Makinex drives energy efficiencies – Inside Construction

Inventing and designing efficiency-driven products for over 15 years, Makinex has launched a system that uses solar and battery technology to generate clean power on construction sites.

For over 15 years Makinex has been identifying inefficiencies in the construction sector, and inventing products to make contractors more efficient, safe and profitable.

Ingrained in Makinex’s culture is a passion for challenging conventional methods of work, and after identifying the need for a more sustainable power solution on site, the team invented the Hybrid Power System (HPS).

The Makinex team saw the opportunity to create the HPS product 4 years ago, with a core competency of providing clean power to construction sites and reduce diesel consumption.

Makinex Managing Director Paul Weaver says that over time the product has morphed into a range of Hybrid Power Systems from 10kVA, up to 90kVA. “The fundamental goal of the product is to reduce diesel consumption by over 90%, particularly in remote site locations,” says Weaver.

Paul Weaver, Managing Director, Makinex.

Makinex was founded in 2004. From humble beginnings in Sydney, NSW the company now has a presence in 14 countries, 50 employees, products carried by more than 4,000 equipment hire and rental companies, and over 1,000 reseller and OEMs.

The delivery of their latest product, the HPS, adds to their extensive offering of efficiency-driven solutions.

Weaver says the HPS is having success in remote site locations where typically they burn through a lot of diesel needing power for often 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Our system uses solar and battery technology to generate and store power without the need to be connected to an overhead electricity network, reducing diesel consumption on site and providing an efficient power source,” he says. “We’ve made the generator component of the system the third wheel, designed to only kick in when the solar is not producing enough energy for the batteries to recharge.”

“The system, manufactured here in Australia, has built in smarts that can be used by the customer to monitor and manage power. For example, if there’s a particular time of day that the noise levels need to be restricted, the system can be controlled so that the generator kicks in at certain times. This ensures the battery system is charged for noise restricted hours.

“We do have customers where they have a range of hours from often 10pm until 6am where there’s no noise allowed. We need to make sure that the system’s geared up to be able to run for long enough to manage that without having the generator kick in.”

The functions in the system also allow the customer to monitor fuel consumption so they can get firsthand access, through their computers, of how much diesel they are burning, and measures the reduction of carbon emissions.

When the HPS came about 4 years ago, Weaver says the conversation around carbon emissions wasn’t as strong as it is today. The increased price of diesel, which has been creeping up over the past year or two, has now put it at the front and centre of their customers’ minds.

“The third component that has contributed to the success of the product is tier one companies employing sustainability managers who are tasked with sourcing products like the HPS in the market,” says Weaver.

“I really enjoy dealing with people in the sustainability space. Though they’re not technically set up to understand the product to the level of an engineer or site manager, they’re the ones who are introducing our products to those key people in their business.

“We’re increasingly seeing with tenders the expectation of a green or environmental benefit to what and how they’re building. Many companies are no longer prepared to accept a jet diesel generator on site that’s going to burn through 3, 4 or 5 litres of diesel an hour.”

As a continuous source of clean power, HPS excels in remote locations, eliminating diesel fuel dependence.

The Makinex HPS delivers outcomes and results that help companies meet their sustainability goals. The system doesn’t rely on other energy sources or other elements of the process to come together, it can be commissioned on site in less than 5 minutes and supply instant power. In the main, the HPS delivers a great outcome for the environment, cost savings and efficiency.

A recent case study conducted by Makinex showcases the value of the system. One of their customers in northern NSW, using a 45kVA HPS, reduced their diesel consumption by 99% over a 3-month summer period. They used just 30 litres of diesel over the 3 months, unlike some traditional diesel-powered methods which can use that amount in just 6 hours.

“Our system provides a considerable financial benefit to the customer, and those that have bought or are hiring units currently are coming back for more,” says Weaver. “We have now shifted our focus over to our supply chain and production. We’re investing more in that area so that we can fulfil the need that the market is creating for us, so that’s exciting in itself.”

“The industry has a high expectation for quality products that last, so we often over- engineer and over-design our products to ensure they’re reliable and of the highest quality.”

Energy levels and fuel consumption can be monitored, and noise levels can be controlled, making HPS intelligent and transparent.

The HPS product, over its development cycle, has morphed into the company’s recent launch of a sub-brand – Makinex Renewables – where they are designing and building sustainable and renewable technologies for the construction sector.

Weaver says there’s a few products in the pipeline that the market hasn’t seen yet that came about from conversations with their customers.

“We’ve been talking to our customers and asking questions around what they’re powering and how we can provide better products. It’s amazing how many ideas have come back to the table, and it allows us to continue to develop great products in the renewables space,” he adds.

The continual pursuit of a better way is something that Makinex strives for and has been the catalyst for shifting the business to create sustainable, renewable products. The company has developed a reputation in the industry for bringing quality products to market, and their latest HPS is just the beginning of Makinex’s renewable offerings.

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