Smart Building Services (SBS) designed a system for a cattle station in South Galway owned by Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), a world-leader in agricultural products with more than 600,000 head of cattle across approximately 7.2 million hectares of QLD and NT land.
AACo was considering the business case for solar power installation at its South Galway operations. However, with its reliance on diesel generators for power, there was no means of determining its electricity cost unless there was an understanding of its usage. Once usage could be determined, the cost of diesel could be factored in to enable a financial comparison between the merits of continued diesel generator use and solar power installation. There was also the added complication of a remote location which relies on a satellite internet connection for data communication.
The SBS solution
SBS designed a solution which measures the diesel input and electricity output through a 3-step process by:
- automating the extraction of data from current meters
- installing a meter on the generator’s input and output to produce a reading of fuel in –KWH out
- publishing it to the internet.
Due to the remote location of the property, a complex chain of communications protocols and technologies was required, comprised of satellite internet, wireless Ethernet and serial radio modem to transmit data daily. AACo can now access this information through a dedicated data web portal which enables both absolute and comparative reporting at a granular level.
Management can now measure and monitor usage across all farm buildings to identify the most intensive loads on the property.