QFF has installed 50 real-time energy meters at farms across Queensland to help develop a better understanding of agricultural energy use. This energy measurement technology provides farmers with access to energy information in real-time, ensuring the efficient operation of their systems, leading to reductions in energy consumption.
The project uses a smart meter connected to various electrical loads across the farm to measure real-time consumption of energy. The Watt Watcher meters that were selected have six current transformer (CT) points, therefore the meters have the ability to monitor two three-phase or six single phase circuit channels. This data is captured every five minutes and stored in a digital cloud, accessed from a desktop or mobile device, it can be displayed on a Fluxpower dashboard. Armed with this data, farms can better understand their energy use patterns, identify energy-saving opportunities, make decisions to manage demand, guide tariff choices, and improve energy efficiency.
Data can be a powerful tool to help investigating other energy management options such as Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs). A desktop study is currently underway in one of Queensland’s agricultural regions using the real-time data to determine the potential for developing a specific PPA based on real farm energy use patterns utilising these meters.
QFF and it’s partners will be installing further real-time meters as it delivers the Microgrid Project.