Off-grid or standalone power systems have been widely embraced in Australia, a natural fit for a country where vast distances are often tenuously connected. Huawei has become the latest company to realise this, launching its new iPowercube series seeking to service the growing sector.
In June, Huawei introduced its iPowercube-M, iPowercube-S, and iPowercube-P to the Australian market, integrating solar, grid connections, diesel generation and lithium-ion battery storage as part of a “one-stop solution”. The series have varying maximum capacities, with the iPowercube-M at 10 kW, the iPowercube-S at 100 kW and the iPowercube-P at >1000 kW.
Huawei is aiming to service both the agricultural sector as well as off-grid or poorly connected rural communities with the modular solution, though did not mention the booming demand from Australia’s mining industry.
“Since the official launch of the new iPowercube series in Australia, we have received significant amount of inquiries from the agricultural industry and regional communities. We have won a number of projects and the first deployment will be around August, 2021,” Huawei’s Solution Director, Kenneth Loh, told pv magazine Australia.
The series has been modelled on Huawei’s original iPowerCube solution which was introduced to supply power to telecommunication base stations in areas with off-grid or poor grid supply over a decade ago.
The units’ price, Loh said, depends on the site’s configuration. That is, power requirements, cabinet type, and the backup hours, as well as the scope involved.
The company claims the modular units shorten deployment time by 75%, with Loh saying the installation period of the mid-range iPowerCube-S is about 15 days including transportation, civil work, installation and commissioning.
Western Australia leads the off-grid path
Western Australia is leading the country’s off-grid or standalone power systems (SPS) rollout. In fact, last month microgrid specialists Hybrid Systems Australia announced it will establish the “world’s biggest” standalone power system manufacturing facility in the state as it looks to cater for growing demand for the technology.
The rollout has been led by West Australia’s government, which in February announced $218 million had been set aside to manufacture and install more than 1,000 SPS in regional WA over the next five years.
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