( S I -S E - 0 0 7 ) (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 cost? 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 2 o f 2 B P 1 4 3 1 ( S I -S E - 0 0 7 ) 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 visit www.epa.qld.gov.au/sustainable_industries Government support email firstname.lastname@example.org 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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