South Australian blackout

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South Australian blackout

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:51 pm

The ongoing blackout for some South Australian residents has shown the value of battery backup with a solar system, and off-gridders may not have even known about the blackout until they saw it on the news. It's a bit like that here, I only find out about blackouts when talking to neighbours!

Despite attempts by some commentators and politicians to blame wind generators, one even saying there was no wind power because the wind was too strong, wind was actually supplying almost 900MW when the grid went down. As has been seen in other cases in Australia and overseas, the grid is designed to shut down under certain circumstances when there are major failures, in order to protect equipment. No matter how many coal or gas fired stations there could have been operating at the time, the grid would still have gone down.

I'm told there are still a lot of people without power in areas away from Adelaide, as no doubt it will take some time to replace the 20+ high voltage transmission towers that were destroyed by the high winds. Small backup generators are no doubt being put to use by some, but they should never be connected to a grid connected house without the correct switchgear to isolate them from the grid, as this could create a very dangerous situation for anyone working on downed power lines.

The reliance on centralised grid is often touted as a much more reliable way to deliver electricity, but examples such as this show that is no longer the case. Serious consideration is being given to micro-grids, which can detach from the main grid when a major failure occurs.

Right now there are only a limited range of options for battery backup for grid-connected systems, but the number of brands which will support it is growing. For a single phase system, SolarEdge + Tesla works right now, and Sonnenbatterie will have their Sonnen Protect backup unit available early next year, to pair with their recently released range of storage batteries.

Energy Matters has a page of useful information about the above and other battery storage systems here:
http://www.energymatters.com.au/residen ... y-systems/
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Re: South Australian blackout

Postby davidg » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:11 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:Right now there are only a limited range of options for battery backup for grid-connected systems, but the number of brands which will support it is growing. For a single phase system, SolarEdge + Tesla works right now, and Sonnenbatterie will have their Sonnen Protect backup unit available early next year, to pair with their recently released range of storage batteries.


The Solar edge with Tesla battery based on the diagram, should go offline when the grid fails. Personally I'd use Selectronic and retrofit it to the Solar-edge system, but that's me. It definitely works though I've installed and retrofitted them in the past works a treat. Even a couple in SA the owners has been very amused at power failures, I checked in the on one of them yesterday to see how it was going, it was working perfectly. :D
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Re: South Australian blackout

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:21 pm

Yes, I see what you mean, but having a read through the page, it only talks about a non-backup system - which is what it shows.
A different confguration required for backup.
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Re: South Australian blackout

Postby offgridQLD » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:27 am

Yes, that that little ignorant dig that our PM had on renewable energy projects in SA just had me thinking :roll: . Transmission lines strung across the country are so venerable to natural and man made events.

My brother in law was staying with us and had a flight booked timed to land back in Adelaide just as everything unfolded.Great timing hey :lol:

Lets just say that even though he only lives about 5km from the Airport it was a bit of task for him to get home. I had to laugh when he mentioned there could be flooding from 25mm of rain in one day :? We call that a dust settling sprinkle in QLD :lol:

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Re: South Australian blackout

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:13 am

Indeed 25mm wont have much effect around here either, unless the ground is already saturated.

Another page regarding backup battery systems has been published here:
http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewab ... ts-em5683/
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