Pitt Island School, South Pacific
A tiny school on an isolated island in the South Pacific Ocean is using Base Power to provide the constant electricity it needs.
With a tiny school roll, Pitt Island School is the hub of the island community of 21 households, approximately 23km south of Chatham Island.
Principal Wendy Bishell says that with no electricity network on Pitt Island, the school had been using some solar panels and a generator to charge batteries, which had proved unreliable over time and was costing about $13,000 a year in diesel.
“The old system interfered every day with students learning and our administrator's computer, as it would run out of power twice a day. This meant having to turn on the noisy generator". That was until Base Power was installed at the school.
“Everything now works all the time. We are looking into installing heat pumps into our classroom, which was a far-off dream before Base Power was installed.”
Using 40 solar panels and 30 four kilowatt hours of battery storage, the Base Power unit captures the sun’s energy and can produce up to nine kilowatts of electricity per hour. Any excess energy produced is stored in the unit’s battery bank and can be used when required later. The system also includes an automatic back-up generator, which can be used during times of low sunlight or high demand.
To protect the Base Power unit in the island’s harsh, coastal conditions, the unit’s casing had been custom made from marine grade stainless steel and with special air filters to provide extra protection against salt spray.
Wendy says a reliable energy supply is vital for modern, internet-based learning, and the school’s students are benefitting from Base Power’s constant flow of electricity.
“Everything now works all the time. We are looking into installing heat pumps into our classroom, which was a far-off dream before.”