Here at ICEE we like to say, no power, no problem.
There are locations in the UK where main grid power is either impossible or too expensive to get. It’s those projects that we absolutely love working on, as our experience, capabilities and in-house resources can truly shine and we can showcase our ability to come up with solutions for even the most challenging applications.
This was the case with the project we were working on at the Rest and Be Thankful location in the mountains of the A82 road in Scotland.
This was one of the very first renewable projects that ICEE got involved in. We were approached by our client to come up with a low-voltage enclosure solution, an alternative to main grid power, that would allow them to install equipment to monitor for any landslides at the above-mentioned location. As the area is situated 18 km away from any power station and landslides are a frequent problem up in the mountain, leading to the closure of the road and the diversion of traffic to a relief road, there was a real need for a suitable monitoring option to help manage landslides more effectively.
What we did?
We worked alongside our client to come up with a power unit that would satisfy their exact requirements and provide the needed power access so that a monitoring device can be utilised to track for landslides. However, one of the biggest challenges up in the mountain is, of course, the weather. As we predicted, installing only solar panel would not perform well (generating zero energy), which is why we recommended also including a wind turbine as a backup option, since the cabinet would be installed in a very windy location.
Therefore, we designed and fabricated a custom enclosure that housed both solar and wind turbine equipment in the same cabinet. Having the equipment in the same cabinet also enabled us to reduce the footprint and offer easier maintenance of the equipment. We also felt that the solar and wind power might still not be sufficient, which is why we decided to leave enough space for the installation of a fuel cell in the future if our theory proved to be true. The fuel cell would then work alongside the solar panel and the wind turbine as an additional power supply to bridge the energy gap and provide extra reliability. However, before going to this length, we decided it would be best to upgrade the solar panel to a newer, higher power one which would work sufficiently better in low ambient light levels.
The specification of the cabinet was based on Transport Scotland’s Trunk Road MC enclosures and was designed with a slanted back to mount the solar panel, gaining maximum solar energy. Internally, it’s additionally housing the batteries and the modem/encoder for the camera which is being broadcast via 4G comms.
Here at ICEE, we now have years of experience in the design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of custom electrical and network enclosures. All our services and products are delivered to you on the most competitive of prices due to our in-house fabrication resources and skills.