The winning solution by MPower in the inaugural Renewable Energy Technology Challenge marks a step towards enabling greater renewable energy penetration.
Power solutions provider, MPower has won first prize in the Renewable Energy Technology Challenge hosted by the Government of Western Australia, Department of Commerce and energy provider Horizon Power.
The challenge called for innovative solutions that would enable greater renewable energy penetration onto isolated electricity networks, in particular within the Pilbara region.
“Put simply, MPower’s winning solution addresses the problem of power output variability on small isolated electricity networks caused by clouds,” Ed Blackley, national sales manager for solar products, who accepted the award on behalf of MPower, states.
“Once fully commercialised, the technology will allow regional residential and small commercial electricity consumers to install solar power systems onto Horizon Power networks.”
Using a combination of inverter and small battery storage, the system also provides some backup power to the system owner in times of electricity outage.
Due to the increasing popularity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, electricity companies, including Horizon Power, have faced difficulty maintaining network stability, particularly when these systems are affected by rapid changes as a result of weather conditions.
In July 2012, Horizon Power introduced new standards, requiring most new PV systems to incorporate some energy storage to smooth out the effect of clouds on the power output of the system. According to Dwayne Lange, managing director of MPower Solar Systems, to date, a cost effective solution has not been available to consumers wishing to invest in this technology.
The $50,000 prize will enable MPower to continue the development of this technology for the renewable energy market, enabling consumers’ greater access.