Energy Independence On The Grid

Objective:

The customer wanted to maximise all available roof spaces on the property to harness as much solar production as possible. This would provide both increased energy savings, and improved blackout proofing by maintaining solar generation if a blackout occurred during the day.

Energy security with no compromise on lifestyle

Blackout protection was needed across all 3 phases, with a system output capacity that would mean no compromise to the customer’s lifestyle. Along with the flexibility to expand the system in future if needed.

The customer was dissatisfied that other companies could only meet his goals partially, or advised that what they wanted couldn’t be done. The customer wanted a tailored solution that met all his objectives.

 

Site Considerations:

Roof space available for solar installation included both the house, and two sheds. Additional catenary wiring was required to facilitate this. The steep driveway and complex nature of the installation meant that an on-site custom fabrication was required.

 

System Design:

  • 3 x Selectronic SP PRO SPMC482 Inverter Charger
  • 4 x BYD B-Box 13.8 LV PRO (55kWh)
  • 126 x Trina Solar 310W solar modules (39kW)
  • 3 x Fronius Primo 8.2-1 solar inverter
  • 1 x Fronius Primo 5.0 solar inverter

Edson Piggery

The property SWER Network connection for Edson Piggery was insufficient for their needs – both now and for any future expansion. This made off grid an attractive option.

The off grid system would need to power the Piggery feed lots, farrowing sheds, staff facilities, and growing pens.

Edson Piggery secured funding through the Coles Nurture Fund, for the installation of the power system – as well as other sustainability enhancements at the facility.

System Design

Ground mounted solar was deemed the most appropriate for the site, and land was prepared for the installation of the arrays.

A new shed was custom-fitted on site to house the battery and inverter equipment.

  • 296 x Trina 310W Modules (91.76kW)
  • Ground Mounted Frames at 30° pitch
  • 2 x SelectSun 40k Solar Inverter
  • 3 x Selectronic SPPro Inv/Ch
  • 120 x BAE VRLA Batteries (535kWh)

Project Outcome

Stringent project management enabled a streamlined installation process, despite unavoidable product supply delays that occured.

The off grid solution provided will generate enough energy to power the entire farm, slashing long-term power costs and cutting emissions.

A seperate grid connected solar system was also installed on the adjoining home.

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Port Authority Off-Grid Security & Communications

Reliable and stable power was required for critical surveillance & access control equipment – including site access gates and turnstiles – over two remote Pilbara port sites, which export vast quantities of high quality minerals.

Mains power wasn’t readily available, and powering solely via diesel generators was cost prohibitive and a potential power quality risk to sensitive equipment.

Reliability, clean energy, and the ability to achieve complete redundancy in the event of extreme weather events was critical for on-going operations.

System Design

Given the sites remoteness, which also lies within a wind region D classification, specific system design and fabrication was required to meet all relevant engineering principles.

Custom equipment housing included HVAC to provide a stable environment for system operation, ensuring longevity as constant high temperatures were a concern.

  • 162 x REC 320W Modules (51.84kW)
  • Transverse Strip Ground Mount Array
  • Selectronic SelectSun 40k PV Inverter
  • 45kW 1-3P Selectronic Inv/Ch Output
  • 455kWh L-ion BYD Battery Storage
  • 2 x IP55 Customised Enclosures

Project Outcome

At the time of installation, this is the largest BYD B-Box Pro installation in Australia

Off site prefabrication and comprehensive system testing was completed before deployment ensuring successful project fulfilment. This approach also reduced freight costs and on site operational disturbance.

15.8 tonne of CO2 will be saved for each year of system operation.

The installation provides 100% self sufficiency to the site, ensuring full operations can continue without the intervention of personnel.

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Manufacturer Reduces Energy Costs

Solar for manufacturing business

 

A well established manufacturing facility with high power usage was seeking to reduce their ongoing power costs. An independent financial assessment was completed to confirm a solar installation would be the most viable investment.

The installation needed to be completed at a time when production lines would not to be effected, and equipment location was of importance to maintain the existing work areas. Plant operators required instantaneous visuals for generation, consumption, and logging historical data for reviews.

System Design

The system was tailored to maximise self consumption from the highest yielding roof areas, with a degree of insulation benefits throughout summer further adding to property efficiencies.

A different electricity retailer was selected to offer surplus solar feed in credits for non-operational periods.

  • 560 x Trina 270W Modules (151.2kW)
  • 4 x Fronius ECO 25.0-3 Solar Inverters
  • 1 x Fronius Symo 20.0-3 Solar Inverters
  • IntelliPro Grid Protection Unit
  • Fronius LGC Compliant Monitoring
  • Combiner Box and BOS
  • Custom Inverter Wall Fitout

Project Outcome

The system is predicted to save almost $370,000 in ten years – and pay for itself in under 5yrs. The installation was thoughtfully planned so production and operation were unaffected.

A detailed monitoring platform was included so the plant operators have an instantaneous visual on generation and consumption, and saved historical data for ongoing reviews.

Read More Here

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Off-Grid with Lithium-ion Batteries

off grid lithium ion system

Objective:

The customer was building a new home and would have had a large cost of connection to the electricity grid. They wanted a system that would be hassle-free and comfortably meet their needs, and to use the latest technology.

Site Considerations:

The shed was the idea place for the system to be installed, with the batteries stacked on top of each other to safe on space. Being in a cold climate area, allowances needed to be made for low solar input in winter.

System Design: 

  • SMA Sunny Island 8.0 Inverter Charger
  • BMZ ESS7.0 lithium-ion battery unit (20kWh)
  • 32 x Tindo Solar 260W solar modules
  • 2 x SMA Sunny Boy 4000TL
  • Tilted roof-mount array framing

Small Off-Grid Replacement System

Small off grid system

Objective:

This couple had been living with a 10 year old, 24V off-grid system that was on the property when they bought it. They battled with unreliable and insufficient power for as long as they could before looking into getting a replacement system. The entire system needed to be replaced, and they also wanted to have their existing Honda generator wired for auto-start ability.

Site Considerations:

With relatively light loads, only a small off-grid system was needed. Some existing switches needed to be replaced, and a satellite dish needed to be removed to make room for the new solar array.

System Design: 

  • Victron MultiPlus inverter charger
  • BAE VRLA sealed gel batteries (13kWh)
  • 6 x Trina Solar 260W solar modules
  • Victron BlueSolar charge controller
  • Tilted roof-mount array framing

 

Off-Grid ZCell Installation

Alan Noble with his ZCell batteries

A residential energy system at an off-grid property in SA is the first completed customer deployment of ZCell batteries.

Previously mains power was available in only one corner of the hilly 100-hectare Willunga property, which is owned by Alan Noble, Engineering Director for Google Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Noble said extending mains power further across the hilly terrain would be substantially more expensive and less flexible than an off-grid solution. For less than 20% of the cost, two ZCell batteries can now store a combined energy capacity of 20 kilowatt hours (kWh), powered by solar panels on the roof of a large implement shed.

The batteries, which were integrated with 12 Australian-made Tindo Solar panels and two Victron battery inverters by ZCell installer Off-Grid Energy Australia, continued working uninterrupted during the storm-caused power failure that blacked out the rest of South Australia.

Mr. Noble said he had installed the ZCells to provide him with flexibility, safety and affordability. “We wanted the flexibility to build anywhere on the site without having overhead power lines,” he said.

“Secondly, we have power when we need it. If there is a bushfire here, we can power our pumps properly whereas electricity distributor SA Power Networks has a policy of actually shedding power during high bushfire risk days, so precisely when you need the power, they shut it down. Without the ZCells, we’d be running around trying to fire up generators during hot days, which is not practical.

“Also, we want to make this property as automated as possible. I want it so we can move water automatically, based on the power to turn on pumps, to turn on sprinklers and turn on any fire defences. We can only do that if we have our own on-site power.

“Last, but not least, I really like the idea of being self-sufficient. The way I see it, grid power is getting more and more expensive, so this is an investment that in the long term is going to be worth it.”

Mr. Noble said he had chosen Redflow’s ZCell zinc-bromine flow batteries rather than lithium-based alternatives for two reasons. “Firstly, they can cope with a high heat environment, which is not true of a lot of batteries,” he said.

“The other benefit is that you can have them just sitting there. Longer term, that’s less of an issue, but over the next couple of years while we’re not living here full-time, it’s nice to know that I’m not going to destroy the batteries if they’re fully discharged.

Redflow Case Study

Remote Food Facility

remote_vanuatu

Objective:

Earth Science Laboratories needed a small system to power a food facility in a remote part of Vanuatu.

Site Considerations:

System needed to be ‘supply only’ for installation by the company locally. Off-Grid Energy needed to complete the system design, prefabrication, programming, and testing.

System Design: 

  • Victron EasySolar with integrated 24V inverter/charger & solar regulator
  • Sonnenschein VRLA sealed gel batteries (4.3kWh)
  • 4 x Jinko 260W Solar Panels (1.04 kWp)
  • Tilted roof-mount solar racking (adjustable)
  • Victron BMV702 battery monitor

Smart Battery with Tesla Model-S Charging

advertiser battery storage article

Objective:

The client wanted to achieve a high level of solar self consumption and grid independence over the entire year. There was a requirement for intelligent control of specified loads in relation to weather forecasts, solar production, and battery storage levels.

Blackout protection in the event of grid failure, along with remote system access, monitoring, and control of system was also required.

Site Considerations:

It was important to produce a clean aesthetic because of the system’s high visibility. Space efficiency measures were needed to allow system installation next to the electric vehicle (EV) charger.

System Design: 

Intelligent load management allows large appliances to be automatically switched on when batteries are full during high solar generation. This ensures the clients Tesla EV charging is only activated when it will not draw from the batteries or the grid. This function can also be activated manually via smart phone or online.

  • 10kW ground mounted solar array
  • SMA Sunny Tripower 10000TL
  • 3-Phase SMA Sunny Island 8.0’s
  • 26kWh BMZ Li-ion battery storage
  • SMA Home Manager monitoring
  • Existing 15kW solar array

Project Outcome:

The client was extremely happy with the intelligent load management, blackout protection for energy security, and the system design optimising solar production for his house loads and Tesla Model-S EV charging.

The system was neatly installed in the preferred location, and the generation from the new solar array is exceeding that of the larger existing array.

“I am impressed with the symmetry and seamless control of loads not directly connected to the inverter/charger units [EV charging & hot water], and the way the battery capacity augments between all loads and 3 phases.” – Keith, Adelaide Hills SA

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