Christopher Darker in 1974. Esperance
I started my working life as a technician in Esperance
on the south coast of Western Australia. It was in telephone exchanges where my training began on large battery banks and power electronics. Solar ( P.V ) panels were not generally available at this time but we did have a lot of small rural exchanges that were powered by Dunlite wind generators and Lister diesel generating sets . ( 48 VDC )
A pictorial history of Unisun since its beginings in 1982 the dawn of a new age, maybe Orwell got it all wrong!!!
"TARDIS", crash lands in a sleeply little coastal town, on the edge of the known universe. Esperance, Western Australia. Now, Esperance means "Hope", and that was indeed an appropriate name for this remote and beautiful seascape, the birthplace of the Aussie wind energy industry, and in no small way, the renewable energy industry itself.
My Tardis was disguised as a Hi-Fi shop....All walls and ceilings were covered in egg cartons, and sprayed sky blue...My friends and clients spent many happy hours, gazing into infinity, and pondering the future. Francesca, my business partner at the time, declared she had visited a disused quarry in Wales where they were demonstrating wind machines and solar energy panels !!!
Solar pioneer of the 20th Century...Francesca Costin.
Pink Lake,Esperance, Western Australia. My first customer and good friend, who helped me consolidate my vision of the coming Solar Reality.
3 x TIDELAND 33 watt Mono-Crystal panels. Tideland, manufactured panels for marine beacons in Brookvale, N.S.W. They were absorbed by B.P in 1985, and voila ! B.P Solar Australia !
4 x Besco 6 Volt, 220 Amp Hr floor scrubber batteries.
12 x CENTURY 300 Amp hour cells , a WINCO 200 Watt aerogenerator, and a SELECTRONIC 300 Watt modified square wave inverter.
System was used for 12 volt lighting, and Alpine car stereo.
"The Black Controller" !
Hand made by Chris Darker for Steve and Cheryl Bradley. Pink Lake, Esperance, Western Australia. There was very little commercial product available at that time, so I would often build control panels from scratch. They were often 12 volt battery based systems to operate 10 and 20 watt halogen bulbs and car stereos for the solar pioneers. Surfers and folks living on the fringes of town, living a simple and natural life.
6 x SOLAREX LX45GT Poly-Crystal panels, mounted on Zomeworks, freon / gravity driven tracker.
Christopher Darker. Electronics engineer for the Salmon Beach Wind farm. 1st Wind farm in Australia. Western Australia is known as the wild flower state. It also has wild winds ! The average wind speed at Salmon Beach is 7.5 Metres per second. Thats why the State Energy Commission installed the first Australian wind farm here.
The S.E.C's "Energy Research" division were a great crew, and I loved working with them. They were dedicated and knew their stuff. The work done here spawned wind farms all over Oz... Sadly, the Energy Research division was disbanded by the government of Premier Richard Court in 1988...I knew then that Baron Harkonnan had arrived, and was attempting to destroy the earths atmosphere, prior to a general invasion.
My Mum, standing in front of THE shop ! She always told me I was a bit odd...."Away with the fairy's". Well, maybe ! Hated the thought of growing up. Loved Peter Pan, Castles, Steam engines, sailing ships. I think I'd seen too much in past lives. If it wasn't for that cracked mercury vial, I'd have landed where I was supposed to, in the 21st century...Ah well...Got here in the end, but made a mess of the time / space continum around this place....LOL !
Tear sheet 1986
South West News
SALMON BEACH WINDFARM......First in Australia. 6 x 60 Kilowatt synchronous, induction turbines. Three phase. Only babies......but the spiritual birthplace of an industry !
Tear sheet from Elders Weekly use 1988
One of my typical shopping centre displays, which I used around Western Australia in the early 90's. This one is at the Esperance Boulevard.
2 x Solarex MSX-60 Poly crystal.
Ampair 100 turbine.
A range of the first CFL lamps
They were $30 each in 1990.
Solar pioneers Mr & Mrs John Ware. Mandilla station, Kambalda, W.A. Survivor 5000 wind turbine on 18 metre mast. B.P 70 Watt Mono crystal panels on Sundog tracking frame.
Survivor 5000 turbine in a stiff breeze. This is a downwind turbine, with the blades downwind from the mast.... Not a bad machine, but the gearbox let it down... it was a modified V.W transmission.
Enthusiastic client holding one of my early "Solar Technology Designers Catalogues ."
The Sudog freon driven, passive tracker next to him is loaded with two very early Solarex Mono crystal panels and six Solarex MSX-60 Poly crystals.
Solar pioneer Melony Hyde's Starship "Xtasea", Esperance, Western Australia. Xtasea sits atop high cliffs, facing the most astounding seascape.
The view here dipicts the land facing Northen side. We all learnt much from this little system. It was the recipient of an early demonstration grant. It was positioned on the tourist drive and generated immense public interest.
Ampair Mk1 Micro wind plant. 900 mm propellor diameter.
2 x BP 60 watt Mono crystal panels.
4 x Siemen's 75 watt Powermax Mono crystal.
10 Kilowatt hour, 12 volt battery.
Prototype Solar wonderland controller under kitchen bench. Ideal position for a trainee female space pilot. Mel always understood the condition of the battery and her ultimate energy reserves. For many years this was a stand alone system without mains or backup generator.
Early Selectronic Silver series, 600 watt, modified square wave inverter. All lighting was 12 Volts D.C. The Ampair turbine was in its element here, and combined with the six panels yielded an average of 2500 watt-hours daily through most of the year.
1991. Solar Wonderland garden energy system. This delightful little system was custom built for a discerning client , sick and tired of pathetic , free standing solar garden lights. The system is comprised of a Solarex MSX5 poly crystal panel, Sonnenschien 12 Volt, 40 Amp hr deep cycle, gel battery, Solar wonderland Mk2 controller in weatherproof case, 3 x 3 watt pagoda style lamps, 1 x 5 watt flood lamp. The lamps are used as required, not wasted.
The battery stored enough energy to run all night when needed. The panel is placed in an optimum, full sun position...Unlike free standing , solar charged lamps, which are often in poor sun spots. This system is worth around $700. We are happy to quote on specific needs you may have for quality solar garden lighting...and pond / waterfall pumping.
1994… The second phase of the Esperance wind farms were the addition of 10 VESTAS 220 KW Turbines from Denmark.
"Octagon" Hill View Tce, East Fremantle. This was the first solar / wind power system in the City of Fremantle. Michael had built an unusual octagonal home on the hill....But he was no dill. He wanted to expand but was confronted with outrageous costs for a mains power upgrade. So, he decided to install a dual power system.
We installed the little Ampair up into the "Fremantle Doctor". ( Sea breeze ) It spun good ! Mike loved gadget's so we put one of Bruno Wittwer's tracker's on the flat roof, loaded with six of the best mono-crystal panels available, SHOWA M55's.
The regulator was one of my hand build Solar Wonderland Controllers, which also switched off two circuits of halogen lamps in sequence if power was low.... ( It virtually never was ) 20 Kilowatt Hour Century Yuasa 24 volt battery. Selectronic SE-30 True sine wave inverter ( Just released ).
Joe Ambrose, on the roof next to his tracker.
1995. Apprentice "Dark Star", Joe Ambrose. Margaret River, W.A. Joe is a marine engineer, a good one. He liked things done in a meticulous manner.
This was the year before Uni-Solar released their US-64 super panel, so we were unfortunately forced to use ancient crystalline technology. These were the last batch that I have ever used. 6 x BP 75 watt Mono crystal, 2 x Solarex 80 Watt Poly crystal,
1 x BW SOLAR tracking frame.
Tear sheet Fremantle Post 1994
Tear sheet Fremantle Herald_1994 # 1
Tear sheet Fremantle Herald_1994 # 2
Solar and wind pioneer Josephine Hill. ! 13 Glyde st, East Fremantle.
Joe is of the Bahi faith, and has a deep sense of environmental responsibility. It induced her to comission the second solar / wind hybrid power system installed in the city of Fremantle. Over the next three years, it slowly grew and grew and grew...
An Ampair turbine amongst chimmney pots..... Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, thats where you'll find me !
Ampair 100 Mk 1 Aero turbine. Practically silent, and Rolls Royce quality. 20 Year life +. We guyed it here very nicely with high quality yachting hardware. You can see this brilliant little machine throught my history archive. It has a propellor diameter of 900mm and a max power output of 100 watts per hour. Do not confuse with cheap air machines with rediculous power ratings. Two of the original archaic B.P Mono-Crystal 75 watt panels, and their successor, the mighty U.S 64 Amorphous super module...As many would know, size isn't everything...It's how you use it ! View towards the Swan River and North Fremantle. At the time I was operating from the North Fremantle Permaculture Centre.
This is an advanced prototype of my "Grid Switching" system, which husbands the precious solar energy on site and value adds it, instead of playing watt amounts to pathetic political games, in order to assume a clean green sheen, and undeserved Kudos.
The two contactors on the top LHS with red led's switch power circuits automatically between mains and solar power depending on the solar charge state of the energy storage battery....The refrigerator circuit drops back to mains first, then, if bad weather persists, the priority circuit, T.V, computer and lighting would revert to mains the following day.
Once the battery has recovered, they both switch back to solar power. In practice, the priority circuit was practically always on pure, stable
solar / battery / inverter power, which is the great advantage of this system.
Josephines 20 Kilowatt-Hour "Hoppecke" battery bank. We installed it under the floor
with easy external access. We no longer use open vented batteries in domestic situations. They always were a compromise..dirty, smelly, dangerous.
Some companies still recommend and use them because they dont know any better.
( Or value their customers lives )
Josephines control system consisted of my Solar Wonderland controller, and a Selectronic remote keypad / SA-22 inverter combination. She loved the Solar Wonderland..everyone does. The expanded scale voltmeter is comprised of 20 cunningly colour coded, super bright leds, which burn the systems operating voltage range deeply into the psyche...Only one or two leds are on at any one time as the voltmeter slowly traverses its range. Because it operates in an "Analogue"...not digital manner, the human mind accepts it more readily.
Another Solar Wonderland garden lighting and pumping system.
This one was for a client in Albany, with a larger head, hence we used a flexible impeller pump. This is an interesting system in that it includes a couple of Uni-Solar's early double junction, amorphous panels, the UPM-880.
They were rated at 22 watts, and recieved critical acclaim in the prestigious American "Home Power" magazine, for their stable output under high temperature. The UPM-880 module proved that United Solar had overcome problems of premature degradation, that had hitherto plagued amorphous, thin film technology. The following year they introduced the triple junction panels. ( US-64 etc ) I knew they had a winner...Crystalline solar panels were doomed !
Shelley Cullen's Margaret River Organic Garden's.
Solar powered lighting system.
1 x Siemens 75 Watt POWERMAX modules,
1 x Solar Wonderland controller,
2 x Trojan 6 Volt, 220 Amp Hour batteries in series. ( 12 Volts )
The Organic gardens were a community icon at Margaret River for many years.
Shelley approached me to supply a solar lighting system for practical and educational purposes. Cost was a major consideration so we simply radiated rugged 16mm building wire throughout the gardens without conduit, and tapped cheap Arlec garden light fittingsinto the wires wherever required. We changed the bulbs to 5 watt halogens, they werevery effective....We also ran some dichroic halogen spotlights inside the office.
A lot of folks learned about solar power from this little system...Particularly because of the superior human interface presented by the Solar Wonderland's 20 step, super bright, expanded scale L.E.D volt meter, and analogue ammeters.
Your's Truly, standing before solar pioneer, Annie Serna-Pastor's solar tracking frame. Gidgegannup, Western Australia.
Annie's two original B.P "Old technology" mono-crystal panel's are completely surrounded by ten of my Uni-Sun Advanced Amorphous, US-64 Super panels, which, over the coming decade, were to prove themselves as the most sustainable, technically advanced and durable solar power panels ever made.
The "Pink House" control system.
Solar Pioneer Warwick Rowells "Rosneath Farm" Permaculture Village. Dunsborough, Western Australia.The original system was installed with a restrictive budget. There were no rebates at the time.
8 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 Advanced Amorphous panels, mounted on a Brunotraker.
These were the first such panels we ever used....Their performance convinced us that they were a milestone in the development of Photo-Voltaic technology.
Hoppecke 24 Volt Lead acid, 20 Kilowatt hour, open vented battery. German made. I installed quite a lot of them, but in the end they fared no better than equivalent Exide and Century tubular plate units.
Selectronic SE-21 True sine wave inverter. 1600 watts continuous. We also installed the remote readout and keypad as you can see, beneath the Solar Wonderland Controller.
Solar Wonderland Mk007 Regulator. Now, Warwick has a masters degree, and has experience with a wide range of solar regulators. Ask him who build the best regulators...and why ?
Because of its superior human interface, that imparts comprehension of system operation !
A Nova Environment Article
Joan & Ray’s “Maison de la Soleil”. Albany, W.A. latitude 35 degrees S
An awesome and beautiful mansion, set in a stunning marine environment above the cliffs. However, the architects failure to address the issue of solar orientation, and his obsession with ostentatious theatrical lighting effects using myriads of halogen downlights, required vast amounts of electricity.
Having come to a realisation that the buildings energy requirements were unsustainable, and in keeping with their Buddhist philosophy of treading lightly on the earth, Ray and Joan requested that I rationalise their energy requirements, with a view towards total disconnection from the utility grid supply. No mean feat for a 2000 sq metre condominium !
- 88 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. (5632 peak watts) Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 25,000 watt-hours in Summer and 15,000 watt-hours in Winter.
- 2 x PLASMATRONIC PL-60 Regulator / controllers, with SH-300 current shunts and PLS shunt adaptors. This allows all solar energy generated and consumed to be monitored.
- 1 x WESTWIND 5 Kilowatt wind plant atop a 24 metre tower. Nett daily energy production (after system losses) @ 6.5 metres per second average wind speed is 26,000 watt-hours
- 48 x EXIDE 2 Volt 1350 amp-hour deep cycle battery cells. These are connected in series / parallel to yield 129,600 watt-hours of energy storage. Ultimately, this is enough to support the home for 3 days on a full charge, without any solar or wind input; an unlikely scenario.
- 3 x SELECTRONIC SE-42 True sine wave inverters. 10,800 watts continuous, 16,500 watts for 0.5 hours, 30,000 watts for 10 seconds. One of these units has the energy management option fitted, together with a current shunt in line with the wind generators charge input to the battery. This enables the wind plants daily energy production to be monitored and logged.
- 3 x SOLAR ENERGY AUSTRALIA SEAP-48-3K8 True sine wave inverters in a 3 phase configuration. 11,400 watts continuous, 13,200 watts for 0.5 hours, 31,500 watts for 10 seconds.
Extensive modifications were required to the buildings lighting system. This involved replacing hundreds of halogen downlights with the very latest L.E.D (light emitting diode) lamps, and fluorescent PL down lights.
Refrigerators were also upgraded to the latest 6 star energy rating, high efficiency units.
This is a stand alone system. The local power utility (Western Power) having been banished to outer darkness in concordance with the book of Revelations, chapter 11, verse 18 “ I will bring to ruin those who ruin the Earth !
Rosie’s strawbale lodge. York, Western Australia, Latitude 32 degrees South.
Commissioned in June 99, an unusual but delightful solar building, constructed of strawbales. This centuries old method of construction is undergoing a rennaissance in rural Australia and for good reason. They are simple and quick to erect, have an incredible insulation rating, and cleverly utilise an agricultural by product that most farmers are familiar with and have ready access to. The bale walls are smothered with a liberal coating of lime based cement which allows them to breath, (preventing moisture buildup) and rendering them fire retardant. Rosie’s power consumption is extremely low as she chose to use a gas refrigerator.
- 4 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced, thin film. triple junction photo-voltaic panels. (256 peak watts) Nett
- energy production (after system losses) is 1200 watt-hours in Summer, and 700 watt-hours in Winter.
- 1 x Plasmatronic PL-20 Regulator
- 6 x Hoppecke 2 volt, 500 amp-hour deep cycle battery cells. These are connected in series to deliver 6000 watt-hours of energy storage
- 1 x Latronics 412-BKZ-12 True sine wave inverter. 1300 watts continuous rating, 1550 watts for 0.5 hours, 3800 watts for 10 seconds. Converts the D.C energy generated from the solar panels and stored in the battery into 240 volt A.C power to run the water pressure pump, Rota-Loo toilet, lighting, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, food processor, t.v and stereo.
A small power system but adequate for the task, and simple to add on extra solar panels
if required. Rosie uses her resources wisely and proves that energy self sufficiency can be achieved on a small budget with minimal compromises. Although the mains grid is only 100 metres away she has no intention of connecting to it. “I’d rather be free of it ! My little solar system is sunreal, and suits my life style just fine “.
Richard and Lexie’s “Star ship Freedom”. Perth , Western Australia.
Latitude 32 degrees South
Commissioned Dec 2000. Outer hull is double brick, with tiled meteorite shield. This is a true passive solar design, with the majority of port holes on the Northernside, for deep and intimate penetration of the Suns’ warming rays in Winter.
The carefully calculated eave overhang plus deciduous creepers (grape vines) act as a radiation shield in Summer, preventing overheating of the crews quarters, galley and control deck.
• 24 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. (1536 peak watts) Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 7000 watt- hours in Summer, and 4500 watt-hours in Winter.
• 1 x Plasmatronic PL-40 Regulator with SH200 current shunt and PLS shunt adaptor. This allows all solar energy generated and consumed to be monitored, giving an accurate indication of the ships energy reserves at all times.
• 24 x EXIDE 2 volt 670 amp-hour, deep cycle battery cells. These are connected in series, to deliver 32,160 watt-hours of energy storage, enough to sustain the life support systems for 5 days of complete solar eclipse on a full charge.
• 1 x Solar Energy Australia SEAP-48-2K4 True sine wave inverter. 2400 watts continuous rating, 3000 watts for 0.5 hours, 6000 watts for 10 seconds. This unit converts the D.C energy generated from the solar panels, and stored in the battery into 240 volt A.C power, for the suite of carefully selected, energy efficient appliances on board.
This is a grid re-active system, and does not export power into the utility companies sewer ! Rather, all the precious solar energy is used on site and value added so that it does the most good, instead of being squandered and lost in an inefficient network . The grid is used merely as a backup, for those few days of the year when the planet’s atmosphere contains excessive water vapour !
Peter Knight's all steel "Starship Entrancement", sits on top of an ancient cliff overlooking a huge, ancient salt lake ( Lake Margaret ), 100 Km S.W of Kalgoorlie, in the dry Arakken heartlands. If you stood on the foredeck of "Entrancement", 100 metres above the plain, at a never ending, brilliant white salt lake, big enough to land a Harkonan mother ship, you would understand how appropriate her name !
Six x UNI-SOLAR US-64. Pete chucked them on a West facing roof for convenience.He got away with it, because at the time it was only a weekender, and he was turning off the refrigerator through the week.
After a few years , the magic of "Entrancement" attacted other beings, and more frequent use. We balanced the afternoon array with another four x US-64's out on the cliff edge, aiming North East...
Pete the “battler’s” farm power supply. Dwellingup, Western Australia.
Latitude 32 degs South
Commissioned September 2000. Hybrid solar / petrol system for farm house, workers quarters and water pumping to irrigate grape vines. Typical remote area power supply (R.A.P.S) with 6 KVA petrol generator for backup during sustained cloudy periods. Average generator running time is less than 1 hour daily. Like most small farmers, Pete the “battler” needed to allocate his resources with the utmost discretion. The government came to his assistance with a $ 16,000 grant.
• 24 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. (1536 peak watts) Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 7000 watt-hours in Summer, and 4500 watt-hours in Winter.
• 1 x Plasmatronic PL-40 regulator / controller with SH200 current shunt and PLS shunt adaptor to monitor the inverter load. This allows all solar energy generated and consumed on a daily basis to be be monitored and logged, greatly enhancing the users comprehension of the power systems operation.
• 24 x Exide 2 volt 750 amp-hour deep cycle battery cells. These are connected in series to yield
36,000 watt-hours of energy storage. This equates to 5 days of electrical demand when fully charged. The average battery depth of discharge is 25%. Average battery life span is 10 years.
• 1 x Selectronic SE-42 True sine wave inverter. 3600 watts continuous rating, 5500 watts for 0.5 hours, 10,000 watts for 10 seconds. A superb high power inverter that can deliver 15 amps @ 240 volts continuously ! Enough grunt to operate all single phase appliances and power tools commonly encountered in farm workshops, including large welders and air compressors. The finish and workmanship of Selectronic inverters is masterful, they would be at home in an art gallery !
• 1 x SSL 48 volt, 50 amp, industrial grade battery charger. This powerful, 2 stage charger delivers
up to 2000 watts input to the battery per hour. Absolutely essential for fast recharge of large batteries using petrol or diesel generators. Minimises running time and fuel consumption.
This is a classic system for small to medium sized farms that we have proven throughout rural Australia. Fossil fuel consumption is so minimal it is practically insignificant, yet the genset provides valuable energy input at critical times, substantially reducing the amount of battery capacity required, and delivering great flexibility in overall system operation.
Darryl and Sam Woodfield. Grass Patch, Esperance W.A.
24 x Uni-Solar US-64 panels.
SOMA 1000 Watt wind plant / 19.5 metre tower.
50 Kilowatt hour battery bank.
Selectronic SA-42 Inverter.
7 KVA Lister Diesel. 1500 RPM.
When the tanker driver arrived from South East petroleum, just as we were finishing the installation...He realized he was "terminated"
This particular regulator (shown with cover removed) is the HVPL50 / 120, the high voltage version of the PL-60. It is designed for use with larger solar power systems, with strings of 10 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 panels in series, and a 120 volt battery bank. In this format, the HVPL-50 can accomodate up to 100 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 panels. (10 parallel strings of 10 panels in series = 45 to 50 Amps @ 120 V.D.C nominal system voltage = 6000 Watts) . 200 Amp shunt and PLS2 adaptor is included.
John and Gudrun’s farm power supply. Salmon Gums, Western Australia.
Latitude 33 degrees South
Commissioned September 2000. Hybrid solar / diesel system for farmhouse and workshop. Typical remote area power supply (R.A.P.S) with 7 Kva diesel generator for backup during sustained cloudy periods. Average generator running time is less than 1 hour daily.
• 24 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction, photo-voltaic panels. (1536 peak watts) Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 8500 watt-hours in Summer and 5500 watt-hours in Winter. 12 panels are mounted on a Uni-Sun fixed array frame, and the other 12 are mounted on a Sun Dog tracking frame.
• 2 x Plasmatronic PL-20 Regulator / controllers (one for the fixed array and one for the tracker) with SH-200 current shunt and PLS shunt adaptor. This allows all solar energy generated and consumed to be monitored, greatly enhancing the users comprehension and knowledge of the power systems operation.
• 24 x Exide 2 volt 670 amp-hour, deep cycle battery cells. These are connected in series to deliver
32,160 watt-hours of energy storage. This equates to around 5 days of electrical demand when fully charged.
• 1 x Solar Energy Australia SEAP-48-3K8 True sine wave inverter. 3800 watts continuous rating, 4500 watts for 0.5 hours, 10,500 watts for 10 seconds. This powerful inverter can deliver 15 amps @240 volts continuously. Enough grunt to run practically any single phase appliance or power tool normally encountered in farm workshops. Three of these inverters can also be coupled together as a three phase set.
• 1 x SSL Industrial grade battery charger. 48 volts, 50 amps. delivers 2.5 Kilowatts input to the battery per hour of generator running time. Absolutely essential for fast recharge of large batteries using diesel or petrol generators. Minimizes running time and fuel consumption.
This is a classic system for small to medium sized farms that we have proven throughout outback Australia.
Fossil fuel consumption is so minimal it is practically insignificant, yet the genset provides valuable energy input at critical times, delivering great flexibility in overall system operation.
Noel and Daisy’s “Dream”. Perth, Western Australia.
Latitude 32 degrees South.
Commissioned Dec 2000. Not passive solar, but nevertheless a beautiful home for retirement, in the hills above the Perth coastal plain. The power utility is somewhat unreliable in that area, and Noel and Daisy decided to fix the problem and avail themselves to $8000 of Federal loot under the Photo Voltaic Rebate Program.
The solar power system supplies electricity for all of the specially selected suite of high efficiency appliances and light fittings. The utility company supplies power for the electric booster in the solar water heater, the spa pump and the ducted vacuum cleaner. Also, in the event of sustained cloudy weather (rare) the homes energy control system will switch all appliance circuits back to the mains for a few hours, to allow the solar power system to recharge it’s batteries.
• 24 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction, photo-voltaic panels. (1536 peak watts) Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 7000 watt-hours in Summer, and 4500 watt-hours in Winter.
• 1 x Plasmatronic PL-60 regulator / controller with automatic mains changeover switch
• 12 x Exide 2 volt 1350 amp-hour, deep cycle battery cells which are connected in series, delivering 32,400 watt-hours of energy storage. This could power the residence for up to 4 days , but the controller reverts back to the grid after two consecutive days of heavy cloud, to preserve overall battery life, which is around 10 years.
• 1 x Solar Energy Australia SEAP-24-2K2 True sine wave inverter. 2200 watts continuous rating, 2800 watts for 0.5 hours, 6000 watts for 10 seconds. This unit converts the D.C energy generated from the solar panels, and stored in the battery, into 240 volt A.C power.
This is a grid-reactive system, and does not export power into the utility companies sewer! Rather, all the precious solar energy is used on site and value added with efficient appliances so that it actually does some good, instead of disappearing down a black hole of ignorance and waste.
Esperance farmer Grahame Styles, proudly holding the "Stick" of the Roaring Fourties, model T wind plant. This is the correct size blade to propel a typical 60 to 80 Amp Automotive alternator to full power ( 1000 -1200 Watts ).
Two Roaring Fourties at different tower heights can be seen in the background at the rustic, rural, resarch institute.
What the #^=&@K ! Yeh ! What the #^=&@K ?
Ladies and gentlemen, the Roaring Fourties is a unique, home grown wind plant, based around a common or garden medium power, automotive alternator. It was developed in frustration, at the pletora of overpriced, under engineered garbage, flooding the globe from the United Mistakes of Hysterica, and Pee Pulls Republic ! It is very cheap to construct. Around $400, plus of course a few weekends of tinkering.
The machine is deceptively simple....And paradoxically extremely advanced !
Constructing an effective wind plant at low cost, around an automotive alternator is a deceptively simple idea. many have tried, very few get it right.
This one works a treat, and features "tilt up" helicopter style speed regulation, no gear box and no slip rings to bring power down the pole.
The blade is hand carved with a simple profile, from a stick of straight, unknotted pine.
If you would like help in constructing this masterpiece of Aussie bush engineering, then simply purchase a copy of our "Solar Technology Designer's Catalogue"...The best $200 you will ever invest in your energy independence.
Wind plant on tower.
West Wind 5 Kilowatt turbine on 24 meter tower. Munglinup Beach caravan park, near Esperance W.A.
48 Volt, 120 Kilowatt hour battery bank.
3 x 5 Kilowatt PSA Inverter / chargers, synchronized in three phase.
Prominent Perth Architect Richard Hammonds beautiful solar home on the Perth coastal escarpment. Richard is senior lecturer in Architecture at the University of W.A.
His unique starship is made entirely from metal / foam sandwich, cool room panels, for ease and speed of assembly. We installed two systems for Richard, one for this home, and one for his mothers , adjoining it.
Richo's solar arrays....28 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced Amorphous, thin film panels.
We pride ourselves on innovative design and quality craftsmanship.
North facade of the Imperial Solar Mansion
The windplant and three solar trackers are visible 300 metres away on the right.
Chris and Barbara's Starbase " Augustus Caesar "
Regional Headquarters, 1st Australian Heavy Solar Division .Geraldton, Western Australia. Latitude 30 degrees South.
Commissoned December 2001. A stunning solar mansion in the Romanesque style, nestled in a dune flanked valley near the beach. Radiation levels here are intense during Summer, so the outer hull of the starbase is formed of reflective white sandstone block.
A large atrium / docking bay on the north provides welcome shade in Summer, and becomes a trap for low angle Winter Sun. High cielings and doors, and wind catchers channel the sea breeze.
Barbara decreed that no expense be spared to provide renewable energy for the de-luxe European style kitchen, which has a full complement of electric appliances, including fan forced oven and gorilla. The cook top however is gas, as it is more responsive. ( Thank Apollo for small mercies ) There is also a de-luxe laundry, complete with electric clothes dryer, so the washing is rendered nice and soft and fluffy !
Supply of H20 presented another problem in this dry, arid, Martian style landscape that wasshunned for centuries by early humanoid explorers. Most of the H20 is underground, and has to be de-salinated by a reverse osmosis filter, driven by a 1500 watt ( 2 H.P ) 3 phase pump.
A 2500 watt ( 3 H.P ) 3 phase bore pump, and several other smaller single phase pumps are used for transfer purposes within the elaborate water storage and processing system of the starbase.
Starbase engineering facility and plant room at the base of the "dune of enlightenment".
The ocean is 1000 metres away, and visible from the top of the dune. The 2.5 Kw windplant atop it's 18 metre tower has become a landmark for mariners.
Hybrid solar / wind energy system without fossil fuel or mains backup of any kind. Chris and Barbara are widely travelled, and have witnessed the fate of civilisations in other sphere's, addicted to the use of hydro-carbon fuels. Awareness = concience = action ! And, as they are both alien citizen's, were unable to obtain the 55% Australian government R.A.P.S rebate. They had to pay the entire cost of the installation themselves ! Shame on you Earthlings....shame !
Starbase " Waalitj". ( Wedge tailed eagle ) Environmental Technology Centre.
- 36 x UNI-SOLAR Advanced, thin film, triple junction,photo-voltaic panels ( 2304 peak watts ) mounted on 3 x gravity / gas driven, solar tracking frames. Nett daily energy production ( after system losses ) is 15,000 watt-hours in Summer, and 10,000 watt-hours Winter.
- 3 x PLASMATRONIC PL-20 Solar charge regulator's. One to control the output of each tracker.
- 1 x WESTWIND 2.5 KW Wind driven generator, atop an 18 metre tower. Net daily energy production averages between 5000 and 12000 watt-hours .
- 24 x EXIDE 2 Volt, 1350 Amp-hr deep cycle battery cells. These are connected in series, yielding 64,800 watt-hours @ c100.
- 3 x SOLAR ENERGY AUSTRALIA SEAP-48-3K8 True sinewave inverters, in a 3 phase configuration. 11,400 watts continuous, 13,200 watts for 0.5 hours, 31,500 watts for 10 seconds.
- 1 x SOLAR WONDERLAND MK 007 Energy management controller. Activates a shutdown of electrical circuits and appliances, by way of switching relays in the main A.C distribution board. Load circuits are allocated as priority 1, 2, or 3 depending on importance, corresponding to 30%, 50% and 80% battery discharge levels. This automatic "load shedding" greatly extends the life of the main energy storage battery, and guarantees power to the essential life support systems of the Star Base.
North face of office block with mimimal solar aperture, thus reducing internal glare . Winter heating is provided by pumping hot air from behind the roof integrated Uni-Solar power modules, down into the office area. The meteorite shield thus provides three functions, power generation, heating, and protection from high velocity particles.
Commissioned July 2001. United Nations Research and Co-operations centre for the Asia -Pacific region.
Location : Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. lat 32 deg South.
- The outer walls of Starbase " WaalitJ " are formed of rammed earth, providing thermal overinertia around the enclosed temporal reality.
- The starbase is comprised three separate buildings, the wet and dry permaculture
- laboratories and administration block, for the dedicated crew of research scientists. Their mission, to design and perfect the ideal "Self Sustaining Entity" for use on Earth and Mar's.
- Self Sustaining Entity's are micro eco-systems, that provide energy, food, water and air with zero, or positive environmental impact. The Environmental Technology Centre
- is thus dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of renewable energy and permaculture technologies, with the aim of assisting the globally disadvantaged, by way of sustainable buildings, energy and food crops !
- The meteorite shields of the wet lab and the administration block face North, and consist of a total of 48 x UNI-SOLAR SSR-64J advanced, amorphous silicon, triple junction, roof integrated, photo-voltaic power modules. They are arranged in 8 parallel sub-arrays of 6 modules in series, delivering 3072 peak watts, which is fed into the university's ring mains by a Solar Energy Australia
- SEAG-110-4K0 Novastar grid feed, interactive inverter.
- Average daily energy production ranges from a high of 20,000 watt-hours in Summer, dropping to a low of 13,000 watt-hours at the Winter solstice. Production data is fed from the inverter via an RS232 interface into a P.C and thence by fibre optic link into the University's data network. This is available in real time, on the Starbase website www.
For further information contact either;
Dr Martin Anda. email@example.com
or Christopher Darker firstname.lastname@example.org
North face of the "Wet" Permaculture laboratory, with roof integrated power modules and maximum solar aperture . The Winter performance of the wet lab and office will be analysed to establish the pro's and con's of direct and indirect solar heating.
Greg and Heather’s “Starship Euphoria” Noggarup, Western Australia,
Latitude 33 degrees South
Starship; A structure slipping through space and time, powered by our nearest Star, Sublime !
Commissioned March 2001. Outer hull is double brick with corrugated iron meteorite shield. A true passive solar design, with the major observation ports on the North side to insure deep and intimate penetration of the Sun’s warm caress in Winter.
The carefully calculated roof overhang (eave) acts as a radiation shield in Summer, casting a shadow on the entire north wall. This, in conjunction with cieling insulation and thickend monolitic slab foundation, (thermal mass) ensures that the internal biosphere stays within the optimum temperature range for humanoid life forms all year round, without having to resort to primitive, energy guzzling, mechanical heat exchangers (air conditioners)
- 24 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. (1536 peak watts) Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 7000 watt-hours in Summer, and 4500 watt-hours in Winter.
- 1 x Plasmatronic PL-40 regulator / controller wiith SH200 current shunt and PLS shunt adaptor. This allows all solar energy generated and consumed to be monitored, providing an accurate indiication of the ships energy reserves at all times.
- 24 x Exide 2 volt 670 amp-hour deep cycle battery cells. Therse are connected in series to yield 32,160 watt-hours of energy storage, enough to sustain the life support systems for 5 days of complete solar eclipse on a full charge.
- 1 x Selectronic SE-42 True sine wave inverter. 3600 watts continuous, 5500 watts for 0.5 hours, 10,000 watts for 10 seconds. This powerful, state of the art unit, converts the D.C energy generated from the solar panels, and stored in the battery, into 240 volt A.C power, for the carefully selected suite of energy efficient appliances on board.
- 1 x SSL 48 volt, 50 amp, Industrial grade battery charger. This powerful two stage charger, boost charges the ships energy storage system at up to 2500 watts per hour. Essential for manovering around black holes and long term atmospheric disturbances, whilst minimising auxiliary genset running time and fuel consumption.
Starship “Euphoria” is essentially 100% solar powered. Greg has a 7 KVA petrol generator as a backup, but it is almost redundant.
Bottled lpg gas is used for the cook top and oven, and a small amount of waste timber (renewable) is consumed by the “Gourmet” slow combustion space heater / water heater/ oven / cooktop, in the depths of Winter. This beautiful and practical home, high up on the northern slope of a valley, looks quite ordinary from the exterior, which illustrates that solar buildings do not have to assume an extra-terrestrial appearance . Neither do sun-smart homes have to cost anymore than un-smart ones. The materials are the same, It is simply their arrangement, and the thoughtful application of three essential elements, orientation, thermal mass, and insulation.
Lord Dark Star. West Beach, W.A. Displaying US-42 and US-64 Advanced Amorphous panels. Milestones in the development of P.V technology.
Ace mechanic , Martin Sheppard contemplates the 5 Kilowatt Westwind turbine, prior to erection. The plant room can be seen 100 metres in the background.
Christopher Darker and Martin Sheppard at Bulka Station, near Fitzroy Crossing. W.A It was so hot up here we could hardly hold our tools !
- 32 x Uni-Solar US-64 panels.
- 120 Kilowatt hour, 48 Volt battery.
- 3 x 5 KW PSI Inverter / Chargers,
- synchronised in three phase
John and Elizabeth's Starbase "Forest Glade". Wagerup, Western Australia.
Latitude 33 degrees South.
Commissioned in June, 2002. The living quarters of the starbase are of steel frame construction, precariously balanced on a steep southern slope surrounded by large trees. hence, the power station lies across the stream, on the northern side of the valley.
Here, the shade tolerant characteristics of the UNI-SOLAR panels come into their own, for large trees surround the site, casting intermittent shadows across sections of the array in the morning and afternoon. The power loss is directly proportional to the amount of shadowing, unlike crystalline panels which dramatically lose power output with the smallest amount of shade.
Crystalline solar panels utilize "series" architecture in their construction. 36 cells connected in series. If a single cell is shadowed, it switches off, becomes resistive, and the voltage and current in that string collapses. ( like stepping on a hose ) In contrast, the UNI-SOLAR panel employs "series / parallel " architecture, comprised of a multitude of individual charging elements in parallel. If some are shadowed, the rest keep functioning. In this instance, the lords of the forest, Jarrah, Marri and Karri would have rendered an installation of crystalline panels an abject failure ! Besides, such beings hate the barons of fossildom, and their obsolete, second rate solar energy products and two faced energy policies. The Lords understand how these deciever's have tried to take over and dominate the solar power industry for the past 20 years, playing with it as a cat plays with a mouse ! Thus, John and Elizabeth would not have them power their house !!
- 24 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. 1536 peak watts. = to 1850 watts of crystalline panels @ 50 deg C cell temp. ( typical) Panels are all faced true North, as confines of roof would not allow splayed array, and the lords of the forest are too close to the flanks. panels are wired in "series quads", and the six quads then wired in parallel. ( 6 x 4.5 Amps x 50 volts = 1350 true charging watts )
- 1 x SELECTRONIC PWM-60 Charge regulator. In this instance we used the full control system capabilities built into the SA-42 Inverter, which incorporates its own data logger. The PWM-60 regulator is controlled by the inverter.
- 1 x SELECTRONIC SA-42. True Sine Wave Inverter. 3600 Watts continuous rating,10,000 watts surge. The inverter has Selectronic's full energy management and control system option built into it. A remote keypad and display panel is located in the living quarters , across the stream. Selectronic inverter's are beautifully constructed. They belong in an art gallery !
- 1 x SOLAR TECH 48 Volt, 670 Amp-hour@c100, open vented, lead acid battery. ( 32,160 watt-hrs ) This equates to 6 days storage at the average daily design load of 5200 watt-hours. One would not want to go much smaller than 6 days in a hybrid system.
- 1 x SOLAR TECH 48 Volt, 50 Amp, Industrial battery charger. = 2500 watts per hour maximum charge into battery when running back up generator.
This site presented an interesting challenge due to the surrounding forest. Elizabeth and John are extremely Environ-Mental, and several large life forms with green crowns were spared the woodsmans axe even though they cast several large " sundial shadows of trunk" across the solar array in Winter months.
Nevertheless, the system is working well, and proves without a shadow of doubt, the superior performance of the UNI-SOLAR panels in such situations. John runs his 7 KVA Diesel generator for an hour or two a day during cloudy weather. The trees are smiling !
Heavy Star Cruiser "Esperance Agserve" .
Planet defender class. Pride of the Australian Sub Antarctic Squadron. The Agserve is a "prize vessel", captured in hand to hand combat between it's unsuspecting crew, and the Lord Dark Star himself, bravely supported by able solar citizen, Ronald Sampson, of Scanlon st property developments, who financed the offensive at the cost of 50,000 galactic credits ( before rebate). It took three years to quell mutinous outbursts, below decks, and convince the crew that this was a good thing, and not a "Greens" plot to humiliate them in public, before their staid, 20th century, agricultural customers.
Stationed in defense of the fledgling Solar City, Esperance, Western Australia. The "Agserve" was commissioned on July 13th, 2003, and delivered the first private, solar, grid feed resource, onto Western Power's ( now Syn-Ergy ) dilapidated and run down, rural power distribution network. Since that time, up until mid October 2007, as well as battery charging , and sustaining the premises during frequent mains outages, she has injected 15.7 Megawatt hours, of pure photon energy into the solar city's hybrid, isolated, rural power grid, supporting the solar colonists 5 Megawatt wind farm capacity, and pre-historic, 20 megawatt gas turbine plant. Average daily production from the UNI-SUN 3000 watt Advanced, Amorphous solar array, has proved to be 15,000 watt-hours per day at mid season equinox. ( 11,000 Watt-Hours Winter, 19,0000 watt-hours Summer).
Advanced Energy Systems.
- 48 x UNI-SUN US-64 Advanced, amorphous, triple junction, photon collectors. 3072 Peak watts (3.072 Kw) Equal to 3970 Peak Watts of obsolete crystalline "space junk", at 50 Deg C NOCT.
- ( Nominal Cell Operating Temperature) Typical. Average nett daily energy production into Syn-Ergy's grid is 15,000 Watt-Hours at mid season equinox . ( 19,000) Watt-Hours Summer and 11,000 Watt-Hours Winter. After over five years, the UNI-SUN US-64 panels are stable and right on spec, negating the deceitful lies of "Fossildom's" stooge solar divisions, who claim these units continue to degrade after their initial stabilization period.
- 1 x PLASMATRONIC PL-60 regulator / controller with SH200 current shunt and PLS2 analogue to digital adaptor. Registers all solar electricity generated and converted into 240 V.A.C by the inverter. The inbuilt 30 day data logger has proved invaluable for analyzing system performance. The PL-60's fully programmable voltage set points are crucial in setting the solar regulator so that it does not cut in to soon, and interfere with the inverter's peak power point tracker, otherwise, energy export into the network would cease.
- 24 x EXIDE 2 volt, 670 ampere-hour, deep cycle, battery cells. These are connected in series to yield 48 Volts x 670 A/h = 32,160 watt-hours of energy storage at c100. (100 hr rate) This is held in reserve to protect the Agserv's computers and communications systems from the all to frequent disturbances and outages of the makeshift, gas turbine generators, and from the possibility of terrorist attack on the gas pipeline, bringing natures effluent from the mining fortress city of Kalgoorlie, deep in the wilderness of Arrakis. The Exide cells are primitive, open vented, lead / acid, electric fork lift style, traction units. Smelly, dangerous, and a pain in the butt to service, because the electrolyte float levels stick, resulting in messy cell overfilling. Nevertheless, if they are installed behind a safety screen as shown, and topped up every three months, by trained personnel, they are acceptable, just. However, be extremely wary when using them in a domestic situation.
- 1 x P.S.A SGI 5. 5000 Watt, solar / grid interactive inverter, with battery back up. The performance of these units is legendary. True industrial grade electronics, built to a standard more than a price. The SGI 5 synchronizes to, and applies an A.C sine wave higher in voltage than the mains, so that solar energy flows out into the mains. If the mains should fail, as it often does, the inverter switches to battery reserve, and sustains the star cruiser's crucial business support systems for up to 24 hours. This particular inverter has a 10 year old heritage, and has now evolved into the SELECTRONIC PS1 series.
Heavy Star Cruiser "Esperance Agserve", is a foundation system in the "Esperance Solar City 2009" project, to my knowledge, the first declared solar city in Australia. ( 2002 A.D )
Ivan's Star Base "Mara Down's".Salmon Gum's, Western Australia.
Latitude 33 degrees South.
Commissioned December 2003. Hybrid solar / diesel power system for farm house, work shop and four stand shearing shed. 12 Kva backup diesel generator rarely run's, due to the outstanding performance of my "splayed" solar array design. In fact when it was first installed, Ivan informed me that he didn't have to run the diesel for 5 months ! Actually, it was the performance of this particular system that finally convinced me that facing all panels directly North in a domestic power system is often incorrect, especially with the superior wide angle performance of the Uni-Solar triple junction panel. See installation "Starbase Virtual Rurality" for further explanation.
- 24 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 Advanced, amorphous, thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. 1536 peak watts. Equivalent to 2000 watts of old technology crystalline panels @ 50 deg C cell temperature. ( typical) Innovative twin wing, "splayed array". NNE & NNW. Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 7500 watt-hours in Summer. and 4400 watt-hours in Winter.1 x Plasmatronic PL-40 regulator / controller with SH-200 current shunt and PLS2 analog to digital converter. Allows all energies generated and consumed to be observed, this being the key to successful advanced power system operation.
- 24 x EXIDE 2 Volt 1080 ampere-hour, deep cycle battery cells. Connected in series, to yield 48 volt x 1080 = 51,840 watt-hours. ( 51.8 Kilowatt-hours ) The average daily design load of the star base is 7500 watt-hours, so this translates to a week of storage. The 1080 cells are the smallest Exide make with double redundant terminals, ie, twin positives and twin negatives. This is much safer than single pairs of terminals, because the potential sparking of a loose link is negated. Explosion hazard with large wet cells such as the Exide's due to hydrogen evolution is a real danger, which is why we now use the UNI-SUN maintenance free energy blocks, with built in flame arrestors.
- 1 x SOLAR ENERGY AUSTRALIA SEAP-3K8-48 True Sine Wave Inverter. 3800 watts continuous rating, 4500 watts for 0.5 hours, 10,500 watts for 10 seconds. These units are well on their way to becoming a legend of the outback. Powerful, stable, reliable. Runs the home, workshop and the shearing shed with Sunbeam overhead gear. Freakin awesome...the local sparky couldn't believe it. The only thing it wouldn't run was the press, but hell whaddaya expect !!
- 1 x SSL Industrial grade battery charger. 48 Volt, 50 Amps. Delivers 2.5 kilowatts input to the battery per hour of genset running. Old fashioned transformer type design, but reliable. Hardly does anything in this particular situation, but good to have in reserve. These old "clunker's" are only 50% efficient, and thus require around 5 Kva of genset capacity to run them at full power. The more modern switch mode chargers have generally made them obsolete, but be careful, as some switch mode chargers do not like dirty, distorted 240 volt A.C waveform inputs from cheap, defective or overloaded genset alternators.
Another classic Remote Area Power System from yours truly ! You have probably noticed that there are no "Old Technology" crystalline type solar panels on my website ? That's because after 15 years field experience with them,
I threw them in the bin in 1997 when Uni-Solar released the "New Technology".
In my opinion crystalline is rubbish, and well past it's use by date. Fragile, heavy, cumbersome, obsolete, ancient, unsustainable "space junk" out of the 1960's . 36 fragile, wafer thin, crystalline cells under a pain of glass ? That take 10 years to recover the energies embodied in their construction ? That then start to malfunction due to intercell soldering cracking up due to dry joints and thermal stress, and incessant expansion and contraction of ribbon wire connections over years ? You're not going to save the planet with that rubbish, and look at the brand names on most of it ! For the sake of the future and all living things, WAKE UP . Vote UNI-SOLAR 1. Super Solar Technology of the 21st century.
"Iron Gron's" Solar Fortress. Hyden, Western Australia. Latitude 32 degrees South.
Iron Gron is a man of steel......Master of the dozing wheel.
Grader's, truck's and crane hath he......From fossil fuel's he yearned to flee.
His home from nature's sewer is free !
Commissioned April, 2004. Deep in the semi arid wilderness of Arrakis. Double story, Futuristic medieval fortress, straight out of Dr Who ! Iron walls with wooden "Keep"....for Iron Gron's family safe to sleep. Iron Gron ( Beshy ) is a mighty warrior, with a soft heart.....surrounding himself with, and defending natures creatures....No harm will'st befall even they so small !
ADVANCED ENERGY SYSTEMS.
Helen and Noel's Starbase "Virtual Rurality". Goomalling, Western Australia.
Latitude 32 degrees South.
- 24 x UNI-SUN US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction photon collectors. ( 1536 peak watts ) Equivalent to 1900 watts of obsolete crystalline "space junk" at 50 degrees C cell operating temp. ( Typical )
- Nett daily energy production, after system losses is 7000 watt-hours in summer, and 4500 watt-hours in Winter. ( 6000 watt-hours at mid season equinox ) Photon collectors are wired in series "Quads" ( 48 Volts ) , and "triple splayed", for superior sky dome coverage. This delivers superior performance under all cloud permutations, and allows the exceptional, diffuse radiation absorption capabilities of the UNI-SUN modules to be realized.
- 1 x Plasmatronic PL-40 regulator / controller, with SH 200 shunt and PLS adaptor. Allows defenders to monitor energy flows in and out of the fortress's energy storage system at all times. The current measurement shunt, is placed in either the + or - battery feed to the inverter, and develops a tiny voltage, proportional to current ( E = I / R. Ohm's law ), which is sensed by the PLS adaptor, ( Analogue to digital converter ) and turned into pulses, which register on the PL-40 as amp-hours consumed by the inverter and its A.C loads.
- 24 x EXIDE 1080 Ampere Hour, lead / acid cells, wired in series to yield 48 V x 1080 A/H = 51,840 Watt-hours ( 51.84 Kwh ) These are the smallest Exide cells with twin + & twin - terminals ( dual redundant), which reduces the possibility of arcing, and battery explosion if a battery link becomes loose. Nevertheless, this technology is now dated, and potentially very dangerous in a domestic situation. In our opinion, large, open vented batteries are only suitable for industrial use, by trained personnel due to the large acid volume, explosive hazard and frequent maintenance required. Batteries of this type have their origins in the electric fork lift industry.
- 1 x P.S.A RAP5 48 Volt D.C to 240 Volt A.C True Sine Wave, Inverter / Charger / Booster.5000 watts continuous rating, ( 5 KVA ) 15000 watts surge ( 15 KVA ) The RAP5 transforms to battery charging mode, to boost charge the battery cells at 70 Amps x 55 Volts = 3850 watts per hour ( 3.85 KVA ) during sustained overcast weather, and can synchronize its 240 Volt A.C output with the backup 7 KVA diesel generator, and combine both their energies up to 12 KVA continuous rating.
Commissioned in July 2005. Advanced rural solar power station in shipping container format, featuring "fuzzy logic" splayed solar array. One wing facing N.N.E, the other facing N.N.W. The "splayed array'' is my own innovation, which I have perfected over a number of years. It is designed to stretch the solar charging cycle from early morning to late afternoon, instead of three hours either side of noon, as is the case with a single North facing array. By doing this, the following benefits are obtained :-
- Battery life is extended by reducing depth of discharge, as the recharge cycle begins earlier in the morning, and is sustained until very late afternoon.
- The likelyhood of the solar regulator reverting to "float" mode and wasting charge in the middle of the day due to high peak charge is reduced.
- Wider skydome coverage hedges the effects of cloud buildup during the day, as the N.N.E wing of the solar array responds earlier to clear morning skies. This is quite a common phenomenon, early clear sky, with progressive cloud buildup.
The charge graph of a "splayed array" looks like a molar tooth, with a dip in the middle, instead of a large hump centered on noon like a North facing array. The "splayed array" is particularly appropriate with UNI-SOLAR Advanced Amorphous panels because they have a wider angle of acceptance to solar radiation due to their low reflectance, matt surface and triple junction cells.
- 20 x UNI-SOLAR US-64 Advanced, thin film, triple junction photo-voltaic panels. 1280 peak watts. = to 1600 watts of crystalline panels @ 50 deg C cell temp. "Splayed Array". NNE & NNW . Nett daily energy production (after system losses) is 6000 watt-hours in Summer, and 3750 watt-hours in Winter.
- 1 x Plasmatronic PL-60 regulator / controller with SH200 current shunt and PLS2 adaptor. Allowing all energies generated and consumed to be observed. This is the key to successful operation and comprehension of an advanced energy system.
- 1 x SOLAR TECH 24 Volt x 1600 Amp hour, maintenance free battery bank. ( 38,400 Watt-hours) This equates to 8 days storage, as the average daily design load is 5000 watt-hours.
- 1 x MASTERVOLT DAKAR. Inverter / charger. 4000 watts continuous, 10,000 watts surge. 100 Amp triple stage battery charger, with inbuilt 20 Amp load transfer switch. One of the most powerful 24 / 240 volt units of it's type on the market.
A 12 KVA Lister twin cylinder 1500rpm diesel lurks in retirement.....Noel gives it a run once a month to keep it lubricated. In Winter it may run once or twice a week for a few hours to give the battery a boost charge during sustained cloudy conditions . The power quality on this beautiful 100 Acre rural retreat is far superior to all their neighbors, who choose to rely on the antiquated mains supply in Goomalling.
In fact, several neighbors wanted to buy the land , but missed out because they hesitated, as it was without power. Helen and Noel taught them a lesson, and scored one of the best blocks in the shire.
Nature know's it's own !
David and May's Heavy Star Cruiser "H.M.S.S Kalbarri". Kalbarri, Western Australia. Latitude 27 degrees South.
Commissioned in October 2005. Planet defender class , armed with a triad of advanced weaponry, for the ongoing struggle against "fossildom" , and planetary degradation.!!
"State Of The Art" Uni-Solar power modules, Sola-Kleen water heater and Zane solar pool heater. This luxurious stellar residence, with large H2O swimming pool is almost entirely energised by our nearest Star, with a small amount of backup from the local power grid.David and May are ex-alien citizens, having recently migrated from Arabia. Their love of natural energies, and deep concern with the politics of hydro carbon fuels and the future, led them to investigate the possibilities of harnessing "Star Power".....Atomic energies of the eternal flame !
Solar water heater SOLA-KLEEN 300 litre flat plate, thermal collector system with all copper storage tank and heat absorber. The Sola-Kleen delivers mains pressure water flow, but runs the tank and collector at atmospheric pressure, by way of a clever heat exchanger system. The smaller pressure reducer / header tank with internal ball cock is visible at the rear of the main tank. This feature, together with the high quality, all copper construction, results in superior longevity of around 30 years.The 2400 watt booster element in the tank, runs on a time switch in winter, set to take advantage of off peak electricity rates.
- 40 x Uni-Solar US-64 Advanced, Amorphous, thin film, triple junction, photo-voltaic panels. ( 2560 peak watts) Equivalent to 3200 peak watts of "old technology" crystalline panels. at 50 degrees Celcius cell operating temperature. (Typical) Nett daily energy production into appliances ( after system losses) is 45 Amps x 6 hours x 50 Volts = 13500 watt-hours / 20% losses = 10800 watt-hours. ( 10.8 Kilowatt-hours)
- 1 x Plasmatronic PL-60 regulator / controller with SH200 current shunt and PLS2 analogue to digital, shunt adaptor . This allows all solar electricity generated and consumed to monitored, providing an accurate assessment of the star cruiser's energy reserves at all times.
- 12 x UNI-SUN 3000 watt-hour, maintenance free, energy storage batteries. Total capacity 36,000 watt-hours ( 36 Kilowatt hours) . The UNI-SUN battery is very clean and user friendly, as it never requires the addition of H2O. It is also very safe due to the explosion proof vents in each battery, preventing the possibility of a major catastrophe below decks.
- 1 x SELECTRONIC PS1 "Stardrive" True Sine wave Inverter. Rated power output 6000 watts continuous, 18,000 watts surge. The "Stardrive" is an advanced computerised inverter, perfected by Selectronic over a 20 year period of "in the field" experience, in conjunction with Power Solutions Australia, the nations leading high power inverter manufacturer.
- 1 x UNI-SUN priority load switching system. Lighting and appliance circuits are divided into priority and non priority. During extended cloudy periods, non priority power points and lighting, automatically revert back to the utility grid supply. This preserves the high quality, highly stable solar electricity for crucial computers, entertainment, communications and lighting and life support circuits ( bar fridge etc ) of the star cruiser.
The town of Kalbarri, some 700 km North of Perth, is fed electricity from the end of a long, aerial "spur" line, way out in the middle of nowhere. Power stability has always been a problem for local residents.
Western Power, the local utility did attempt to stabilize the system by building a small solar power station in 1995, but it was not a success, and nor could it ever have been because it did not incorporate energy storage batteries. This is very hard to do on a town scale because it is difficult to control consumers en mass, or moderate usage patterns on a Macro scale.
The answer is exemplified in "Heavy Star Cruiser Kalbarri", with local energy storage and sequential load shedding of non essential appliances. In this instance, my "grid switched" concept, wins hands down over the all too common techno babblers mantra of "grid feed, grid feed, grid feed" !! It's an absolute waste of time in an unstable grid supply situation, which is all to common in Western Australia, even in the capital city. Grid switched is cheaper, more stable and operationally superior. Systems such as my "Planet's Suite" can be supplied for as little as $3300, plus installation.
STAR BASE "AURELIAN" Black armor, blue shields....$33,000 Fully installed inc GST.
At the Winter Solstice, in the year 2007 Ano Domini, the Arrakan Lord, Dark Star, at the head of two, reincarnated Roman Legion's, began the subjugation of the N.S.W Southern highland's, to the will of Amon Ra !!!
ADVANCED ENERGY SYSTEMS.
Star Base "AURELIAN" is energized by a stand alone version of project "Mar's", one of the foundation systems from our "Planet's Suite", with expanded battery bank, and auxiliary battery charger, run from the cobweb encrusted, backup diesel generator.....which only has to operate for a few hours, after several days of sustained, heavy cloud cover.
- 20 x UNI-SUN US-64 Advanced, Amorphous, Triple junction photon collectors. 1280 Peak Watts ( 1.28 KW ) Equal to 1600 Peak Watts of obsolete crystalline "Space Junk", at 50 Deg C cell operating temperature. ( Typical )
- As used extensively by U.S military forces, ( see www.uni-solar.com ) on Earth, and in outer space, and, as can be seen on my left and right flanks, spiritual remnants of the Roman Army, deployed in my advanced "Splayed Array" configuration.
- The 11th Legion facing N.N.E, and salutes the "Sun God" at 11.00 hrs, whilst 13th Legion, facing N.N.W, salutes the "God" at 13.00 hrs. This simulates movement without motion, enhanced sky dome coverage, and reduces the probability of the charge regulator dropping into float mode, wasting solar energy around the middle portion of the day, as the battery becomes fully charged.
- Also, the 11th Legion provides welcome relief in the early morning hours, after the battery has been besieged by the forces of darkness. Conversely, the 13th Legion supports the load later into the afternoon, than would be the case, if a commander were to face all his troops in the same direction. The result is extended battery life, and "casino style" spell casting, against aggressive and unpredictable, cloud formations, which often condense around the middle of the day.
- 1 x MORNINGSTAR "TRI-STAR" Advanced, 60 Amp solar regulator. The Imperial forces preferred unit, and best solar controller in the Galaxy ! High technology design, with data port for logging and fine tuning via computer. Three modes of operation, Series regulation, Shunt regulation ( For wind plants ) or high power D.C load control.
- Three selectable operating voltages, 12, 24 and 48 V deliver a "triple whammy !"and ensure the "Tri-Star's" dominance throughout the imperial fleet. Optional digital display , remote readout and battery temperature sensor...ANY THING ELSE??
- 12 x UNI-SUN USN-3000 Advanced, maintenance free batteries. Safe, clean and easy to use, unlike archaic, open vented units, which are mostly primitive electric vehicle types. Three parallel strings of 48 Volts x 250 Ampere-hour = 36,000 Watt-Hours of quality, energy storage @ c100 ( The 100 Hr discharge rate ) Maximum cranking capacity,or Impulse Power ( If you like Star Trek ) is 48 Volts x 4000 Amperes = 192,000 Watts. ( 0.192 Megawatts )
- 1 x UNI-SUN / Latronics LS3500/48 True sine wave inverter. 3500 Watts continuous, 10,500 watts surge. Includes 40 Amp auto transfer switch with time delay for efficient, glitch free transfer between Inverter power, and diesel generator during days of heavy, sustained cloud. Latronics inverters are elegant, simple and powerful, and very economical...One of the best !2 x UNI-SUN High efficiency, Transformerless, Switch mode, battery chargers. Deliver a rock solid 30 AMPS into the battery bank all the way to 59 Volts, then revert to float mode. 30 A x 48 V = 1440 Watts.........30 A x 59 V = 1770 Watts. These units run directly from the backup generator. Four hours operation delivers around 6000 Watt-Hours , enough to sustain "Starbase Aurelian".. for a 24 hour period.
Below A Demonstration of my "splayed array" concept, at Winter Solstice, 08:00 hrs, Marulan, N.S.W, 100 Km southwest of Sydney. The twin array's are offset 30 degrees either side of true North. ( 60 degree total splay) The afternoon array is covered in heavy white frost, whilst the morning array is clear, and charging the battery bank.
STAR BASE "GENUS GREEN". December 2010.
A permaculture beauty queen. $ 30,000 + GST + Installation.
The Permaculture Research Institute, at The Channon village, in northern New South Wales, is a global leader in Permaculture and Sustainable Energy Management Systems.
The setting, a lush, idyllic, sub-tropical valley, is perfect for demonstrating the principles of sustainable agriculture, communities and energy systems. A powerful, multi-framed teaching system ie employed at "Zaytuna" farm, so that our students quickly appreciate critical components of Natural, Organic Physics specifically applied to buildings, energy and food production !
The energy system at the P.R.I is an exemplification of this.
ADVANCED N.R.G SYSTEM for P.R.I AUSTRALIA.
To supply a daily average of 8000 Watt-hours. ( 8 KWH ) latitude 29 deg S. Sub tropical. Bluegreydaze!
(Late afternoon horizon blocked by a large hill )
24 x UNI-SUN ( Solar Frontier ) BX-65 thin film, C.I.S solar panels. 1560 peak watts. Superior spectral response, temperature stable, single piece integrated circuit construction. Equal or better than 2000 watts of crystalline type solar cells.
These Japanese made panels, represent the current state of the art in terrestrial grade, photo-voltaic solar technology. The enhanced output at infra-red wavelengths delivers 20 - 50 % more energy output under grey skies. They are also the greenest, with lowest embodied energies of production, and lowest in toxic materials and byproducts.
2 x UNI-SUN "STATITRACK" Splayed array mounting frame. Morning wing faces NNE, the afternoon faces NNW for flatter energy production during the course of the day.
1 x SOLARMASTER 50 AMP M.P.P.T Solar / battery regulator. Maximum Power Point Tracking design yields 10 - 30 % charge Amps boost over non MPPT regulators. Built in 90 day data logger shows daily energy inputs. Twin auxiliary control outputs facilitate system automation. Large blue, backlit LCD display shows all values / functions.
12 x B.S.B Hybrid Nano Gel / AGM batteries in "Rack of Terra" format. Total N.R.G storage 900 Ampere hours x 48 Volts D.C = 43,200 watt- hours @ c100 hrs discharge rate. (43.2 Kilowatt-Hours)
2 x SOLARMASTER 3000 watt Inverter / Chargers. 48 VDC input. Fully stackable, software driven power conditioning system. 6000 Watt continuous output. 15,000 Watt 5 sec surge. These units run the entire facility including large workshop, with arc welder and the largest hand operated power tools.
After several days of heavy cloud, the 8 KVA backup petrol generator is run for several hours, during which time it sustains the main load via the Auto Transfer Switch, and, via the SOLAMASTER'S, running in reverse as massive battery chargers, pumps 4000 watts per hour back into the main battery banks.
Permaculture Research Institute Australia.