Australian-made solar system installed at remote Telstra tower

A claimed Australian first took place north-east of Esperance, Western Australia on Thursday, with the launch of a remote telco tower powered by a standalone power system (SAPS) delivered by Horizon Power and Boundary Power.

The installation was one of 1,000 planned by the WA government over five years, and would see the Telstra tower able to continue operating in the event of a natural disaster and resulting interruption of power delivery by poles and wires. 

“This installation strengthens communications resilience in the area, which is at particular risk during natural disasters,” said state energy minister Bill Johnston at the launch.

“The Esperance bushfires in 2015, which temporarily wiped out mobile phone coverage in the region, highlighted the need for a more robust and reliable power source.  

The SAPS is powered by 8 kilowatt of solar panels, has a 16.8 kilowatt battery and a 26 kilowatt backup generator, according to a statement from Johnston. It is able to deliver 12 kilowatt of continuous power.

The system was delivered by utility company Horizon Power and Boundary Power. Boundary is a joint venture between Horizon and Ampcontrol, a Hunter-based electrical, electronic and control solutions manufacturer.

Boundary Power designs and makes a variety of SAPS for different scenarios, such as high-wind areas, the need for rapid deployment, and larger power loads.

It delivered 17 SAPS units to edge-of-grid customer homes and commercial properties east of Esperance in 2019, removing 64 kilometres of poles and wires. 

Picture: A Solar Cube made by Boundary Power

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