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Leith Elsegood, principal of Redflow WA partner, TIEC ElectricalWA stockfeed supply company Semini Custom Feeds has ordered a 60-battery Large Scale Battery (LSB) – Australia’s largest Redflow-based energy storage system - to cut its fuel and energy costs by 80 per cent.

Working with Redflow’s WA partner, TIEC Electrical, Semini Custom Feeds expects the 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) system to cut its costs by about $120,000 per year based on current expenditure on diesel, maintenance and mains power.

The Redflow LSB is a powerful integrated system for deploying as many as 60 Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries in large energy storage systems, delivering as much as 600kWh of energy storage capacity and comprehensive redundancy capabilities. Once the Redflow LSB and 400 kilowatts-peak (kWp) photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system is deployed, the family-owned business, located at Cowaramup, 260km south-east of Perth, near Margaret River, will also eliminate its need to buy electricity from the grid. The design aims to mitigate 80 per cent of the diesel and servicing costs and all costs for grid-connected services.

The Semini Custom Feeds order is the latest success for TIEC Electrical and Redflow in the WA agricultural sector. Last year, TIEC installed Redflow batteries at multiple rural sites including a WA orchard that has beaten bushfire blackouts and a rural “dream home” that has saved more than $100,000 by not connecting to the electricity grid.

Semini Custom Feeds CEO and Managing Director Jack Semini said the Redflow batteries, coupled with PV solar panels, would greatly reduce the company’s operational overheads. “Once TIEC has set up this system, it will greatly reduce the amount of diesel we need, which will be good for both our profitability and for the environment,” he said.

After a year of record sales that defied the economic impact of the global pandemic, Australia’s solar energy industry is poised for more growth in 2021 predicts Enphase Energy General Manager APAC Wilf Johnston. 

Enphase Energy General Manager APAC Wilf JohnstonMr Johnston said he expected next year to continue the current residential sales trajectory as consumers took advantage of lower prices, smarter technology and higher standards that would reduce the risk of fires and raise the overall quality bar for the industry.

Enphase Energy is the world’s leading producer of microinverters, smart devices that convert Direct Current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) energy, which can be used safely in homes and shared with the grid. Enphase technology deploys a microinverter under each solar panel – rather than a single inverter for the entire solar PV system - which delivers greater safety and reliability, panel-level monitoring and maximum performance across all roof types and in all conditions.

Mr Johnston, who has led Enphase in Australia for the past two years 19, has worked in the Australian solar industry for more than 12 years, beginning when he headed up the engineering and commercial project team at SunPower Corporation, then later as General Manager of Energy Matters and Flex. 

Lifeflow Meditation Centre Director of Teaching John Burston Adelaide’s Lifeflow Meditation Centre has launched a purpose-designed online meditation course to help people deal with the mental and emotional stress caused by SA’s six-day COVID-19 lockdown.

The Frewville-based not-for-profit organisation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, has made the first lesson of the course available for free, so anyone can benefit from it without a cost.

After Lifeflow Meditation Centre had to close its doors during the first pandemic lockdown in March this year, it scrambled to provide its members with online support to help them maintain and enhance their meditation practices. Since then, it has redesigned its free Come & Try Meditation classes for online access - attracting nearly three times as many people during 2020 as in 2019.  

The Centre has also redeveloped its entry-level six-week Introduction to Meditation program, which has run in test mode with a limited number of students for the past two months. With Wednesday’s announcement of the six-day lockdown, Lifeflow has accelerated its launch, so that house-bound South Australians can get immediate access to its benefits. The first 30-minute lesson of the program is available for free online at https://meditationacademy.lifeflow.com.au/courses/learn-to-meditate.

Enphase Energy APAC General Manager Wilf JohnstonEnphase Energy APAC General Manager Wilf JohnstonGlobal energy technology company: Enphase Energy, Inc. has released a detailed report that raises questions about the fire safety standards for Australian solar energy systems, including the use of a safety device that has become “a common cause for solar system fires”.

The Enphase report, A Comparison of Australian and US Residential Solar Markets, identifies that Australian solar energy systems cost about half the price of those in the US but asks if they are as safe. “Australia makes it easier for homeowners to install rooftop solar… but at what cost?” asks the report.

The detailed report observes that while US incentives for installing solar systems may be similar to those in Australia, they are far less lucrative. “In fact, residential solar systems are roughly 50 per cent cheaper to install in Australia than in the US,” it states.

“While the US and Australia have some common ground across incentives and rebates ... the two countries manage solar system safety very differently. In the US, requirements for solar safety have been added into state and municipal electrical, building, and fire codes, as well as permitting and inspection processes. All electrical contractors must follow National Electric Code (NEC) guidelines, which are updated every three years and adopted by most states. Within these guidelines are some strict requirements on weatherproofing enclosures, rapid shutdown in the case of a grid outage, wiring, and much more.”