controllerGrid Connected Solar Systems with Battery Storage, uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and Generator Backup

There are many reasons why if you are connected to the grid, you may choose to have a backup system.

•  You may have a solar grid-connect (GC) system and wish to get the benefit of being able to use some of that energy collected during the day to use during the evening when the sun isn’t shining. This would maximise the benefit.

•  Ensuring emergency health, security and data equipment is available during occasional power outages and this also applies to commercial situations where you cannot afford to have computers and cash registers down during a blackout.

•  The power supply may be unreliable and you want to be able to at least run the essentials during such times. These may include refrigeration and lighting. This unreliability is most often at the ends of rural power lines and is often subject to storm activity.

There are a range of storage and back up solutions depending on your specific needs.

•  If it is just to have an orderly shutdown for your computer, standard off-the-shelf UPS systems will do that, providing a few minutes after a blackout to save and shut down. If however, you need to keep those computers and/or other equipment running for maybe hours without power, then a more substantial custom-designed system is appropriate and we can provide that for you.

•  If your power outages are not very frequent or you need to back up big loads such as in commercial premises, then a generator is a cheaper and more affordable solution. The generator can be anything from a small petrol generator you plug into your power board and throw a changeover switch, through to a large diesel generator set up for grid failure with automatic start and automatic shut down when the grid is back on. We can supply and install what ever is suited to your specific situation.

•  Now the tricky one! You have a grid connected system and want to use the surplus power during the day to use at night. Not tricky in itself, but simply that there a many options depending on the GC equipment to be installed or already installed, how much power is used during the times when the sun doesn’t shine, what savings on your power bill you are trying to achieve and last but not least - what budget do you have for the back up system as batteries are not cheap?

backup unitAt this stage battery storage is a dearer option than buying the power, but ... THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGING. As power cost climb and storage costs come down, the time when it will be a cost effective, long-term solution to include storage back up is fast approaching. It is a larger dollar outlay and so is a longer term investment and the payback period needs to be less than the life of the battery bank. But it’s not far away and already we are installing systems for back up of GC solar for customers who just want it now.

It is an involved design process to get it right but that is what we do. The sizes of systems range from running just a few loads in the evening to running the whole house. The latter is equivalent to a stand-alone solar system but with the grid as the back up instead of a generator. Whilst this is obviously the most expensive option, it also gives you the flexibility at any time in the future to disconnect the grid and save on the hundreds of dollars charged each year as fixed costs.