NOVEMBER 4, 2020
The 2019/2020 Australian “black” summer, saw unprecedented fires with devastation across 18.6+ million hectares, 3,500 homes destroyed and lives and animals lost. Without the countless volunteers and the enduring energies of fire services including Rural Fire Brigade in Sussex Inlet, the damage would have been much greater.
In early 2020, Sure Solar, FIMER and SOLARWATT came together to support the Rural Fire Brigade at Sussex Inlet with the supply and installation of a new solar and back-up battery system at their station.
Sussex Inlet is a small town in the south coast region of New South Wales, Australia, approximately 200 km south of Sydney. During the 2019/2020 bushfire season, the region was under significant threat, with locals and holidaymakers asked to relocate, main highways closed and many areas experienced short periods without power.
Daniel Lake, the founder of Sure Solar, grew up in Sussex Inlet and was a volunteer with the Rural Fire Service for over 12 months. When he saw what the team went through during the Black Summer, he knew he had to do something to support the team.
“After seeing one of the worst fires in living memory ravage my home town, I wanted to do something that would directly help the Brigade. I am so proud to be in a position to give back to my home town in this way.”
Working with FIMER, a global inverter and energy storage manufacturer and SOLARWATT, a solar panel manufacturer, Daniel and the team designed a solar and storage system for the station, that would enable the station to be self-sufficient in times of blackout and power failure.
FIMER donated a new REACT 2 5.0 kW hybrid inverter and a 4.0 kWh REACT 2 battery module, which works in synergy with SOLARWATT’s, 6.6 kW Vision 60M glass-glass panels that can deliver some of the highest long-term yields for a light commercial solar installation.
Daniel said, “It was great to be able to install such a quality solar system for the Brigade. The system was designed with tier-one components including the new FIMER REACT 2 hybrid inverter and battery module. And FIMER’s Energy Viewer monitoring application will provide the Brigade with a great understanding of how much energy they are consuming to help maintain costs.”
The REACT2 hybrid inverter and battery solution is FIMER’s new residential solar system that has one of the industry’s highest energy efficiency rates, providing up to 10% more energy than lower voltage battery systems. The system also offers flexibility with its storage capacity from 4 kWh to 12 kWh depending on the number of batteries used.
FIMER’s comprehensive monitoring app underpins the system. The EnergyViewer app will allow the Brigade to see in real-time the energy they are generating from their solar panels, how much energy they are consuming, the energy being stored into the REACT 2 battery and also how much energy is being sent and used from the grid.
The Sussex Inlet Rural Fire Brigade were extremely active during the 2019/2020 bushfire season, with the Brigade working multiple 12-hour shifts over a two month period, and across different locations to protect the township of Sussex Inlet and surrounding areas.
Jason Venning, Country Managing Director at FIMER Australia, was extremely keen to be involved. “The Rural Fire Service goes above and beyond for this country, and we were extremely proud to be able to support Sure Solar in giving the Sussex Inlet station a solar and energy storage system that would enable them to be self-sufficient in the case power is temporarily unavailable at their site.”
The high-performance PERC-solar cells on the SOLARWATT Vision 60M PV panels are embedded almost indestructibly in the glass-glass composite and thus optimally protected against all weather effects and mechanical stress.
Sascha Gotzsch, Managing Director at SOLARWATT Australia, watched the situation unfold from Australia and knew the effects were felt around the world: “Even in Europe, the whole SOLARWATT team were horrified by the devastation caused by the Australian bushfires and we are thrilled to help the firefighters in some small way.”
The system was installed and commissioned in September by Sure Solar, the NSW RFS Sussex Inlet Brigade Captain Adam Harris, was extremely thankful to Sure Solar, FIMER and SOLARWATT for the system and said: “This will greatly assist the Brigade when power is compromised and is a much needed and welcomed donation. We would like to thank the local and global community in supporting our team and our efforts.”
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