New Off grid system

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Re: New Off grid system

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:17 pm

Hi Jim, welcome to the Energy Matters Forums :)

You are better off sticking with reliable equipment, which usually comes with a reputation for reliability and a long warranty period. Off-grid power systems can be more reliable than the mains power if planned properly and good quality gear is used, I know mine certainly has been over the years, where neighbours often have no power for extended periods after storms.

Inverters such as Latronics or Selectronics, both made in Australia are certainly worth considering, as are other brands such as Outback Power Systems and SMA, and for charge controllers Outback, Midnite Solar or Morningstar-Tristar are good quality. Make sure you get a maximum power point tracking type controller, as they deliver significantly more energy from your PV array, particularly in winter, when you often need as much energy as you can get.

A LiFePO4 battery is definitely the way to go- much more efficient than Lead-acid, so you effectively have more usable energy from your array. Pre-packaged storage systems are still very expensive, but CALB or Winston cells can be made up into a battery of your desired capacity for a reasonable cost. The cost over the life of the battery compares very favourably with good quality Lead-acid, ie significantly less expensive per kWh delivered. The cost of Lithium storage is likely to decrease within a year, as the Tesla factory starts producing home energy storage systems, but I dont really know when they will hit the Oz market.

If you are not too far from Qld, EM has a stack of new Solar Frontier thin film panels on clearance at the Brisbane warehouse, see the listing here: used-wind-solar/topic6069.html
http://gunagulla.com Loomberah weather and astronomy including live solar radiation intensity and UV + Gunagulla aquaponics, organic eggs and cherries
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