Solar Power Off-Grid
Off-grid solar power systems (stand-alone power systems) are specifically designed for autonomous solar energy generation, and incorporate batteries and generators to maintain a constant supply of electricity to your home, shack or farm. These systems are for the most part fully automatic with digital monitoring and minimal maintenance.
Off-grid solar could be the right solution for you if you live in a remote location and are unable to access grid-connected electricity, or are choosing to live a self-sufficient lifestyle with minimal impact on our environment (see the solar panel diagram below).
How does off-grid solar power work?
- The solar power is generated by solar panels (eg. Sunpower Solar Panels Tasmania or REC Solar Panels Tasmania) fixed to your roof, shed, or other constructed framework, where the sunlight is converted into energy.
- The electricity generated is fed via a power controller into a bank of batteries that store the power to be used when required.
- The power can then converted to mains electricity by a stand-alone inverter, or if you have DC appliances, the power can be used directly from the batteries.
- The stand-alone inverter delivers 240 volt AC electricity, which is used by normal household appliances such as washing machine, fridge, television etc.
Factors to consider
There are a few things to think about when considering an off-grid solar system:
- The amount of power you require
- What will be your largest load
- Your budget
- The available space for your solar panels to be installed
- Available storage and location for your battery bank
- Could wind or hydro power be suitable
Off-grid systems are measured in terms of the power generating capacity (kilowatts), battery size (voltage and amp-hour capacity) and design load (kWh/day). MODE Electrical will discuss all of these considerations with you and help you understand your current energy consumption, then advise on the most efficient and efficient system to suit your needs.
Below are two examples of the components needs for off-grid systems based on the size of the dwelling. There are additional factors to consider, however for illustration purposed these can give you an idea of what may be needed,
For a small 2 bedroom shack, that is only used as a secondary dwelling may require:
- 3x 200Watt solar modules
- 40Amp charge controller
- 1200Watt inverter/charger
- 400AmpHour 48volt battery bank
For a larger 4 bedroom house that is the primary residence for a family may require up to:
- 20x 250Watt solar modules
- 5000Watt charge controller
- 5000Watt inverter/charger
- 1600AmpHour 48Volt battery bank
Shacks & Weekenders
These systems are specifically designed for shacks and weekenders with sporadic battery use. They are not designed for off-grid homes with daily load over an extended period of time.
System designs are fully flexible and can be tailored to your specific requirements.
All systems detailed include:
- 275W REC solar modules, installed direct to tin roof
- Victron EasySolar: Inverter/Charger, MPPT, Battery Monitor
- Full River (6V) sealed AGM battery bank (maintenance free)
- Battery Box
- Generator Inlet (GenSet not included)
- Main switchboard and controls
- Installation within 100km radius of Launceston.
Basic – very basic system. Run lights, phone chargers, laptop, small TV
Small – Run lights, phone chargers, laptop, small TV, bar fridge.
Medium – Run lights, phone chargers, laptop, TV, small fridge/freezer.
Large – Run lights, phone chargers, laptop, TV, standard fridge/freezer.
The larger the system, the more effectively it will manage periods of prolonged use.