Spinifex Arts Studio

Off Grid Spinifex Arts Studio

Load Analysis
Ave Winter Demand: 12.03kWh/day
Design Surge: 4.42kW

Objectives & Site Considerations

The Spinifex Arts Studio is located on the edge of the remote township of Tjuntjuntjara Community, in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia. While the studio is walking distance to the centre of town, it is not connected to existing power infrastructure. The absence of power hindered the studio’s ability to run efficiently and made on-site management and administration impossible.

The high cost to put in one or two power poles in order to get power to site made a standalone solar system financially attractive.

System Design

  • 24 x BAE VRLA Sealed Gel Batteries (46.4kWh)
  • 18 x Tindo Solar 260W solar modules (4.68kW)
  • 1 x SMA Sunny Boy solar inverters
  • 1 x Kubota Lowboy diesel generator

Project Outcome

Off-Grid Energy Australia helped Spinifex Arts with the design of their system, and liaised with Port Containers to ensure the container was appropriately modified for the installation of the off-grid system. Power to the new office will increase capacity for the art centre to:

  • deliver training
  • improve governance
  • develop new artforms
  • educate the artists in what happens to their works once they leave the art centre
  • teach the artists about SAM (the database)
  • provide networking opportunities with artists and art centres outside the community
  • connect artists and arts workers to peak bodies and industry professional development

Customer Quote

“[The system] has been running perfectly since October 2016. We have [Off-Grid Energy Australia] booked for a maintenance check-up trip next year. The power has enabled the office and studio to have lights, powerpoints, usb charging points and connection to the internet via the new NBN Skymuster satelite. It really is AMAZING!!!”

To learn more about the Spinifex Arts Studio, check out their website: https://www.spinifex.org.au/spinifex-arts

And to see the artists in action, check out their Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/spinifexarts/

Harmony House

Harmony House Rural Property Solar Panels 1

Objectives & Site Considerations
Richard and his family wanted to build a house that was as sustainable as possible – relying on their own solar energy to run their home.
Using the Design for Place house plans from the YourHome website, they would make use of passive solar design (thermal mass, cross-ventilation and window placement) to reduce their energy requirements.

Load Analysis
Ave Summer Demand: 13.84kWh/day
Ave Winter Demand: 18.12kWh/day
Design Surge: 7.33kW

System Design
1 x Selectronic SP PRO SPMC482 Inverter Charger
24 x BAE VRLA Sealed Gel Batteries (76.8kWh)
48 x REC Solar 290W solar modules (13.92kW)
2 x Fronius Primo 6.0-1 solar inverters
Selectronic ‘Quick View’ monitoring with tablet display

Project Outcome
The winter energy production generously accommodates the household usage, and summer production far exceeds what is used. The battery bank has rarely been below 80%, and Richard has future plans to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) with at-home charging.

Harmony House appears on the YourHome website https://www.yourhome.gov.au/case-studies/Inverloch-Victoria, and was a feature house at this year’s Sustainable House Day https://sustainablehouseday.com/listing/harmony-house/

Sustainable House Day Video;

For a fantastic in-depth look at Richard’s house-building journey, check out his website here: https://harmonyhouse.com.au/power.html

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.

PDF Case Study

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.

PDF Case Study

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

Microgrid System on Luxury Farm Estate

containerised batteries

Objective:

The system was required to provide the equivalent reliability, capacity (kW), and energy (kWh) availability of the grid, whilst maintaining an economic advantage.

The buildings on the property which required power included horse stables, heated swimming pool, bore pump, workshop, 2x guesthouses, painters studio, and of course the main residence.

Site Considerations:

No consistent view of the solar array or equipment building, hear no noise from the backup generator at the main living areas of the property, and not disturb the resident wombats.

System Design: 

The system design provides an average yearly solar contribution of 117%, peak delivery capacity of 300A per phase, with a 250kVA super silenced generator backup. AC coupled configuration allows the inverter/charger, solar inverters and generator to ‘layer’ and provide high peak power capacity.

  • 264 x Trina 260W Modules (68kW)
  • Ground mounted frames at 30° pitch
  • 3 x SMA STP20000TL Solar Inverters
  • 18 x SMA SI8.0 Inv/Ch (144kW)
  • 144 x BAE PVV1800 VRLA Batteries
  • 250kVA FG Wilson diesel generator
  • SMA Multicluster 36 Box switchboard
  • SMA Webbox Monitoring system

Project Outcome:

Off site assembly of the containerised equipment housing allowed for cost reduction, quality control, and passive cooling techniques to be included. Significant ground-works removed system visibility from the main residence. Generator sound attenuation achieved 65dba at 7m distance, and efforts were made to ensure a high-quality aesthetic.

“Communication was excellent, the team was professional and had a great attention-to-detail. They made sure every step of the process was delivered on time, and without compromise.”

Off The Grid With An EV

Solar array installation

Objective:

Customer had a sizeable cost to connect to the grid, and also wanted a renewable source of power for his home. He also wanted his off grid system to be set up to accommodate his new EV so it would be charged via solar.

Site Considerations:

Shed available for solar and system install; EV charging managed directly from solar

System Design: 

  • OEA Complete 65-48 System
  • OEA Adapt mount – installs in customers shed
  • 40kWh sealed gel battery storage
  • 10.5kW Polycrystalline solar array on shed
  • SMA Webbox monitoring & communication system