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ZEN Energy Systems was asked by the Department of Water, Environment & Natural Resources (DEWNR) to install a 7.5kW/40kWh PowerBank system at the Seal Bay Visitor Centre within the Seal Bay Conservation Park located on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. ZEN was asked to combine this system with a new 20kW fixed ground solar system and retrofit the existing 18kVA generator to the new battery container.

ZEN worked closely with the customer and their consultants to ensure this extensive project was completed with special attention to the flora and fauna sensitivities you would expect within a Conservation Park.

About the project

Seal Bay Conservation Park is home to the third largest Australian seal lion colony in Australia and was enacted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 1972. Located on Kangaroo Island, 112km’s southwest of Adelaide across Backstairs Passage, Seal Bay is a premier eco-tourism experience in South Australia welcoming over 110,000 visitors each year. The Seal Bay Visitor Centre has previously been reliant on a small solar array, lead acid battery and 18kVA generator to supply power to the facility. In line with the State Government’s Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction strategy, an infrastructure upgrade to include the introduction of a higher performance solar/battery hybrid generation system was decided. This system needed to meet the electricity requirements for the Visitor Centre now and into the future. Recognised as possessing extensive experience in designing and installing complex remote area power systems, ZEN won a competitive tender process with its proprietary PowerBank lithium battery solution selected by the State Government to perform the task.

Seal Bay Conservation Park is home to the third largest Australian seal lion colony in Australia and was enacted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 1972. Located on Kangaroo Island, 112km’s southwest of Adelaide across Backstairs Passage, Seal Bay is a premier eco-tourism experience in South Australia welcoming over 110,000 visitors each year. The Seal Bay Visitor Centre has previously been reliant on a small solar array, lead acid battery and 18kVA generator to supply power to the facility. In line with the State Government’s Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction strategy, an infrastructure upgrade to include the introduction of a higher performance solar/battery hybrid generation system was decided. This system needed to meet the electricity requirements for the Visitor Centre now and into the future. Recognised as possessing extensive experience in designing and installing complex remote area power systems, ZEN won a competitive tender process with its proprietary PowerBank lithium battery solution selected by the State Government to perform the task.

Designing the project

Working with DEWNR, ZEN calculated the future demand of the Visitor Centre and designed a 40kWh lithium battery and 20kW solar system that would provide the electricity support required. Utilising ZEN’s innovative battery management system, the PowerBank provides exceptional off- grid performance well above that offered by conventional lead acid batteries; being able to discharge and recharge the full capacity of the lithium batteries in under 6 hours. The PowerBank lithium battery system was housed in a 20-foot custom built shipping container designed to include separate battery and diesel cubicles, ZEN thermEX insulation and external heat shields. The generator and fuel tank was retrofitted into the container, exhaust system installed and inverters mounted and commissioned in tandem with the solar array and generator. The solar array was positioned carefully adjacent to the container, to reduce overshadow from surrounding trees and ensure ease of access to electrical service pits. The container was then connected to the Visitor Centre and commissioned with nil downtime for the customer.

Project Summary 
System size20kW of solar paired to PB40
(7.5kW/40kWh) PowerBank off-grid unit and 18kVA diesel generator
System configurationAC coupled solar system supports load directly with battery back up
Daily average system output82kWh solar contribution per day
CO2 savings per annum16.56 tonnes

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Zen Energy PTY LTD

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