Powering Remote Tasmanian Telecommunications Towers
Battery Banks Support TasNetworks Remote West Coast Infrastructure
Location: Devonport, Tasmania
Completed: May 2020
System Supplied: Customised DC Battery Banks and Racks
TasNetworks is Tasmania’s chief transmission and distribution network, delivering reliable electricity supply to more than 295,000 customers across the state. The business owns, operates and maintains critical infrastructure, including a series of backup power assets for its telecommunications towers.
With many of these assets located in remote, unforgiving areas, the TasNetworks field team approached Valen looking for a better solution that would reduce their ongoing maintenance costs and increase the reliability of their backup systems. Frustrated by quality and warranty issues with their previous battery supplier, TasNetworks worked with Valen’s technical team to design a series of rugged and reliable battery racks for the Mount Read tower on the remote West Coast.
Meeting strict project requirements, our solution has been successfully installed at Mount Read and is providing very low maintenance and incredibly reliable backup power for the region.
The TasNetworks field team had specific environmental, capacity, maintenance and cost requirements that needed to be met to ensure this project was a success.
TasNetworks required specific battery technology that would offer excellent value for money in line with governmental regulations around value and risk reduction. Valen was required to demonstrate that the jointly designed solution could meet all relevant standards and compliance benchmarks, as well as being priced effectively and allowing for cost-effective ongoing maintenance.
Precise battery testing also needed to be carried out prior to the racks being installed to ensure full compliance with the tender criteria.
Co-creating a Solution
In consultation with the TasNetworks team, Valen designed a compact six-tier DC battery rack using OPzV 2V800Ah batteries, a choice that met the requirement for a deep cycle, long-life battery that could deliver 10+ years of performance in the field.
Valen was the first to introduce the OPzV battery with sliding pole technology into the Australian market, and this product offered the ideal balance of performance and cost, with extremely low maintenance requirements. The OPzV rack would ensure TasNetworks could immediately switch to reliable backup power at this site in the event of an outage.
Working together with the TasNetworks team, we conducted pre-installation testing to collect qualitative data on battery field performance, with the selected batteries C3 capacity tested prior to installation. Any batteries testing at less than 100% of their rated capacity were considered to be underperforming and rejected, ensuring only the most high-performance batteries were included. The C3 test results were submitted for approval by TasNetworks prior to dispatch.
For the racking design, we worked to TasNetworks’ specifications and the unique features of the site, fabricating two strong and space-saving racks to support 48 OPzV batteries. The Mount Read area experiences drastic fluctuations in temperature, although the installation site would be climate controlled with a moderate temperature maintained. The indoor location meant that space was at a premium, so a bolt-together racking design with a small footprint ensured the best use of the available floor area.
Previously, continued maintenance on unreliable battery cells at Mount Read was becoming impossible for TasNetworks to manage without risking a site-wide outage. The new battery solution designed and manufactured by Valen has solved this issue, providing better uptime and ensuring continuity of power supply for the surrounding region.
Valen has been supplying both front terminal and OPzV batteries to TasNetworks for many years, and this recent project showcases our ability to work to specific technical and performance criteria.
The battery solution co-created by our experts and TasNetworks’ engineering team continues to perform in the field, supporting remote TasNetworks electricity infrastructure and providing network security for its many customers.
Custom Designed 48V 800Ah DC Battery Rack System including:
- Valen OPzV 2V800Ah Batteries
- C3 capacity testing prior to installation
- Compact, heavy-duty battery racking fabricated from powder-coated RHS
- Collaborative design and manufacturing