Batteries in business

There is a lot of buzz about batteries entering the market these days. As Heuch are solar system designers and installers, we are frequently asked about whether battery systems are cost effective to add to their solar systems.

In the domestic market, batteries are just getting to the stage where they can become a financially viable solution. A chance to store all that power that your solar system has been harvesting during the day. Constantly dropping in prices and improvements in capacity has brought this within reach.

But what about the commercial and industrial market? Is it cost effective as well?

A typical small to medium sized business runs during the daylight hours, conveniently during the same hours that the sun is shining and a solar system is producing power. In this case, your business really doesn’t have too much need for batteries, because you are consuming the power as it is being produced.

This isn’t to say that some batteries WOULDN’T benefit a business in this position, but rather that you could look at a much smaller battery system. Something that runs the overnight loads only and charges during the day such as the staff refrigerator, a UPS for your network and the security lights and systems.

With just solar and nil battery, it just means that earlier in the mornings, later in the afternoons, on overcast days and for overnight loads, you’ll pay to import electricity, which is still a long way better than importing power during 100% of normal business hours.

If you run your business outside of the traditional “9-5” hours, as is common in manufacturing and shift working, then batteries can work in conjunction with a solar system by charging during the daylight hours and discharging at night to provide light and power for your premises, reducing your electricity import costs.

For facilities and sites that run with a generator, running the engines at less than optimum levels will damage both efficiency ratings as well as reduce the operational life of the motor itself. Batteries can help improve asset life in this case by allowing the generator system to run at optimum levels by fast charging the batteries, then shut down, allowing a facility to run from the battery power. This saves money on generator maintenance and can drastically reduce fuel expenditure.

There are some sites that can’t risk not having alternate power backup! High stock values in controlled environments or sites that are remote, bushfire prone or subject to frequent blackouts, for example. This could be in any industry too, from pharmaceutical manufacturers with temperature critical stock to the general store with ice-cream & icy poles.

While a dedicated back-up system may lay dormant for a period of time, batteries covering an extended blackout can pay for themselves in part everyday and then in a single event by saving high value stock from spoilage, expiring or in lost income.

Many critical operations like data centres, petrochemical facilities and telecommunications are already implementing these redundancies tactics at many of their sites.

Batteries certainly have their advantages in the commercial and industrial sectors, and with prices on electrical storage coming down by the day, it could be time to engage your electrical contractor of choice to see how they could benefit your business.

To discuss how you might be able to reduce your energy expenditures, contact Heuch on 03 9793 6088.

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Does Solar Benefit Business?

Today’s industries are demanding more and more energy to operate. Even when machinery is becoming more efficient by the day, the world’s population is ever increasing and so is our demand for electricity. In Australia, as in many parts of the world, this electricity is mainly produced by coal fired power stations.

Solar technology has come in leaps and bounds in the last decade, becoming far more efficient and accessible, thereby driving down cost of manufacture. As you might have noticed on your drive to work or walk to the milk bar, many households have adopted solar power systems to offset their dependency on mains electricity, and even sending their solar power generated into the grid for others to use.

Businesses stand to benefit from solar energy even more than households for the primary reason that most businesses operate during the day; the time when the solar systems are producing power.

How do I benefit?
Small and medium businesses are often paying high rates for electricity, sometimes as high as $0.30 per kilowatt hour! To put that in perspective, a kilowatt hour (kWh) is quite simply using 1 kilowatt of energy for an hour. So if you have an air conditioner that uses 1 kilowatt of energy to run, and run it for an 8 hour work day, that has just cost you around $2.40. Use that for all three months of summer (call it 13 weeks, therefore 65 business days) and your singular air conditioner has cost your business $156 at a minimum!

That’s just one air conditioner, most business have more than one standard air conditioner. Now factor in lighting, computers, servers, machinery, water heaters…. Suddenly, this all seems to be adding up! But there is a solution to help offset these ever rising costs, and the solution lies in the use of green technology.

Whilst larger scale businesses often pay much lower rates for their electricity, they can still definitely benefit from solar system installations by helping them achieve their environmental impact reduction goals. Especially when fleet vehicles are involved. Combining a solar system with the upgrade of company cars to plug-in hybrids or fully electric cars, fuel costs and vehicle emissions can be significantly reduced.

Heuch Solar Systems
Heuch have a team of CEC (Clean Energy Council) accredited Solar System designers and installers to get you up and running with your system. Whether it’s reducing outgoing costs, reducing your business’ carbon footprint or empowering remote communities to keep infrastructure and logistic costs down; we can tailor a solar package to suit your requirements.

Heuch have always been renowned for quality service and installations, and our solar team continue this legacy of quality and reliability from protype to installation. We handle the process from start to finish, principally installing “Tier 1” panels and accessories. We also utilise monitoring software to make sure your business benefits fully from generated power; and apply for any available rebates or incentives on your behalf to keep capital investments to a minimum. Typical projected returns on investment range between 3-5 years.

What happens next?
Once your system is up and running, it’s business as usual! Typically, the “cost” of a system is paid for by the savings you will make on your previous electricity expenditure. And the whole package can be installed and running without costing your business any downtime. It is that simple!

Is it time to let your customers know that you’re a green operating company?

Are you ready to start saving money?

If you answered yes, simply contact us for an obligation free consultation.

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Mobile Solar Refrigeration Unit

Heuch Engineering and Able Industries Engineering have released a new product to market that is set to disrupt the current defence refrigeration technology landscape.

The Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility (MARU) uses solar refrigeration technology from Heuch.

The unit is specifically designed to assist the work of emergency responders, aid providers and defence personnel, by providing an energy resilient cooling solution.

The MARU (Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility) is a rugged, mobile cooling unit, with on-board solar power supply and customisable hold over capacity (up to 48 hours), built in accordance with NATO Master Pallet 463L specifications, to suit a range of airfreight requirements.

Moreover, it can be deployed and running in under 10 minutes, with no specialised equipment required.

Heuch’s work in the area of solar refrigeration has already earnt the company the 2016 Innovator of the Year Award in CCN’s HVACR Leadership Awards.

Further information on MARU can be found at or ring Martin Oakley on 03-9793 6088.

Original article as published by Climate Control News.

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LAUNCHING: MARU – The Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility

At the Avalon Air Show in 2017, you will see plenty of state of the art jet fighters and the latest engineering innovations from the military, but you will also see something new!

Enter the Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility. An engineering innovation by a collaboration between Heuch Refrigeration and Able Industries Engineering. We sat down with Martin Oakley, Business Development Manager from Heuch Refrigeration to discuss the new project.

Tell us a bit about the Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility.
The Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility or MARU as we call it, is an innovation we have been working on for the last ten years. We envisioned a product suitable for help with aid efforts after disasters around Asia Pacific and even further internationally. We wanted to provide the capacity for long and short term refrigeration storage units that could be customised to suit a plethora of requirements.

To put it simply, MARU is a solar powered 10-foot refrigerated container. We have designed this to be a modular system and fit in with military off the shelf (MOTS) standards. It is a complete energy independent unit that has negated the requirement for grid, generator or fuel logistics which makes it perfect for disaster aid relief situations and rapid deployments.

How did you get started in this field?
We originally started with designs for 20-foot and 40-foot solar power off grid refrigeration systems. These were for more long term storage, refrigeration and even converting to remote site offices and medical centres.

We wanted to make the application even more user friendly in emergency disaster relief situations and realised that we needed the capacity for the units to be air transportable. We approached Able Industries Engineering to assist us in designing and fabricating the units to fit in accordance with NATO Master Pallet 463L specifications to suit military airfreight requirements.

Heuch and Able are long time collaborators, our first project beginning in 1980 building -18oC Tricons for the RAAF. Collaborating with local partners benefits all of us and is something we often do. Able Industries Engineering have helped accelerate the lead time to market. I can say we are very proud of the results.

You mentioned MARU could be customised, what are some of the options you have worked on?
We have designed a range of systems primarily for aid and health care. The systems can cater for medical supplies and mortuary aid through to food and tech storage. The units can even be adapted to become water filtration units, power distribution centres and even portable lighting.

We are looking to expand this offering by teaming with medical suppliers to supply and support deployable field medical infrastructure with on-board power supply, HEPA filtration and HVAC-R systems.

The sky is the limit with these Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utilities, as we can tailor to suit client needs!

Our main goal was to make sure it tied in the the Defence Department Joint Project 2060 aims. They need partners for supply and support of deployable field infrastructure and we feel we have created a product that caters to their joint project.

Come down and see MARU at the Avalon Air Show and meet the whole team.

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