The Energy Audit initially recommended a 13KW Solar PV system to offset the costs of power from the grid, and a more effective heating system for the propagation area although it will use slightly more power.
||13kW Roof Mounted Solar PV System
||Heating: replace heat lamps with heat mats
|Energy Savings kWh
|Cost to implement
After talks with the auditor and the solar installer the nursery instead opted for a 19.89kW solar system to maximise the available roof space. Taking advantage of Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) the total cost of the system was $14,000. The system is already paying dividends with the nursery manager stating that “our electricity bills have been halved”.
QFF have also installed two real time energy monitors to assist the farm in monitoring their energy consumption and making day to day efficiencies. The monitors cover the main load, pumps, solar system and one submain circuit which operates various power circuits and a set of fans. For this case the monitor will capture the data required from the solar generation and enable specific reporting on the cost savings.
Additional changes onsite to both organisational behaviour and manufacturing processes were implemented by the nursery. Some were quick and easy to achieve and others needing more planning, including:
- Installing 15 x 150-watt energy efficient fans to reduce fungal disease often seen in plants as a result of high humidity
- Activating energy saving features of office equipment and installation of timers should be considered. Office energy use can be reduced by 10-20% when energy saving modes are activated.
An energy audit is a great way for a business to cut costs and boost productivity. Find out about what’s involved in an energy audit HERE and subscribe to our bi-monthly energy e-news HERE.
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