Redeployable Hybrid Power
This project involves a pilot-scale deployment of a fully redeployable hybrid solar/diesel power plant. Laing O’Rourke will construct, set up and pack down a demonstration solar plant. The technology has the potential to change the renewable energy landscape in regional and remote Australia.
- Lead organisation:
- Laing O’Rourke
- Combabula, QLD
- Hybrid and enabling technologies
- ARENA programme:
- Emerging Renewables Programme
- Start date:
- July 2014
Many remote Australian communities rely on diesel generators that are expensive to run and are subject to energy uncertainty due to the volatility of fuel prices. Having to transport the fuels long distances is also costly, dangerous and subject to variable weather conditions.
Mobilising solar photovoltaics in these remote environments is currently complex and expensive. This is because solar farms are traditionally constructed on-site from thousands of components. There is a need for a different approach to solar farm construction, that realises the benefits of modularisation and off-site manufacture.
Laing O’Rourke is an engineering enterprise engaged in Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), digital engineering and innovation. The company has developed a redeployable hybrid power plant (patent pending) to address the market’s need for cheaper off-grid electricity. Each plant consists of a DfMA solar photovoltaic farm, a containerised integration module and traditional diesel generators.
Laing O’Rourke has applied its expertise to the design of solar farms. Modules that integrate multiple solar panels, framing, associated wiring and inverters are manufactured off-site, transported, and safely assembled on-site. At the end of the project, the solar farm can be easily packed up and taken to the next deployment.
This project involves advancing the redeployable hybrid plant through detailed design and prototyping to provide a technical solution ready for deployment in the Austraian market.
Renewable energy can reduce the reliance of regional communities and industries on expensive, trucked-in diesel.
Off-site construction and rapid pack-up and pack-down have the potential to lower costs and reduce risks associated with undertaking projects in regional and remote Australia. The permanent and long term nature of solar installations is a key barrier to their use off-grid, particularly in mining operations.
Each redeployable hybrid plant will power multiple successive off-grid users, allowing users to benefit from the advantages of solar without committing to a permanent installation.
About Laing O’Rourke
Laing O’Rourke is an A$8 billion global construction company dedicated to engineering excellence. With operations in Australia for more than 50 years, Laing O’Rourke delivers building construction, railway services, materials handling, marine and civil infrastructure and a range of support services to clients in the oil and gas, resources, transport, defence, health, commercial and industrial sectors. www.laingorourke.com
Product Development Report (PDF 6.6MB), January 2015 – details the technological and commercial development of Laing O’Rourke’s redeployable solar PV/diesel hybrid plant. The report outlines the drivers and potential market for such a product, the design evolution and integration options and also introduces the first commercial deployment scheduled for Q1 2015.
The technology has been branded SunSHIFT
Product Demonstration Report (PDF 3MB) April 2016 – This Demonstration Report discusses the technical and commercial lessons learnt from the pilot study.
- 8 April 2016: Moveable solar power shifts closer to commercial reality
- 24 March 2015: 1MW solar-diesel power plant up and running in 7 days
- 13 August 2014: Off-grid renewable solution moves closer to fruition
- 2 April 2014: ARENA supports innovative off-grid hybrid power solution
- Will Rayward-Smith
- +61 427 548 813