Sun shines on solar power for AC Solar Warehouse in Cairns
INCREASING demand for AC solar power and micro-inverter systems throughout the Far North has led to a Cairns company being able to expand its operations and open another warehouse.
Last year, renewable energy company Evolve Energy set up the AC Solar Warehouse to distribute AC equipment to solar installers nationally, with the main warehouse in Brisbane due to international shipping facilities.
But managing director Grant Behrendorff said the sheer volume of interest and inquiries in the Far North led the company in December last year to open a warehouse.
"We thought we would be able to service Cairns out of Brisbane but there has been so much demand that it became obvious we needed a small facility here," he said.
"There's the old adage, that build it and they will come and we've been flat out selling a lot of solar panels."
Mr Behrendorff said buyers wanted to be able to come and buy the products direct.
"If we have the stuff here, they would come and pick it up," he said.
"We'll still be selling to the rest of the country from Brisbane."
Mr Behrendorff said sales were increasing every month with the exception of January, traditionally a quiet period.
He said the one-year to two-year forecast had been reached in nine months.
The business has employed an administration/logistics staffer and an electrical engineer.
A national sales professional is next on the list and more staff for the warehouse will be hired as activity increases.
The warehouse covers 180sqthm at Tingira St, Portsmith, with 60sqthm of office space.
The first lease is for three years with an option of another three.
"It's jampacked at the moment," Mr Behrendorff said.
The warehouse stored between four to 20 pallets of up to 35 solar panels each at a time, plus pallets of the micro-inverters.
He said with electricity price increases they expected business to take off.
"The warehouse in Cairns demonstrates our commitment to developing the region as a future renewable energy hub, create jobs and to assist people in the region to reduce electricity costs," Mr Behrendorff said.
The company is believed to be the first in Australia to sell AC solar power and micro-inverter systems.
It developed the micro-inverter technology for rooftop solar systems for use in both domestic and commercial properties.
Micro-inverters are installed on or adjacent to the solar modules, resulting in each module producing 240V AC.
They are quick and easy to install and eliminate the fire risks that are associated with the high-voltage DC wiring that are used in conventional solar systems.
The system simply plugs together and a single AC cable runs from the roof to the switchboard.
No large inverter is installed next to the switchboard and no DC wiring required.
Each solar module has a maximum power point tracker which allows the performance of each module to be optimised.
The inverters also have wireless communications to a web portal so the performance of each individual solar module can be monitored.
The AC modules are easy to add, can be located anywhere on a roof and at varying angles.
Shade does not impact an entire string like DC systems.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Bright future: Grant Behrendorff and David Smyth are all smiles as interest in AC solar power has prompted them to open a new warehouse in Cairns. Picture: Marc McCormack