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Delving into Greenwood Solution’s recent design, installation and commissioning of an on-grid solar battery storage system in Trentham, Victoria from the perspective of an environmentally aware customer.
System design is looked at and discussed with consideration of rural living where there are regular challenges with grid stability and extreme weather events and how solar and batteries can achieve peace of mind in regards to a reliable continuous AC energy source.
Diahanne lives in Trentham and experiences regular brownouts and blackouts due to poor grid stability and this usually occurs at incredibly inconvenient times: once a week usually, about an hour before dinner time.
Instead of sole reliance on the supplier in the area, the family always had aspirations since moving to Trentham to become more self-reliant concerning energy creation and utilisation. They wanted to take control, using the grid as an adjunct to a well designed solar and battery storage based renewable energy system.
Di’s vision did not include a fossil fuel fuel component, a generator, to alleviate her grid issues, her focus was on a more sustainable T.E.M.S. (total energy management strategy) approach that utilised existing proven solar and on grid battery storage technologies.
Building a relationship
Di and her husband initially made contact with Greenwood solutions about a year and a half ago before we installed the system.
The Greenwood Solutions CEC Accredited design team of on grid - off grid specialists worked together to make a system that really defined their needs as Di wanted a solar system with battery storage which was largely set and forget but with built in functionality, combined with Greenwood’s training, to monitor the system and to know that it’s working the way she wants it to.
The initial aim was to be net zero with their energy usage, which is almost where they’ve landed and Di’s ultimate goal, less reliance on fossil fuels, to have a system where the solar and batteries work in conjunction with the grid and are always on standby in case of a blackout, has been achieved.
The entire property is based around sustainable principles and has chickens, a vegetable garden fed via rainwater tanks and a greenhouse for a true feeling of sustainability. In addition, due to the property’s rural aspect, a comprehensive sprinkler system was installed to combat any fire events.
Greenwood installed a 14.4kW PV solution with 28 kWh of battery storage and now brownouts and blackouts are now a thing of the past.
The system is set up through Arvio monitoring which allows Di and her family, as well as Greenwood, the opportunity to see in real-time how things are performing.
In the event of the grid going down the household and Greenwood are notified and load consumption patterns can be adjusted accordingly if required.
The components selected were:
- The Selectronic SP PRO battery inverter, which is Australian made, alongside
- 7 x PowerPlus 48V / 4kWh (28kWh total) lithium iron phosphate batteries (the safest of all the lithium solutions!)
Austrian made Fronius inverters were used for the solar component due to their outstanding quality and technical back up in conjunction with a little over 14 kW of Seraphim solar panels mounted on both the shed and main house.
The system fully backs up all house circuits and has been designed for tariff optimisation and backup in case of grid failure.
It took Di and her family some time to find a system design which truly fits their needs and this was achieved with the Greenwood design team.
The system design is modular so it can be augmented later if it needs to be, with the ability to add further batteries and/or solar in the future.
“Greenwood Solutions were really great to work with because regardless of what my question was, or regardless of whether or not it was around a particular element or particular item, everyone worked inside the company, so instead of having to consult with a thousand different people if something needed to be changed or even optimised in a slightly better way, all of that expertise was inside the company so I could be sure I was getting the right mix of what I needed in technology and expertise wise.”
- PANELS: 36 X 400W Seraphim SRP-400-BMA Panels
- SIZE: 14.4kWp
- INVERTER: 2 X Fronius 6.2-1 Selectronic Certified
- INVERTER CHARGER: Selectronic SP Pro Series 7.5kW inverter charger 48v
- BATTERIES: 8 X ECO4840p 48v 4.0kWh batteries (28kWh capacity)
- BATTERY CABINET: 1 X Power Plus PIR10C Indoor Cabinet IP21 Rated
- RACKING: Clenergy, corrugated roof mount
- ANALYTICS: Arvio Monitoring
What does the future look like?
There has been some talk in the future that this system can completely disconnect from the grid with the addition of increased energy storage capacity, more photovoltaics and possibly a backup generator, but for the moment the family is bathing in the knowledge that their current system can cope with whatever an unstable grid can throw at them. This is a system that has been designed with their specific needs in mind, using that wonderful energy source, the sun!