Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #48

12 December 2001

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

New DC Charger

We now have a new 12 or 24V charger.
It is an automotive type charger powered by a Honda 50cc four-stroke engine. The entire unit only weights 13 kg. It includes a digital amp meter and 3 metre long charging leads.

The 12V model will put in up to 50A into your battery though we suggest operating it at around 40A. On this power its 1.2 litre fuel tank will last one hour.

The 24V model puts out half the current. Its cost is only a bit more than an equivalent 230V charger of the same amperage.

We recommend it for those rainy days ahead where you need occasional back up. A diesel or other types of charging would be suggested if you need a lot of back up.

The use of a back-up fuel generator on a renewable energy system is often a cost effective and desirable option, particularly if you:

  1. live in an area with a high rainfall / cloud cover;
  2. want to keep the size and cost of your batteries to a minimum;
  3. can't afford enough solar modules to meet your load requirements;
  4. have an inverter too small for your large loads; and/or
  5. you have some occasional larger loads (e.g. for a workshop).

There are several considerations we look at when we recommend a back-up generator.

The first consideration is whether to go with petrol or diesel. Petrol gen sets are cheaper to buy and are more portable and light weight.
However, they are generally only good for about 1500 hours of run time before a major engine overhaul is required.
On the other hand, a diesel is heavier but usually goes for about 15,000 hours before a major engine overhaul is required.

Another issue is whether to get one with a manual start or alternatively one with electric remote start capability.

If it has electric remote start capability, then it is possible to design your system so that it starts automatically if your batteries need recharging. If you have an interactive inverter, it can automatically start and synchronise and parallel its output with that of your inverter.
So, for example, if you have a 4kVA inverter and a 5kVA diesel, you’d have a 9kVA peak to run large loads.
This can also be very useful in starting large loads which have a high initial surge rating.

Generators generally have a very limited ability to handle high start up currents whereas inverters usually have the capacity to handle a high start up current.

Conclusion

OK, that will be all til mid January or early February. We will be open through the Xmas break with a skeleton staff, though I'm having 3 weeks holidays.
We'll have some exciting new products to announce early in the New Year.

Talk to you again next year!

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.