Green Energy Opens the Doors to Smarter Business
When local manufacturing on the Fraser Coast is discussed, the conversation often raises concerns about competitive pressure from offshore. Among the contributing factors for this, are the steady increases in energy costs, which continue to expand the operating costs for local versus offshore manufacturing.
Furthering this gap, is the way the electricity costs are calculated for businesses.
While in many cases, “wholesale” or “bulk purchasing” is associated with discounted rates, local manufacturing often faces the opposite. Commonly, as demand for the manufacturers products increases, and energy usage follows, the tariff charged also increases.
This creates a double-edged sword for local manufacturing, increasing pressure on operating costs further as they grow.
Local Hervey Bay manufacturer, B&S Classic Doors, are only too well aware of the hefty power costs associated with majority of manufacturing operations in Australia.
With competition and demand as high as its ever been, B&S Classic Doors sought advice on products and strategies. As a result, local company, GCR Electrical Systems were engaged to advise on the potential solutions available.
Like many businesses in this situation, part of the challenge with tackling high energy costs, is being able to clearly understand what power is being used when during normal operations. This issue, was the first GCR Electrical Systems sought to address, “Why would any business continuously spend thousands of dollars not knowing how or completely understand where it’s going?” commented GCR Electrical Systems Director Gary Radke “The issue with energy costs is the highly common inability to perceive its value into a measurable form”
Post initial discussions, GCR Electrical Systems proceeded to install equipment which captured real-time electrical usage data. “Without this information, the ability to correctly advise and deliver an accurate result is like shooting a gun into murky water expecting a Red Emperor”
An ideal opportunity to save with solar power
To their advantage, the same large footprint of B&S Classic Doors facility, where the large amounts of power were being used, also provided the ideal roof area for a sizable solar installation.
By calculating both the energy used during daylight hours, and the available installation area, GCR was able to equip B&S to generate a significant portion of their power requirements via solar power.
The resulting installation, is comprised of 230, 300watt solar photovoltaic panels. This installation is calculated to save B&S Classic Doors operational costs by $22,000 – $28,000 per year.
With the returns this solution will provide it was merely a decision of how many panel the premises could efficiently fit. The outcome, a 69kw state of the art ‘micro-inverter’ solar PV system was installed and completed in Feb 2018, providing B&S Classic Doors to see a positive return on their investment by completion of 2022 (or 4 years).
As their system is comprised of high quality 300w photovoltaic panels and Enphase inverters, their investment is protected by a 10year Australian based warranty.
Tracking solar power production and savings
Another key factor in ensuring the power savings are realised, is provided via the system’s energy management software.
The tracking software, Enphase Enlighten, enables ongoing tracking of each of the 230 solar panels in the installation. Advantages of this, include being able to see when and how power is being used at any time of day, with a comparison against power produced by the solar panels.
This equips property owners, to have complete visibility of their energy consumption and production, ensuring that the best savings can be realised.
Like to assess options to reduce your energy costs? Contact GCR Electrical Systems today.