AWTA’s Raw Wool operations are always looking for ways to reduce testing costs in order to keep testing fees to customers as low as possible. Electricity is a significant cost in wool testing, particularly in Western Australia, which provided the impetus for two major projects to be undertaken in AWTA’s WA laboratory facilities.
The first project involved switching all on-site lighting to high-efficiency LED (light emitting diode) technology; the second was the installation of a 150 kW Solar Panel Array which can supply as much as a quarter of the site’s electrical energy needs.
High quality lighting is needed in the laboratory facilities and LED lights provide such lighting while at the same time using significantly less electricity than traditional fluorescent lighting. The LED lights also last much longer than fluorescent tubes (40,000 hours typical), significantly reducing maintenance costs.
WA is one of the best places in Australia for solar power and solar photovoltaic electricity generation is now price competitive with traditional electricity supplies. AWTA’s 150 kW system, commissioned in June this year, is one of the largest of its kind in WA, and provides a significant component of the site’s base power load for raw wool testing operations.
Both initiatives will reduce energy consumption and associated costs, whilst also generating a significant amount of electricity with zero emissions. AWTA supports the Australian agricultural industry by providing a wool testing and certification service, and these initiatives aim to provide the industry with a more sustainable, secure future.