Mobile Microgrids: Power for Remote Locations

ZNE Mobile Microrgrids are portable, readily deployable and incredibly cost-effective compared to diesel generation. They offer a substantial improvement in access to clean, affordable, reliable and efficient power.

ZNE Mobile Microgrids replace standard diesel generators to provide reliable power, true 24/7 functionality, lower operating costs and a significantly reduced environmental impact. Because they are portable and can be containerized, ZNE Mobile Microgrids can be used to replace both permanent diesel generator installations and diesel generators that are regularly moved from site to site.

ZNE Mobile Microgrids are appropriate for many locations and uses, including:

  • Mining and resources projects;
  • construction sites;
  • rural industries;
  • refugee camps;
  • remote and island communities;
  • isolated telecommunications sites;
  • military facilities and command posts requiring energy independence;
  • eco-tourism resorts; and,
  • any other locations not connected to reliable grid power.
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24/7/365 Hybrid Microgrid

Solar-battery hybrid microgrids can be enhanced by integration with power from wind turbines, from a diesel or gas generator, or by integration with grid power if it is available. To some extent the inclusion of additional sources of power increases the complexity of a microgrid, but it can also significantly improve the reliability of the system compared to any single source of power.

If properly designed, multi-source microgrids can also be more economical. Diesel or gas generators have relatively low capital cost but high operating costs, especially in remote locations. They are a very poor choice for constant or even regular operation compared to solar during daylight hours, but they can still be the appropriate choice as supplemental power within a solar microgrid.

Solar power has a higher capital cost and minimal operating cost which, over time, works out to be much cheaper than diesel or gas generators. However, solar is intermittent and requires some form of backup to ensure consistent power supply. Battery storage is valuable for frequency control and smoothing and to provide limited backup. However, the capital cost of batteries can be prohibitive for genuine 24/7 operations or for providing reserve power for extended periods of adverse weather with limited solar production.  Diesel or gas generators, properly managed and limited to only operate when needed to support solar and other renewables, are therefore still a sensible component within reliable and cost-effective 24/7 microgrids.

Our energy management system (EMS) has the capacity to manage a diesel or gas generator to limit the generator’s operations and to minimise fuel costs and maximise use of renewable power. We also supply a variable speed generator (VSG) which enables maximum renewable power penetration because the generator can efficiently fluctuate its power output across a wide range rather than requiring the more constant output which is needed for most generators to operate efficiently.

For maximum portability, ZNE Mobile Micorgrids can be fully containerized and are immediately deployable using PWRstation retractable solar PV racking. Containerised microgrids are designed as 'plug and play', so that there is minimum technical installation work required at site. These systems can be transported to site by truck or even by helicopter, and will be quickly operational to support an emergency response or to provide commencement power at a new location. 

Mobile, Efficient, Scalable and Cost-Effective

ZNE also supply larger and more sophisticated microgrids which can comprise multiple sources of renewable power, plus diesel or bio-diesel power generation and battery backup, and can be designed for fully off-grid operation or for grid connection with islanding in the event of grid failure. By paralleling multiple units and integrating power production and storage through a single sophisticated control system, ZNE Mobile Microgrids are readily scalable from nanogrids at less that 15 kW up to 300 kW systems providing reliable 24/7/365 power.

For maximum portability, ZNE Mobile Micorgrids can be fully containerized and are immediately deployable using PWRstation retractable solar PV racking. Containerised microgrids are designed as 'plug and play', so that there is minimum technical installation work required at site. These systems can be transported to site by truck or even by helicopter, and will be quickly operational to support an emergency response or to provide commencement power at a new location. 

Next Steps...

For further information on individual products, or for the design of an efficient and cost-effective power system for any challenging location, please contact ZNE on +61 447344373, or  press "Contact Us" for a rapid response to your enquiry.