Rugby engineering company helps national organisation save thousands of tonnes

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A Rugby-based engineering company has helped a national organisation save thousands of tonnes – and protect the environment too.

The National Oceanography Centre wanted to data on waves and currents for a tidal energy project. The site needed to have a reliable source of electricity in order for the sensitive equipment to measure accurately, but the location - a cliff top in Pentland Firth, between mainland Scotland and Orkney - meant that no mains electricity was available to provide the power.

The standard solution – a generator – seemed the most likely answer, though not a very ‘green’ one, and the prospect of attending the site frequently to re-fuel a generator was entirely impractical.

So the organisation approached Central Park firm Off Grid Energy, whose ‘Grid to Go’ is a mobile power supply which is clean, emission-free and silent.

Danny Jones, managing director of Off Grid Energy, said: “The Pentland Firth is about as far away from anywhere that you can get in the UK so the biggest challenge was refuelling. The solution we came up with meant only weekly refuelling visits were required.”

The results show that the generator ran for just over 11 per cent of the time – compared to the 100 per cent that would be required using conventional equipment. The fuel consumed was therefore substantially less, at 351 litres compared to 3,147 litres had the generator run continuously. Combined with the savings in manpower for refuelling and the need for oil changes, the organisation saved over £4,000. In addition, CO2 emissions were reduced substantially showing a saving of about 7.5 tonnes over the alternative option of running the generator non-stop.