Pacific islands are run on solar energy. Powering your home is a breeze

Posted on 21 Jun, 2017 in Energy Storage, Solar Power

What does it take to power an island with solar energy?

Dotted throughout the Pacific Ocean, more and more islands are lighting up, powered entirely by solar energy. They range from the individual islands of Ta'u in American Samoa and Kauai in Hawaii –  to the entire island nation of Tokelau being powered day (and night) by 100 per cent renewable energy.

If entire islands can go solar, so can you.

The key to unlocking solar energy for these islands lies in what happens when the sun goes down. Producing solar energy in these sunny paradises is easy, but during the night residents need power too. Solar batteries help draw out the full potential of a solar energy system, and is a great way for both islands and residents to lower their dependency on the grid.

With a battery system, islands can rely solely on solar power.
With a battery system, islands can rely solely on solar power.

The drive for renewable energy in island nations

What makes renewable energy (like solar), such an attractive option for these Pacific islands, besides the abundance of sunlight? A major reason is that the isolation of islands makes transporting expensive fossil fuels to power generators both expensive and environmentally-unfavourable. There are not rail lines to transport coal, or pipelines to pump natural gas, so most island communities are reliant on importing diesel.

For Tokelau, 2,000 oil drums needed to be shipped by ferry over 500 km from Samoa every year to meet the population's energy demands, according to the documentary "The Solar Nation of Tokelau." Not to mention, transporting diesel carries a significant environmental hazard, should some disaster befall shipments as they travel vast distances across the ocean.

It was a similar situation facing the islands of Ta'u and Kauai, says Vox Media. The installation of solar as a safe, cheap source of energy makes perfect sense. Yet come nightfall, the diesel generators would kick in again.

While solar energy cut the amount of diesel these islands needed, it was the solar battery systems that enabled these communities to make the leap to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Going 100 per cent renewable with Tesla batteries

For the islands of Ta'u and Kauai, storing the solar energy produced during the day in Tesla solar batteries was the solution that freed them from the dependency on diesel generators. 

The 60 Tesla Powerpacks installed for Ta'u's 5,000 solar panels are able to store three days worth of energy to power this 300-600-strong community, says National Geographic. In Kauai, 272 Powerpacks saves 1.6 million gallons of fossil fuel per year, according to Tesla.

Your own slice of Tesla battery power

While your home may not be as large as a tropical island, the principles behind Ta'u Kauai and Tokelau's switch to 100 per cent renewables apply in the same way. Rather than drums filled with diesel, residential homes are reliant on the energy grid. With a solar power system, this reliance drops to a minimum during the day, but rises at night when the panels are no longer producing energy.

Getting started with a solar power system is easy with RK Solar & Consulting Services.

In this situation, RK Solar & Consulting Services supply both residential and commercial applications with the Tesla Powerwall 2 to store the energy produced during the day, for use at a later time. With a 13.5kW storage capacity, powering the average home through the night is easy.

Relying less on the energy grid also helps lower your energy bill, and with the addition of a solar battery system, that dependency drops even further, putting more in your back pocket. 

Getting started with a solar power system is easy with RK Solar & Consulting Services. We provide an end-to-end solution for both commercial and residential solar systems, and with over 3,000 customers in and around Sydney, we know a thing or two about getting the most value from your solar panels.

To find out more, get in touch with us today.

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