Lizard Island Research Station PV System Profile
Location:Lizard Island, Australia
Operator:Lizard Island Research Station
PV system power:30.240 kWp
Annual Production:approx. 55,188 kWh (1,825 kWh/kWp)
CO2 avoided:Approx. 78.3 tons per annum
Modules:Sanyo HIP-210NKHE6
Communication:Sunny WebBox
Inverter:2 x Sunny Island 5048
6 x Sunny Mini Central 5000A


The Australian Museum's Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) supports research into coral reef biology and ecology ( in the remote north of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. LIRS has a permanent staff of four people and is usually fully occupied by about 35 visiting scientists. Its stand-alone solar power system comprises:
  • a purpose-built structure facing North at 15 degrees to horizontal with 144 x 210 W solar panels 
  • 48 x 2V batteries in a room under the structure
  • inverters and control equipment in a separate room
  • diesel generators 
LIRS uses about 238 kWh per day for all of its electrical needs. Solar input averages 150 kWh per day (the equivalent of 5 hours maximum sunshine per day on the 30 kW system). A diesel generator provides the balance.

Before installation of the photovoltaic system, a generator ran for 24 hours per day, consuming 46,000 litres of diesel and producing 123,200 kg of carbon dioxide per year. Now, the generator runs for only 4-6 hours per day. Fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are both reduced by about 64%.

The Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and its donors provided the funding. Oscar Arteaga and Andrew Beveridge of RISE at Murdoch University made excellent planning recommendations. Bob Lamb of LIRS did the detailed planning and, with his team, installed it and did the electrical integration. The people at SMA have been very helpful throughout. Thanks to all of them for enabling this fantastic system.
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