SOLAR powered generator sets provided by manufacturer FG Wilson for PNG-focused telecoms giant Digicel have helped to reduce overall operational costs for the company, the group said.

FG Wilson installed 25 of its generator sets at the Digicel facilities under a contract with telecoms power solutions company PowerOasis.

PowerOasis used a combination of P11-6S (11 kVA) and P16.5-6S (16 kVA) generator sets, both of which included integrated 1,000 litre fuel tanks and extended service engines, which it said helped to reduce maintenance requirements and increase service intervals to 1,000 hours.

In an announcement, FG Wilson said close monitoring of the project during the first year of operation has revealed an operational cost saving of over US$40,000 and a 72 per cent reduction in diesel fuel consumption.

FG Wilson general manager Stephen McKinty said the robust and resilient design of the generators was paramount to their performance, especially when situated in remote locations.

“The PowerOasis solution optimises the energy captured from sunlight which helps lead to cost savings in diesel fuel, reduced servicing overheads and prolonged generator life,” he said.

“Improvements in site availability leads to further business benefits, including reduced subscriber churn and increased revenue generation. The direct costs savings result in a rapid return on investment in the solar upgrade to the generator/battery hybrid solution.”

The company had recently developed a suite of new options to meet the specific needs of the telecoms sector, FG Wilson said.CLEAN Energy Solutions (CES) Pacific has appointed fellow US-based company Viaspace to provide engineering and design work for a 2 megawatt biogas power plant to be fuelled by Giant King grass.

These include a range of base fuel tanks with various high capacity options, single or double wall, fuel anti-theft features and single point lifting.

PowerOasis chief executive John O’Donohue said the company’s hybrid power solution aimed to significantly reduce overall operational costs.

“We know through experience that FG Wilson generator sets are relatively easy to install and major cost savings were made at the outset as it took less than five days to deploy the site, rather the 12-15 day deployment time which is often the case,” he said.

“The 1,000 litre fuel tanks on which the generator sets are mounted played an important role in ensuring their reliability and in protecting against fuel theft, which can be a major burden on costs for off-grid projects,” Mr O’Donohue added.

“Through the hybrid power solution we have managed to deliver a project which has required no more than five site maintenance visits and diesel refuels per year – sites such as these can often require a site visit every month.”

With a peak power load of 1.5 kilowatts required at each site, the generators, batteries, solar arrays and rectifiers are sized and configured to meet operational and autonomy hours, the group said.

The battery charge cycles are managed to comply with manufacturer recommendations and achieve battery life of at least four years.