Doing Our Part To Keep Avo Prices Down

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Need another reason to eat yummy avocados?

Just north of Toowoomba, the large Balmoral Avocado Orchard is situated in the clean, crisp mountain air on the summit of the Australian Great Dividing Range, South East Queensland, which has been producing Hass avocados since 1988. [http://www.balmoralavos.com/] Water is a valuable resource but as every farmer knows, crop requires a lot of it. Luckily, an abundant supply of fresh water ensures that Balmoral Orchard is fully “drought proofed”.  Run-off surface rain-water is collected by a system of contour banks into dams and this supply is supplemented by bore water if required.  [http://www.balmoralavos.com/] In order to off-set the energy used by one of their bore-pumps, Hembrow’s installed their first ever ground-mounted PV system.

Using 317x 315w Canadian solar panels combined with 4x 25kW Schneider inverters, the farm can now run their bore-pump without having to fear a large increase in their power bill.

Balmoral Orchard has over 12,000 Hass avocado trees planted on 198 hectares of gently sloping land at an altitude of over 2,000 feet. Given the uneven terrain, it was quite a challenge to mount this system to the ground. With the help of Clenergy Solar Terrace 2, this problem was overcome quickly and the results look amazing. The system can now produce a maximum of 400kWh a day of energy; delivering a quarter of the energy the bore-pump requires.

Now the Orchard does not only make use of its natural water supplies but also of the free energy the sun provides. Sounds like another good reason to eat more avocados, doesn’t it?

Hembrow's Partner with BMD to Deliver First LED Street Lighting To Ipswich

How councils can actively reduce their cost and pass on savings to their residents

Recently, Ipswich City Council had nostalgia-type LED Rate 3 street lights installed in their council area with the help of Hembrow’s Electrical Service. What’s so new about this? Well, this type of street light has not been used for new developments or subdivisions.

Rate 3 lights are unmetered, public lighting that is supplied, installed, owned and maintained by the Public Body. Supply is unmetered, luminaires have a fixed wattage and the installation must comply with the AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules. Beyond the Point of Supply, reticulation is owned and maintained by the consumer. [Road Planning and Design Manual (2nd Edition), Transport and Main Roads, July 2016]

Taking ownership of the street lights, Ipswich City Council is able to apply their smart community approach by regulating the usage of street lights more effectively and efficiently. Rather than having the street lights turn on and off at a certain time of the day, Ipswich City Council potentially has got the ability to make use of dimmers, manual turn-on and offs as well as monitor electricity usage of each light. The biggest advantage, however, is that they can add sensors to their lights, making them only turn on when a car drives past or pedestrians walk nearby.

This will significantly contribute to reducing the electricity bill of Ipswich City Council as they are stating that “New street light installations are to be Rate 3 using LED Technology.”

In addition to saving electricity, the Ipswich City Council is looking into providing better lighting in order to prevent accidents. This is not least due to the conclusion from studies in Australia and other countries that the correct levels of road lighting can, on average reduce night time casualty accidents by about 30%. [http://www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/74913/Street-Lighting-Factsheet.pdf]

Thanks Ipswich City Council for letting Hembrow’s be part of this positive change to less energy wastage and higher road safety.