GERMANTOWN, USA: Telkonet Inc., a Clean Technology company that develops and manufactures proprietary energy management and Smart Grid networking technology, announced that Hoku Solar, a subsidiary of Hoku Scientific (NASDAQ: HOKU), has installed Telkonet's powerline communications (PLC) system for operation with its Clean Technology solar power system at Lihue Airport in Kauai, Hawaii.
The Telkonet iWire System is enabling IP network connectivity for Hoku Solar's 338 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) power system that provides low-cost solar electricity to the airport.
The Lihue Airport project is one of seven PV systems installed recently by Hoku Solar as part of its power purchase agreement with the Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT).
Totaling nearly one megawatt of peak generating capacity, the rooftop projects are located primarily at airports throughout the state, supporting the energy efficiency goal of the Hawaii Clean Energy initiative, a partnership between the state of Hawaii and the US Department of Energy.
Hoku Solar's long-term contracts allow HDOT to enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy with no upfront cost, and serve to stabilize HDOT operating costs by acting as a hedge against future increases in the cost of electricity.
Ryan McCauley, Hoku Solar's General Manager, stated: "Hoku chose PLC because it was cost-effective, simple and reliable. PLC used the electrical cabling we had already used to connect the inverters, so we were able to avoid the additional cost of routing CAT5 cable and conduit.
"In addition, PLC helped us avoid wireless interference issues that we would have otherwise faced in the sensitive airport operating environment. The product is performing well and we are evaluating the possibility of installing the Telkonet iWire System at some of our additional locations."
At the Lihue Airport, Hoku Solar installed PV solar panels in three separate rooftop arrays. Each array generates DC power, which is converted into grid-ready AC power by inverters that are attached to the arrays. To monitor and maintain the inverters and arrays, each inverter must be connected to an external central monitoring system.
Telkonet's PLC system provides a cost-effective and efficient way to network the three inverter locations. Using PLC, Hoku Solar found a solution that not only reduced the required number of connections and routers, but also enabled a networked system that complied fully with the sensitive security and electromagnetic operating requirements of a modern airport.