Frequently Asked Questions

General

Why use solar power?

Reliable grid connections are often lacking in developing areas.  Cost of infrastructure and connections are high and have a continual operating cost.  Skilled technicians are required to install and maintain grid connections.

 

Diesel generators are the traditional solution where grid connections are inadequate.  While initial purchase price is usually less than solar alternatives, operating expenses can be extremely high, the ever-present risk of environmental damage and cost of fuel is always rising.  Fuel & oil must be bought and stored.  Fuel & oil quality maintained.  Easy and regular access to fuel & oil required.  Regular servicing by qualified personal required.

Solar Power offers a free and unlimited power source available almost anywhere.  Minimal operating cost.  No infrastructure or fuel requirements.  Extremely low maintenance requirements.  Clean, green and quiet. Easily scalable. Our solar chiller equipment generally provide an ROI via fuel cost savings within 18 months.

How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?

Solar panels use layers of special materials called semi-conductors that create electricity when exposed to sufficient light. There are different types of solar panel construction and the efficiency or cost per watt of PV panels is always improving.

Will it help the environment if I get solar power?

Solar power generation produces no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollution. The energy used to manufacture a solar power system is small compared to the energy generated by the system and is paid back many times over the life of the system.

How can I transport your equipment?

Black Stump equipment is designed to be transportable and rapidly deployable.  We provide equipment suitable for road, rail, air and sea transport.

What if I don’t have the infrastructure for handling a shipping container?

Black Stump also offers its solar solutions “flat packed,” much like when you buy furniture from Ikea™.  Black Stump flat packs were initially designed to meet the needs of remote island fishing villages in Indonesia and had to be deliverable by Sampan and human effort alone.  Broken down into parts to facilitate transport, assembly and commissioning takes place at site.  Additional benefits come from local involvement; increasing the ownership of the project. Operator training and knowledge transfer can also begin straight away.

Are special foundations required?

No. Only a firm, level surface is required. Entry & exit areas should be kept clean to prevent the introduction of foreign matter into the container to protect the products within.  Flat pack units for light weight “build up” systems require a concrete slab or foundation.

How long do they take to set up?

After delivery to site, Black Stump redeployables can be set up by one person and be operating in as little as 10 minutes. All operations are completed at ground level and require minimum physical efforts.

Is it OK for my system to be shaded?

The solar panels need to be in full sun to operate at best efficiency. Partial shading reduces the power output and may cause the system to reduce its output or stop.

What if it’s cloudy, rainy, monsoon season, winter etc?

The sun rises every day, making solar a more reliable energy source than grid or diesel solutions.  Black Stump solar systems take local environmental conditions into consideration, such as daily average solar power generation potential, weather patterns and air quality and are designed to operate reliably in these conditions.

Chillers and Freezers are supplied with batteries for continuous operation.  Extra capacity can be added for additional social applications, such as village lighting or mobile phone charging.

What happens if the batteries go flat?

Black Stump’s control system monitors battery condition and will reduce the system electrical loads to assist in the protection of the batteries and battery charge levels. In the event of a battery failure the system will swap to standby mode.

Can I add additional power and battery storage for my operation?

Yes, Black Stump solar systems can easily be scaled up to meet growth demands.  Additional capacity may be added to facilitate community goals too, such as village lighting and mobile phone charging schemes.

There is a facility to direct couple additional solar or wind power modules, generator connections and the provision for backup from external grid power.  External electrical inspection and approvals may be required.

Cold Chain

What is the Black Stump Technologies cold chain?

Recognizing the need for reliable access to refrigeration as a pathway to improving economic, social and health outcomes for developing communities, Black Stump has developed a range of refrigeration solutions for remote, off grid locations.

Black Stump redeployables are a direct replacement for diesel generator powered systems.  100% solar powered, units require NIL infrastructure and inputs for continuous and reliable operation.  They are easy to transport, operate and maintain.  They create new economic pathways.

Can I load warm product? Can I leave the door open? What demand duty are they designed for?

Products should be loaded at target temperature and the access door would be used quickly and effectively to minimise the loss of the cool air inside.  Target temperatures will be hard to maintain if these factors are not given appropriate attention.  A quality provider will work closely with you to understand the intended application of your equipment and design the system to comfortably meet those duty demands and overcome these limitations.

What sort of maintenance is required?

Properly designed and built solar and refrigeration systems are inherently reliable and have a very low maintenance requirement.  Minor tasks, such as keeping solar panels clean, are easily achieved, low cost and usually can be performed locally.  Black Stump provides training for minor maintenance and repairs to local community members.  System life is 20 years plus, so a cost effective and comprehensive maintenance program should be discussed with your systems designer.  Comprehensive & accredited training in solar and refrigeration systems is also available through Black Stump.

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