In another topic, someone looking to install an off-grid system commented that it would be great to have a layout of all the components needed to have off-grid power. I'm going to have a crack at it based on what I have learnt in the last 3 years of being off-grid.
Criteria is for “typical” family power usage, and sub 25k to set-up. Here is what I came up with:
Winston 380aH cells * 16 (EVworks) $8640
Copper bar for links (local supplier) $140
Batrium BMS system (Batrium) $450
LVD contactor Gigavac GX14BC (EVworks) $210
High voltage disconnect (GSL electronics) $220
Outback Flexmax FM60 charge controller (ebay etc..) $1000
Latronics inverter 3.5kw (ebay) $3000 **example only, a few good ones around this price available
Kubota lowboy 6kva diesel generator (Kubota dealer will be cheaper than ebay) $6000
240v to 48v 50A Zivan battery charger (online) $1100
Trina 260W panels * 8 (pick your supplier and haggle) $2100
Panel racking (ebay etc) $400
Solar panel wiring $250
Bussman main circuit breaker (online) $200
Noark solar panel breaker (ebay) $60
Fuse enclosure, breakers for mains supply / 240 charger (ebay) $50
Wiring from batteries to bussman to gigavac to inverter 0AWG wire and terminals $100
Wiring from charge controller to HVDC to bussman 4AWG wire and terminals $50
There is still the need to house all the components, and the knowledge to connect the system, and on top of that you will need to pay an electrician / solar installer if you need to. My system is configured in this manner, but some of the components are different. This (apart from getting a bigger inverter and charge controller), is how I would set-up a system if I was starting from scratch.
Please note that this is not a “how-to” on setting up a system, and the prices are based on my research, not accurate quotes. When setting up your own system, make sure you do your own research.
I acknowledge that many disagree with the useage of $7700 worth of budget to include a generator as an integral part of the system, so let them put up their “sub 25k” system in this thread, and weigh up how you would use the system. My reasoning is that if you include a generator, you keep the battery bank size minimized, you keep the solar panel wiring minimized (one breaker), only need one charge controller, etc. Last winter we had nearly 2 weeks where the sun was virtually non-existant, so no matter what we would have needed a generator in any case with a 400aH bank.