The first system of its kind in Botswana and only the second on the African continent, it incorporates a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant and a Tesla Powerpack battery energy storage system (BESS).
For all the renewable energy fundis out there, here are some detailed facts and figures about &Beyond Xaranna’s solar hybrid system:
- It consists of 122.4 kWp solar panels, 4x 27 kW Fronius solar inverters, a 100 kVa/190 kWh of Tesla Li-ION Powerpack, 1x micro-grid controller (MGC) and 2x 125 kVA generators.
- Since this new system has been installed at &Beyond Xaranna, the generator runtime has been decreased from 24 hours to 5 hours. This 19-hour reduction not only saves diesel, but also decreases the generator services and parts required, decreases the transport costs associated with delivering diesel, decreases the emissions caused by generators and transport trucks, and decreases the noise pollution caused by generators.
- The MGC intelligently coordinates the various generation and storage components’ input and output to meet the site load. The solar panels generate DC power, which is converted by the solar inverters into AC power. The AC supply is managed by the MGC controller, which feeds the lodge as required. Energy is either supplied directly to the lodge through the main distribution board or, if the lodge’s demand is low, excess energy is redirected to the batteries for storage.
- The Tesla Powerpack System was chosen because of the high operating temperature range and cycling capacity when compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. A lead-acid battery can typically only be discharged to 50% of its capacity with only 1500 cycles available; whereas the Tesla system is warranted for 10 years to cycle daily at 100% of its capacity. This reduces the cost of providing energy to the site.
- Xaranna’s PV plant produces an average of 450 kWh of energy per day, thereby reducing the camp’s carbon footprint by 4,500 000 kg a year. The system has been sized to supply more than 80% of &Beyond Xaranna’s energy requirements from renewable energy, while maintaining the high service levels that our guests have come to expect. The option to expand the solar PV plant and Tesla Powerpack System capacity in future will deliver even further reductions in diesel consumption.
We remain committed to employing the latest technology to ensure our business is as sustainable as possible. Because aesthetics and non-intrusive architecture are integral to the &Beyond philosophy, the integration of &Beyond Xaranna’s PV plant and Tesla Powerpack was designed to be as visually appealing as possible. To ensure the lightest footprint on the sensitive wetland area, no concrete was used in the construction of the plant and, if necessary, the entire system can be relocated or removed with no permanent impact to the land, as per the strictly-enforced Botswana park regulations.
What steps are you taking today, and every day, both as organisations and as individuals, to help protect the planet? The reality is that we can all make changes in our lives and businesses, both big and small, to help conserve energy and utilise renewable resources. Every bit really does help, so let’s all continue to do what we can to ensure the safety, protection and longevity of the world’s remaining natural vistas.