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.

PDF Case Study

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

PDF Case Study

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

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

PDF Case Study

Suburban Blackout Proofing and Energy Security

Solar panels

Objective:

Needed partial backup power for the home for specialist medical equipment, as well as the added benefit of reducing energy costs

Load Analysis:

14.6-14.8kWh average daily winter/summer demand; small 3.4kW design surge

Site Considerations:

Limited northern and eastern roof areas available for PV; Backup system in garage

System Design:

  • OEA Grid Autonomy 60-48 (Import Only) System – 6kW 1-phase output
  • OEA Adapt mount + storage cabinet – installs in customers garage
  • 15kWh backup battery storage
  • 5kW Polycrystalline solar array split between north & east roof

Solar PV Cell Expert Invests in Energy Storage Independence

LG Solar Panels

Objective:

Customer was seeking a level of energy independence for their home, while freeing up an existing solar system to export more back to the grid

Load Analysis:

11.7-14.1kWh average daily winter/summer demand; 7.7kW design surge

Site Considerations:

Storage system to be installed under staircase inside home

System Design:

  • OEA Grid Autonomy 80-48 (Import Only) System – 8kW 1-phase output
  • OEA Adapt mount + storage cabinet
  • 15kWh sealed gel battery storage
  • 4kW Monocrystalline solar array on optimised north roof

Off-Grid ‘Tree Change’ For A Young Family

Solar panel array

Objective:

Customers moving to existing country off-grid home with insufficient existing standalone power system

Load Analysis:

15.6-16.7kWh average daily winter/summer demand; 7.2kW design surge

Site Considerations:

Only east 2nd storey roof exposed; No shed or equipment room available

System Design:

  • OEA Complete 80-48 System – 8kW 1-phase output
  • OEA EnergyBox System enclosure – side wall installation
  • 57kWh sealed gel battery storage
  • 5kW Polycrystalline solar array on 2nd storey eastern surface + 3.25kW on optimal northern tilts
  • 11KVA backup generator (autostart)

Sheep Station Diesel Offset

remote battery storage system

Objective:

The station was running a large, inefficient diesel generation system 24/7 for their power supply, the renewable off-grid installation goal is significantly reduce generator operation costs and provide increase power self sufficiency for the the remote site.

Considerations included detailed load analysis under multiple occupation scenarios (Eg. Shearing) and understanding the most suitable solar and battery equipment locations given the large and complex power distribution network.

System Design: 

The system included robust system components with suitable tolerances for the harsh, hot and dusty conditions of the site. A diesel generator was incorporated into the system as a backup power source when required.

  • 2 x SMA SI8.0 Inverter Chargers
  • 79kWh Sonnenschein Battery Storage
  • 11.5kW Trina Solar 260W Modules
  • SMA SMC10000TL Solar Inverter
  • SMA SB5000TL Solar Inverter
  • 20kVA Diesel Generator

Project Outcome:

After the installation, fuel savings will achieve a return on investment in as little as 4 years. Additional benefits included massive reduction in onsite noisefromthegenerator,andtheneed to transport large volumes of diesel to the site. The system requires minimal user maintenance, and has made the property far easier to manage and operate for the client.