Energy and Natural Resources

Replacing Diesel Gensets with 'Pop-up' Solar Energy Systems

19 April 2018
The factory assembled, relocatable solar array was developed to reduce the logistics challenges associated with deploying solar PV generators. Source: ECLIPS Engineering

An Australian engineering firm seeks to replace diesel generators with containerized ‘pop-up’ solar systems.

Eclips Engineering is designing and testing a redeployable system called Container Roll Out Solar System (CROSS). The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided AUS$289,725 in funding to continue its development. CROSS applications could include temporary power supplies for military operations, construction sites, disaster relief efforts and music festivals.

Providing rapidly deployable, utility-scale photovoltaic generators to improve the self-sufficiency of the military’s deployed forward operating bases is a major goal of the project. Diesel consumption related to the provision of electricity can account for up to 70 percent of deployed forces’ fuel usage and is a significant cost driver. The use of CROSS at forward operating bases also reduces the frequency of convoys for fuel resupply, which reduces the threat to soldiers in contested environments.

The factory-assembled, relocatable solar array will be developed in 20 ft. and 40 ft. configurations, with a maximum output of 2,175 W and 4,350 W and ready for connection to an inverter. Designed to fit inside a standard shipping container, the CROSS units can be stacked up to seven units high.

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