Life Beyond The Grid: Learn All About Home Autonomy Systems
Do you ever wish that you never had to suffer another blackout ever again?
It almost sounds too good to be true, but for many people, this dream is quickly becoming a reality.
A grid-connected solar system can significantly lower your energy bills and your carbon footprint; however, as the name suggests, it still needs mains power to work. And so, if you have solar panels on your roof but don’t have a battery, you still have to put up with power cuts just like everyone else.
With rising energy costs and significant grid disruptions caused by bushfires, storms, and other major events, many people have installed home batteries to utilise more of their solar energy and provide backup electricity during a power cut.
And while these systems are a big step towards self-sufficiency, they can generally only provide emergency power to specific appliances – and for a limited amount of time.
Well, thanks to advances in solar and battery technology, grid-connected homeowners can now combine mains power with the self-reliance of off-grid solar – with a complete setup known as a home autonomy system.
What is an Autonomy System?
In simple terms, an autonomy system provides complete energy independence.
It’s the highest-capacity and most versatile systems available for on-grid use and is powerful enough to run your entire property using solar and batteries – with or without the grid. Each autonomy system features a generous solar array, a large battery bank, and an energy management system – ensuring that you can produce and store enough electricity to make it through the night without mains power.
Whereas standard battery or UPS (uninterrupted power supply) systems can run selected appliances for a few hours, autonomy systems can provide backup power to an entire property for days at a time.
Autonomy systems are intelligent, highly-optimised, and scalable – providing the foundation to disconnect from the grid entirely. You can simply add more solar panels and batteries in the future, and enjoy a mains-free lifestyle all year round.
And as the name suggests, the systems are entirely automated and customised to your unique energy use, living habits, and electricity demands.
How does an Autonomy System work?
On face value, an autonomy system looks similar to a grid-connected solar and battery system. But on closer inspection, it features intelligent hardware and software – combined with a larger system scale – to help eliminate the need for mains power altogether.
Solar panels generate electricity during the day, which automatically powers your property and charges your battery bank. When you need extra power – whether it be during the day, during a blackout, or at night – the batteries feed the property in the same way the grid normally would.
All of our autonomy systems include an online monitoring system – accessible via the web or app – which provides real-time information about your solar production, energy consumption, and battery capacity.
With complete visibility of your electricity generation, storage, and use, it’s easier than ever to run an efficient and sustainable home – with little to no energy costs.
What are the Benefits of a Home Autonomy System?
In essence, an autonomy system offers complete flexibility and a virtually endless supply of clean electricity – all without compromise. You still retain access to the electricity grid, but with enough solar and batteries in your system, you may only need to use it as a backup source of power.
Here are five of the main benefits of a home autonomy system:
1) Complete Energy Independence
A home autonomy system gives you the best of both worlds: it allows you to power your entire property from clean, renewable energy – but still keeps the grid as a backup if you need it. You can also incorporate an additional backup generator for ultimate peace of mind.
2) Backup Power for Days – Not Hours
Unlike standard battery backup systems that can only power selected appliances for a few hours, an autonomy system can run your entire property for days at a time. This significant energy reserve is particularly useful in the event of storms, bushfires, or extended blackouts.
3) Increased Peak Electricity Supply
By combining solar and batteries with energy from the grid, you can also benefit from a higher electricity supply. This increased energy access is particularly useful for properties running power-hungry equipment or machinery.
4) Scalable and Future-Proof
Autonomy systems are designed to grow with you as your needs change. If you need more electricity, you can connect more solar panels – and if you require more backup power, you can install more batteries. Our home autonomy systems can support up to 75 kWh of battery storage – enough to power most properties for days.
5) Reduce or Eliminate Your Carbon Footprint
An autonomy system allows you to turn Australia’s plentiful sunshine into clean, reliable electricity. Powered by solar and batteries, many of our customers live on renewable energy for weeks, months, or even years at a time.
What Equipment is in an Autonomy System?
There are several distinct components in a home autonomy system, each of which is selected to suit the specific design requirements and energy needs of your property.
Rooftop or ground-mounted solar panels provide daily energy generation for the property. For maximum performance and long-term peace of mind, we recommend leading brands such as LG, Trina, REC, and Australian-made Tindo solar panels.
Solar Inverters and Chargers
Solar inverters convert the DC electricity made by the solar panels into AC electricity so that it can be used by your home. For the most advanced functions and reliability, we recommend European-made SMA and Fronius solar inverters, or Australian-made Selectronic inverters.
Battery systems store excess solar generation and use it to power your property during the evening or provide extra electricity during the day. Batteries can also be charged from the grid, ensuring that your battery reserves are always full in the event of a blackout.
Our battery systems draw from different technologies depending on your requirements and budget, including lithium-ion and sealed gel cells.
Monitoring and Communications
Monitoring systems help you to make the most of your renewable energy by giving you a clear snapshot of your entire system. Via a wireless internet connection, you can view your solar production, household power consumption, battery state of charge, and many other essential features.
Optional Backup Generators
You can also select to install a petrol or diesel generator to provide additional backup power during extended blackouts or periods of bad weather. They are activated only when required and provide extra peace of mind.
Want to Learn More About Energy Independence?
With significant advancements in solar and battery technology – combined with the price reductions of renewable energy equipment – a complete home Autonomy System is now available to more people than ever before.
Off Grid Energy is Australia’s award-winning designer and installer of home solar and battery systems, combining the latest renewable technologies with years of industry experience.
If you’d like to discover more about our home autonomy systems, you can view a detailed case study of one of our recent installations.
Or, if you would like to explore installing a home autonomy system on your own property, get in touch with a member of our friendly team, and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.