Off Grid Solar

You may be asking yourself why you should purchase your off-grid system from Solar N Sat.  There’s no question that you can find many of these products online from many pop-up websites but do you really know what you’re getting or if it will meet your specific needs?

Our philosophy is simple – we know what we sell.  Solar N Sat has been designing and helping customers all over Australia with their customized renewable energy systems for 10 years.  We have 3 offgrid accredited staff to ensure you have a well designed system to meet your needs for many years to come. Please be sure to ask your offgrid solar retailer to see their CEC accreditation ID card to ensure your system is design correctly, a lot of companies have no accredited staff and just use someone else to sign off after the job is completed!

Our Promise to You

Every one of our techs live with at least some of the products that we feature on our website and in our catalog.  When you order from us, you’re not just getting products we believe in, you’re getting life-long support from our team of experts.  Your questions will get answered and your needs will be met.  It is our goal to leave you completely satisfied.

We offer FREE custom design service for your alternative energy system as well as FREE after-sale technical support for the life of the system – it’s what has helped make us the most trusted off-grid power supplier.  Let us work for you! Call one of our stores and ask for the Offgrid Specialist!

 

THE PROCESS

Sun shining on solar modules produces DIRECT CURRENT electricity, or DC, the only kind of power stored in batteries. Often this is 24 volt DC, the same as used in large trucks. Larger systems may be designed for 48 volt DC,  this just means combining same 24v solar modules in pairs for 48 volts, or larger quantities in series to be then changed directly to 240 AC. Windturbines in this website also produce DC for charging batteries.

This DC power is stored in DEEP CYCLE LEAD-ACID BATTERIES, which give back the electricity as needed, even when no power is being produced. Like a bank account, power put into batteries over a period of time can be taken out more quickly if a lot is needed. Like a bank account the total amount of power you withdraw cannot be more than you put in, or the account will be depleted. Moreover, lead-acid batteries need to be frequently 100% fully charged to remain in good condition. They should never be drawn completely down to empty. Because of these needs, to get the most years from your batteries requires some supervision by the owner.

The INVERTER is a major component that converts the 24 or 48 volt DC current from the battery into 240 volt AC current, the same as grid power for standard household lights, outlets, and appliances. Most solar homes use primarily 240 volt AC produced by the inverter. Sometimes a small solar electric RV, boat, or cabin may have no inverter, and use only DC wiring and appliances. If there are a number of consecutive days without sunshine, the owner, being aware of the weather, checks the batteries. If the charge level is low, an engine driven generator may be started to recharge the batteries in order to keep the whole system working. A battery charger plugs into 240 volt AC from the generator producing low voltage DC to charge the battery. The generator is shut down after the batteries have been recharged. This process is automated in some power systems. (Battery chargers in Recreational Vehicles are called converters).

THE COMPONENTS

SOLAR MODULES are installed in groups of 1 to 18+ modules on a solar mount, which in turn attaches to a building, or atop a metal posts in the yard. Together this is called a solar array. Each solar module is wired to the other modules in that array by sunlight tolerant solar interconnect wiring. Several arrays may be wired to a solar combiner box where they are all connected to heavier wires taking the power to the battery and equipment room. 

A CHARGE CONTROLLER is a component receiving the power from the solar array, and controlling the flow of power to the battery. To prevent battery damage from overcharging, the charge control automatically cuts back, stops, or diverts the charge when batteries become full. A charge control may have manual control switches and may have meters or lights to show the status of the charging process. 

BATTERIES receive and store DC electrical energy, and can instantly supply large surges of stored electricity as needed to start or run heavy power appliances that the solar panels alone could not power. This large power capability can be a fire hazard just like grid power, so fuses and circuit breakers on every circuit connected to a battery are essential. Battery size is chosen for both surge power requirements and for the amount of reserve power needed. Typically, 4 to 24 batteries weighing 250 to 3000kgs are enclosed in a battery box with a appropriate ventilatoin to the outside. 

The INVERTER is the major electronic component of a power system. It converts DC power stored in batteries to 240 volt AC, standard household power. Short, heavy cables with a large fuse or circuit breaker carry battery power to the inverter. After conversion to AC, power from the inverter usually connects into the circuit breaker box of the house in place of grid power lines. The house circuit breaker box diverts power to lights, appliances, and power outlets of the house. The inverters we offer for home power come in ratings from 300 to 7500 watts. 

A STANDBY INVERTER/CHARGER is an inverter that also has a battery charger and transfer relay built in. When the input terminals of a inverter/charger receive power from an outside source of AC (a generator or grid power) the inverter stops producing AC power from the batteries, and instead passes generator or grid AC power straight through to the house. At the same time it uses the generator or grid power to recharge the batteries. Some inverter/chargers will auto-start the generator when batteries need charging or in the case of high consumer load. 

A petrol/diesel GENERATOR producing 240 volt power is usually part of the system. This is a second source of AC power and a backup for charging the battery when there is a shortfall in solar, a temporary need for additional power for construction or visitors, or in case of breakdown of other equipment. Just starting the generator begins the inverter charging process. The best generators start automatically or by push-button from the house.
A generator is located outside, usually in its own shed at least 10 meters away to avoid noise. For reasons of health and safety, it should not go in a basement or garage. AC power from the generator goes through a circuit breaker, then is wired into the system to run battery charger/s as well as supply the AC power to the house whenever the generator runs. Since both battery charger and AC transfer relay are usually part of a standby inverter, the generator power usually connects only to the AC INPUT terminals of the inverter, NOT to the house breaker box!

FUSES or CIRCUIT BREAKERS are necessary in all DC wiring between the batteries and other power system components described, but not shown in the drawing. This prevents fires and equipment damage in event of a malfunction. Breakers may be separate components in their own box, or might be built into a power center. In contrast, the AC breaker box for household wiring is part of the house wiring, not usually included with power generating equipment. 

METERS, like the gas and temperature gauges in a car, are necessary to show everything is working. Solar charge indicating meters are often built into the charge controller to confirm the charging process instantly. Other meters show how much power is being consumed, and confirm how much power is available. These battery system monitors can be located in the power room, or at a convenient spot in the home for easier checking. 

A POWER SYSTEM is a product including system meters, DC circuit breakers, and wiring connections for batteries, inverter, solar and other charging sources. Power systems are easier to install and prewired to Australian standards than it would be selecting, buying, and installing all those parts separately. The power room is simplified, with just a few main components: power systems with charge control attached, a standby inverter-charger, and a battery box all built in to one unit make it easier for a DIY install. 

 

SolarPowerStations

Solar N Sat also offer the SolarPowerStation range of off-grid systems. The SolarPowerStation is a prefabricated, all in one solar system, designed to deliver a certain amount of electricity over a 24 hour period, depending on environmental and user conditions.

These systems are assembled in QLD and tested before delivery.

Through our pre-assembled, centralised control boards, these off grid systems allow the safe collection and distribution of almost any combination of DC charge sources, and the safe distribution of energy to loads.

Features:

  • Fully assembled before delivery, resulting in much lower onsite time
  • Tested prior to delivery
  • Made from high quality components
  • Built to comply with Australian off grid standards
  • Auto start generator capability
  • Free PC based user monitoring
  • Can be relocated if required
  • Manufactured in QLD 

For more information or pricing please call 41573 885 or 4921 3220