Case Study: Tarcoola, South Australia

Tarcoola is a township in South Australia used as a railway maintenance base for Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). Tarcoola is a town in the Far North of South Australia 416 kilometres (258 mi) north-northwest of Port Augusta. At the 2016 census, Tarcoola had no people living within its boundaries.

Project Snapshot

Challenges

  • Remote location
  • No population – no amenities
  • Extreme temperature conditions
  • Product reliability and high performance critical
  • Difficulty to access
  • Difficulty to service

Solution

A 63kW PV array comprising of 252 Suntech STP250 solar panels is be mounted on Clenergy Solar Terrace II ground mount array frame with concrete footings.

The output from the array is fed to Kaco inverters acting as solar regulators; delivering their output to two paralleled banks of 60 Hoppecke 12OPzV1700 sealed lead - acid cells configured at 120 VDC nominal.

The batteries feed 3 x Selectronic SPLC 1202 inverters configured as a 60kW 3 phase inverter.
All power equipment is housed in a purpose-built insulated Colourbond power enclosure with the battery and power electronics separated by a lockable door. Ventilation to the battery area was via rotary roof vents.

The power enclosure is further protected by a separate tropical roof to give a separation and air movement gap. An air conditioner is fitted in the electronics room.

Outcome & Benefits

  • Cost saving
  • Reliable power
  • Less reliance on diesel

Project Summary

Application Off-grid
Client Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) 
Location Tarcoola, South Australia, 5710 
PC System Power 63kWP 
System Objective
  1. Eliminate reliance on diesel generator – runs 24 hours per day 
  2. Reduce fuel costs 
  3. Reduce carbon footprint
Installed PV 252 x Suntech STP250 
Useable Battery Storage 120 x Hoppecke 12OPzV1700 batteries  
(245kW hr usable) 
Inverter 3 x Selectronic SPLC1202

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