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Projects

Panasonic Power Container electrifies remote Indonesian school

Application: Rural Development
Location: Bandung, Indonesia
Year: 2015
Product: TriStar MPPT, Relay Driver
System size: 3 kW of solar with 17.2 kW of battery storage
Partners include: Panasonic

Panasonic’s Power Supply Container is a self-contained solar power plant designed to supply reliable electricity to emerging regions and remote island communities. Each comes with 12 Panasonic HIT240 solar modules that generate approximately 3 kW of electricity. Also, 24 lead-acid batteries are capable of storing 17.2 kWh of energy.

Panasonic chose to test the off-grid containers in Indonesia as part of the country’s Educational Environment Improvement Policy for Isolated Islands. Many of the country’s approximately 13,000 islands have little or no access to electricity because of power generation and development issues. Installations at elementary schools provide electricity for lighting, computers, televisions and running water. Morningstar products help control the units, enabling local electricity.

Hybrid Cell Towers for Verizon Wireless

Application: Telecom
Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona and Twentynine Palms, California
Product: TriStar MPPT 60
System size: 7.2 kW of solar
Partners include: Verizon Wireless, SunWize Technologies, PV Pros, East Penn Manufacturing

Solar power helps two Verizon Wireless generator-hybrid cell towers with microwave uplink systems save 70% on fuel consumption. Each system includes 7.2 kW of solar with several TriStar MPPT 60 controllers and East Penn AGM batteries.

Lifeline Telecom Services in Central Oregon

Application: Telecom
Location: Oregon
Year: 2012
Product: TriStar MPPT
System size: Two 235-W solar panels
Partners include: Rural Technology Group, SolarWorld

A Morningstar TriStar MPPT controller helps distribute internet services to a rural community in Central Oregon where many residents live without a telephone or cell service. Morningstar partnered with Rural Technology Group for an experimental project to expand internet service in rural areas with rugged terrain.

The team successfully installed a solar-powered microwave relay site on top of a mountain. A high-speed connection VOIP service now gives the community access to lifesaving emergency calls.

So far, the project has survived hurricane-strength winds, periods of dark and snowy days and temperatures in excess of 105°F to -4°F (41°C to -20°C). This relay also cost less than $3,500 to construct and commission.

-Photos courtesy of Rural Technology Group

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Case Study

Morningstar and TÜV Rheinland

Application: All
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Year: 2013
Product: All
Partners include: TÜV Rheinland

When the people responsible for certifying compliance and safety for the industry want to profile your brand for a case study, you know you’re doing something right.  At Morningstar, we’re proud that TÜV Rheinland—an international organization at the forefront of testing, standards and certification for everything from consumer products to industrial and medical devices—selected us for its own case study in solar.

As the case study notes, “in the solar industry, standards and regulations change quickly, with new standards emerging at a rapid pace.” Morningstar’s advanced designs and proven reliability provided TÜV with an ideal partner to showcase in this category.

-Photo courtesy of TÜV Rheinland

Reliable Power to Detect Earthquakes and Other Seismic Events

Application: Telecom
Location: Oregon and Washington
Product: Sunsaver MPPT
Partners include: The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

Unlike severe weather, which can be tracked and mapped for days and even weeks before landfall, earthquakes appear suddenly and without warning. Advances in technology now allow detecting earthquakes within life-saving seconds before shaking has begun.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) monitors ground motion and generates real-time earthquake information to emergency responders, the press and public. The project has more than 400 stations, making it the second largest seismic network in the United States. Strong-motion instrumentation, especially with real-time digital communications, requires a reliable power source. Because weather hazards often cause widespread power outages, each system must have a backup battery system with enough capacity to operate continuously for four days.

Morningstar’s SunSavers enable many of PNSN’s power supply systems. Its EMC-1 adapter allows monitoring critical data in real-time, alerting technicians of any issues. The EMC also integrates with the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to help PNSN’s engineers plan for maintenance.

Powering Public Radiation and Weather-Monitoring Stations

Application: Telecom
Location: Nevada
Year: 1999
Product: SunSavers
System size: 50 and 60-W solar panels on 24 sites
Partners include: The Desert Research Institute

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the Nevada System of Higher Education administers the Community Environment Monitoring Program (CEMP) to watch the ambient environment for radiation from past nuclear testing, ensuring the safety of nearby communities. The program encompasses 24 publically accessible radiation and weather-monitoring stations.

Solar panels (50 and 60W) operate in conjunction with a deep-cell battery to power all CEMP station instrumentation. Morningstar solar charge controllers have kept these systems reliably running for more than two decades.

Residents’ direct participation in collecting data and disseminating information from these stations provides a greater sense of security. All information collected from automated sensors at these stations is posted online and updated at least hourly.

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Case Study

Tiny Houses Provide Life-Changing Shelter for Homeless Population

Summary

  • Chronic homelessness afflicts over a half-million men, women and children in the United States,* with veterans particularly vulnerable. Almost 1 out of 4 are in the state of California**
  • Turning Point Foundation, a community-based nonprofit in Ventura, California, offers shelter, services, and support to homeless, mentally ill individuals
  • A transitional housing project, River Haven, provides housing and a sense of community to individuals ready for independent living
  • Morningstar controllers are a key component in the solar lighting system used to power these homes

**source: “10 Facts About Homelessness in America,” U.S. News and World Report, September 23, 2019 https://www.usnews.com/news/cities/articles/2019-09-23/10-facts-about-homelessness-in-america

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Case Study

Solar Energy Solutions for Rural Communities in Peru

Application: Rural Electrification
Location: Peru
Year: 2017
Product: Morningstar charge controller
System size: Residential DC Energy Box sized for individual home (50,000 units)
Partners: Tozzi Green

With explosive economic growth in population-dense urban areas, Peru’s economy has become one of the fastest-growing in the world. However, populations of small, remote villages struggle to survive in harsh climates, leaving one-third of the population without access to a power grid. To encourage development and improve the quality of life in these remote villages, the government of Peru launched the most ambitious rural electrification project ever attempted. The National Rural Electrification Plan will bring access to electricity to 96% of the country’s population.

Italian renewable project developer Tozzi Green is working with the Peruvian government to deliver three solar energy centers, including a high-volume residential DC Energy Box sized for individual homes. In 2017, Tozzi Green chose Morningstar Corporation charge controllers for the project because of their reliability and long life span. The success of this Peru project is a model for future solar rural electrification to bring power to more of the one billion people living without it today.

Read more about the project here.

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Case Study

Off-Grid Computer & Phone Charging Stations in Uganda

Application: Telecom
Location: Uganda
Year: 2018
Product: TriStar 45
System size: 810W of solar with two 200-Ah batteries (six sites)
Partners include: All in Trade

Uganda hosts more than one million refugees. In camps, “Protection desks” help refugees register upon entry and provide vital assistance including first aid services, security, emergency food, safety, crime issues and counseling. These critical stations require a reliable power supply to support computers, printers, internet routers, phones and lighting.

Local contractor All in Trade installed solar for six desks in various areas. Each site includes several 270-W solar PV modules (for a total of 810W per site), two 200-Ah batteries connected at 24Vdc and a 2000-W, 24-Vdc inverter. Each site also contains a Morningstar TriStar 45 solar controller to maximize output and manage energy storage and battery health. Each system typically powers loads equivalent to a small to mid-sized office.