Wildlife Park Houses Crocodiles, Koalas, and Now: Solar
Home to crocodiles, koalas, and much more of Australia’s enchanting wildlife, award winning eco-adventure attrac- tion Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures explored alternative energy options to minimise operating expenses. Winning solution: the Enphase System.
Solar, a Sound and Solid Investment
Open to the public seven days a week, eleven hours a day, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures had an ongoing electricity bill of $100,000 each year. The owner knew they needed to cut costs, and began exploring new ways to accommodate the attraction’s large energy needs.
The search began when Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures hired Australian Sustainable Energy Services (A.S.E.S) in conjunction with Evolve Energy to perform a pre-installation investigation and tariff review, along with a basic energy audit, to determine the most efficient way to reduce the farm’s costly operating expenses. A.S.E.S. edu- cated the farm’s owner on the proven and reliable benefits of solar, and no further options were considered.
“Our goal is to help our customers find the most cost-efficient way to achieve energy savings, and we take care in how they spend their money,” said Jason Pyne, managing director of A.S.E.S. “Solar is a smart investment for any business, and with Enphase, the return on investment is greater than ever.”
When it came time to install, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures needed solar technology that was safe and reliable.
In tropical environments such as Far North Queensland, where extreme UV, temperature, and rainfall cause severe mechanical
stress, it is paramount that all wiring, conduits, enclosures, and switchboards have been selected and installed with maximum lon- gevity in mind. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures sits just 1km from the coast and is subject to the harsh elements.
Enphase Microinverters are designed with an IP67 rating to prevent the oxidization of inverters in damaging environments such as Australia. The IP rating system defines the standards for various grades of electrical enclosures and signifies their ability to with- stand certain environmental conditions. A.S.E.S. chose to pair the microinverters with CNPV 250W solar modules for its 2PFG and IEC61701 Salt Mist and Ammonia corrosion resistance certification.
“When using a string inverter, it is impossible to see if the individual module has failed, but Enphase Microinverters eliminates any and all safety risks for the system, the installer, and the customer,”
The all-AC approach of the Enphase System also enabled A.S.E.S. and Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures to overcome installation chal- lenges posed by the farm’s operating hours of 7am-6pm Monday through Sunday.
The owner of Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures valued the ability to quantify the farm’s solar savings. Through Enlighten monitoring, he can track his system’s production by day, month, or year.
The crocodile farm’s Enphase System is expected to produce up to 50,000kWh of energy per year, considerably reducing the park’s consumption. The system may even reduce some of the site’s demand peak, lowering its electricity bill even further.