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SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT DEVELOPED IN ATACAMA DESERT – CHILE

Keeping in pace with the call for greener energy solutions Leadcom has implemented challenging alternative energy projects proving professional know-how and complex logistics capabilities.

Scope of Project: Building photovoltaic solar farms to provide power for 3 Fiber Optic Node expansions in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Project objectives: Provide the customer with a solution that offers improved design & technology to enhance performance and reduce all operation costs for functionality and maintenance of the panels.

Methodology employed during the design and engineering phase:

  • Advance survey of the solar radiation near the site location in order to determine the expected energy capacity
    during the year round cycle plus a 30 years projection – compared to the consumption requirements.
  • Market survey to enable tailoring a design that will provide:
    • Maximum output,
    • Control panel temperature and
    • Minimize maintenance requirements.

Unique system features chosen as the result of a site survey and thorough market research:

  • Battery cycling technology and a large PV (solar) arrays for 24/7 battery charge and consequent site power.
  • Remote monitoring functionality
  • Uniquely designed panels (cylindrical cells) to provide maximum output by utilizing a reflective surface to increase
    Photo Voltaic output
  • Design structure features that improve maintenance and contributed to OPEX:
    • Maximum airflow for cooling the PV panels and reducing any risk of overheating in desert environments.
    • Minimize soiling of the PV panels which reduces maintenance requirements.

Implementation:

  • 16 kWp (each) PV capacity using Cylindrical CIGS Cells to power 3 Fiber Optic Node.
  • 73 x 220 Wp panels installed to feed 3 Battery Controllers of 80 Amp each, with remote monitoring system.
  • 4,800 AH @ 8 Hr, -48 Vdc, Battery System for storing energy for 5 days back-up.

Results:

  • The energy produced is higher than the load, even during the worst days of winter.
     

  • Cost-effective, reduced costs of maintenance  – compared with the traditional alternative of  diesel generator.


Conclusion:

The project demonstrates that well-designed alternative energy solutions can exploit natural resources providing a practical and cost-efficient source of energy for any form of infrastructure. Governments and global organizations are increasing the requirements for implementing green energy solutions.  Cellular operators and other business segments will have to consider increasing these initiatives budgeting, them in their long term CAPEX, but in the long run may show improved OPEX results.

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