Updated: Jun 27, 2019
REA was approached by a home owner enquiring about adding battery storage to their existing solar array. A review of the home found that the 20 panels on the roof (5kw) were in excellent condition and appropriate to retain with a new energy storage strategy.
Because the proposed placement of the new system was to be on an outside wall facing South it was decided that an Avantess wall mounted unit was the appropriate solution. The REA Avantess 3mm marine ply aluminium cabinet is strong, robust, and rust resistant. It is a perfect product for both indoor and outdoor use, Also, it will look great for many years, yet is light enough to lift by hand for easy wall mounting.
The next choice was 6 @ 24volt Tardis Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries from Magefekt. These were tied in three parallel strings of two batteries joined in series (to achieve 48Vots per string) and a total of 10kWh of energy storage capacity. The Tardis batteries were chosen because: they are cool running so do not add heat to a cabinet; use cells designed to cope with 60⁰C heat; compact yet powerful; extremely safe; long lasting and encased in rugged Australian made urethane; yet light enough to be easily handled by one person. They were perfect for this wall mounted, external storage system installation.
The next choice was a Victron Multigrid inverter because of its incredible operating system. This was the first one of its kind available in Australia and found to run comfortably with both AC or DC coupled battery storage systems. This means it can work with almost any solar system on the market (excluding restricted proprietary systems). It is also fully approved to operate as a grid tied system without the need for expensive anti-islanding equipment to back it up.
Because the home owner in this project already had an existing grid tied inverter it was decided to replace this with a Fronius Grid Tied AC inverter rather than use a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT).
Initially the system identified a high incoming AC voltage issue that exceeded the Australian standards. The inverter was so smart it realised this was a dangerous situation and therefore isolated itself from the grid. REA contacted the grid energy provider and highlighted this potentially dangerous situation for them to resolve.
After fixing this issue the system operated as it was designed to do. The current power draw from the grid over the last couple of months has been only 3% of total customer demand.
This revolutionary system now means Australians have access to the smallest, lightest yet robust, internal or external long life solar and battery energy storage system in the world as far as we know.
Homes can now get very close to being off-grid yet still have the comfort of knowing the grid is available as backup if required.
Further the Victron master controller that runs this system provides data to the cloud so the home user can see what is happening with their system day or night from anywhere in the world. What’s more it is all provided free of charge.
Clearly there is now no reason for Australians to look overseas for their energy solutions. As far as we can see, the best system solution is now made in our own back yard.