Australian off-grid project upgrade shows power of modern PV

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From pv magazine Australia

PowerPlus Energy, an energy storage company, has collaborated with PV installer Springers Solar to complete an upgrade to an island solar and battery system in the Australian state of Queensland that vividly demonstrates how far clean technology has come.

Initially installed by PowerPlus Energy and Springers Solar in 2010 on K’Gari Island (formerly Fraser Island), the system included a 24 V off-grid solar and battery system, as well as eight 900 Ah Raylite wet cell batteries, configured for a total storage capacity of 43 kWh, with a 2.5 kW Selectronic inverter.

In 2010, the two-bedroom home required a reliable source of energy to power lighting, refrigeration, a hot water system, and internet, in order to have enough power to cover daily consumption requirements without needing to micro-manage usage.

Springers Solar said the first-generation 2.5 kW Selectronic Inverter charger operated reliably to convert solar energy harnessed from the PV array into a viable power source for the residence, with a total usable capacity of the battery system at 8.6 kWh per day, or 20% of the rated capacity of the total battery setup.

Recent upgrades have changed the game for the household. The upgrades began in 2023 and include 430 W Trina Solar Vertex S+ modules, 40 of them in total, covering the northeast-facing roof for a total solar capacity of 17.2 kW. The modules are designed to be resilient in the face of harsh environmental conditions.

Ten 48 V 4 kWh PowerPlus Eco4840P lithium-ion batteries for a total storage capacity of 40 kWh, are coupled with a 48 V 7.5 kW Selectronic battery inverter and Fronius Primo solar inverters for 13.2 kW of combined power conversion capacity. The system uses an AC-coupled configuration for substantial AC loads, and remote monitoring through Select.Live for real-time performance metrics to complete the improvements.

PowerPlus Eco4840P lithium-ion batteries are at the core of the power system, installed in a PowerPlus Slimline PEF12 IP54 wall cabinet – with a total lithium storage capacity of 40 kWh. The system enables a daily cycling of up to 32 kWh, ensuring consistent and continuous power supply.

The batteries’ high depth of discharge capability provides a reliable power source for approximately five days during adverse weather conditions, enhancing system autonomy.

The technical transition on the battery chemistry side, from wet cell to lithium-ion technology, signifies a significant advancement in energy storage and contributes to the system’s overall efficiency and reliability, said PowerPlus Energy.

The upgraded K’Gari system provides continuous access to solar energy, effectively powering the home day and night, highlighting the integration possibilities of cutting-edge technologies for long-term energy solutions.

The huge technological improvement that has been achieved in less than 14 years, from first install in 2010 to today on K’Gari, demonstrates how much more is possible and the bright future ahead.

Author: Ev Foley

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