Adelaide Bus Terminal Case Study

Case Study CS0017 - Adelaide Bus Terminal - Commercial Grid Connect




Tindo, the Kaurna Aboriginal name for sun, is the name of an initiative by Adelaide City Council to deliver a purely electric-powered community bus. Tindo is the first electric bus in the world to be recharged using 100 per cent solar energy.

Tindo is recharged by 50kW BP Solar electricity system. This system is one of the largest grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the state and will make the bus service carbon neutral. Generating almost 70 megawatt-hours of clean electricity each year, the system delivers the energy required to recharge Tindo’s batteries each day. With an operational range of 200 kilometres between charges, the air-conditioned solar electric bus is able to carry up to 27 passengers.

“Tindo and the solar recharging system at the Adelaide Central Bus Station represent a significant investment by the council, in association with the Adelaide Solar City program, into building an environmentally sustainable city for the future,” said Lord Mayor of Adelaide City, Michael Harbison.

The solar system is located on the top floor of the Bus Station’s multi-level car park and comprises 320 solar panels, eight inverters and a weather station that measures the sunlight, temperature and wind speed. The data is collected and shown live on the Adelaide City Council website.

Everyday Adelaide citizens and visitors to the city will be able to demonstrate environmental leadership by taking a free bus which is also emission-free.


Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Project participants:

  • Adelaide City Council (Customer)
  • BP Solar (solar design, supply and commissioning)
  • MPower (installation)

Project Completion: December 2007


System Features

  • Size: 50kWp
  • Area: 1100m² (including the solar array frames)
  • Estimated electricity generated: 70MWh per year
  • CO² reduction: Approximately 70 tonnes per year
  • System Components: 320 x BP3155N multicrystalline solar panels
  • 8 x 6kW SMC6000A inverters
  • Data acquisition equipment



The data acquisition system was the first of its kind to be implemented in a BP Solar-designed grid-connect system. The challenges were:

  • Learning how the new equipment functioned and how it would integrate with existing products
  • Coordinating with the Council’s IT department to achieve data retrieval and real-time data display that can be seen on its website


This project was also the first commercial system by BP Solar to use the new BP-Solar developed ‘heliobar’ mounting rail. Custom-made structures were designed to interface with the new rail to allow for easy installation. 


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