Off Grid Systems
Climatecare Electrical & Solar specialise in Off- Grid & Remote Area Power systems and are Accreditited Installers of the world -class, Australian made, Selectronic, Multi-mode Inverters.
Is it Right for Me?
The idea of going “off the grid” is certainly appealing and one which gains momentum as the price of solar and batteries fall. The reality is that it’s not quite as simple as it sounds and for most people, an on-grid battery system or “Hybrid” will be the right choice. For others though, a grid connection is either not desirable or simply not feasible. If your dream property is more than 500m from the grid, an off-grid system might be the most practical solution.
How does it work?
Off Grid, Stand-alone Solar Power System / Stand-alone PV System / SPS / SAPS or RAPS (they all mean essentially the same thing), operate independent of the electricity grid and mainly used in remote areas where the utility grid is not available or if you would like to be independent of the utility grid.
- Energy is generated via solar panels, wind turbines, or other renewable energy source. The energy is then fed into a bank of specially designed batteries via a power conditioner such as a regulator or string inverter, to be stored for use when required.
- The power can then be used directly from the batteries with DC appliances, or converted to 240 volt alternating current AC electricity by a Multi-Mode Inverter/ Charger.
- The Multi-Mode Inverter/ Charger delivers 240 volt electricity, so normal household appliances such as washing machine, fridge, television etc can be used.
- A generator is often used to assist the system during times of low renewable input of high energy demand.
System sizes & costs
There are four factors you MUST consider. These are;
- Your budget – The size of the system is your choice
- Availablilty of renewable energy (space for Solar panels, shading, wind speed for Turbines etc.)
- Location for the storage of the Battery Packs.
- Your Lifestyle and needs – Are you comfortable with gas cooking or will the SPS system need to be sized to allow for electric cooking? Will you want to use air conditioning?
Systems are designed and measured in terms of 8 main factors.
- The generating capacity of the Renewable energy sources (kWH),
- Battery size (system voltage & amp-hour capacity)
- Battery Technology – The chosen technology will depend on your personal preference, usage pattern and budget
- Generator Type and Size
- Design Load (kWh / day/night). This is amount of energy you will use each day.
- Peak Load (kW) – This is how much power the system will be expected to have avaialable when many appliances are switched on at once.
- Surge Capacity – This is the brief yet high power demand placed on the system when inductive loads such as motors are switched on.
- Amount of Autonomy – This essentially means, how long can you run off the batteries if there was no renewable energy input.
What to consider
Reliability is the single most important factor when it comes to off-grid power. You don’t realise just how much we take electricity for granted until its not there. Even if you have a tight budget, its often better to choose quality over quantity.
Its also vital that you choose your Off Grid provider carefully as you will be relying on them, particularly if this is your first time off-grid. A Stand Alone system isn’t as simple as adding batteries to a Grid Connect system and there are a lot of inexperienced people out there trying to offer Off-Grid systems without enough experience and expertise to ensure you get a good reliable system that suits your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and photos of past work. Also be wary of companies offering “off the shelf” systems as they are unlikely to be suitable to your unique needs.
Contact us for a no obligation consultation to discuss your options, recommended size of system and best outcome for your budget. Whether its a micro system just to run a bore pump or a large system to run a whole island community, we have right solution for you.
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