Your guide to Off-Grid power systems


Welcome to the world of Off-Grid power!
At Yass Valley Solar, we seek to provide an exceptional experience by giving you a thorough understanding of the whole process. We provide all of the information required to decide on the right system that covers all of your needs whilst providing many years of trouble-free operation.
Throughout the years of building and installing Off-Grid systems for our clients, we have learned a lot and met some pretty amazing people along the way.
It is our hope that we can pass this experience on to you and that the information is helpful.

I look forward to speaking soon.

Tim Davaris
Managing Director
Ygrene Energy

Why Off-Grid?


Off-Grid power systems can deliver a great alternative to expensive grid infrastructure and independence from grid power. Living off the grid is a great experience and modern systems mean that you will notice few differences from grid power.

While Off-Grid systems can deliver extensive amounts of electricity, it is certainly a decision that has to be considered carefully. Some of the factors to include are:

  • Cost of installing grid power versus off-grid
  • Power usage requirements
  • Energy efficiency of your house
  • Future expansion

Where do I start?



The size of an off-grid system is measured in kW (kilowatt) hours per day and it tells us how much power the system is designed to provide on an average day. This value is different to the kW of the solar array and factors in things such as the size of the battery system and amount of generator run time.

We believe that the design stage is the most crucial part of an off-grid system. We work with you to understand your needs and determine the right system size. As an off-grid system provides power to many different appliances and plays a large role in household consumption requirements. we take a holistic approach to the design and provide consultation regarding house energy design and appliance selection.



  • Cost of installing grid power versus off-grid
  • Power usage requirements
  • Energy efficiency of your house
  • Future expansion

System components


Battery Technology

  • Lead Acid Gel (VRLA) batteries are still the battery of choice for many of our off-grid solar system as they deliver unrivalled reliability and a long, maintenance free lifespan. They are able to deliver large amounts of power when needed and are a proven technology that is well suited to medium to large off-grid system.

  • Absorbent Glass Matt (AGM) batteries are also a lead acid battery but typically have a lower price point and a shorter lifespan then a lead acid gel battery. These batteries are well suited to a smaller systems with periodic use such as a weekender.

  • Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries are one of the newer technologies in the off-grid market. While most provide a similar lifespan compared to a lead acid gel battery, they do provide greater flexibility as they can be added incrementally if additional capacity is needed in the system. When using a lithium battery in an off-grid system it is important that it is suitable for off-grid use and is fully compatible with the selected inverter.

  • Flow Batteries such as Redflow are an alternative to traditional battery types and work by moving a zinc bromine solution between two tanks to create a chemical reaction. The have some unique advantages in their ability to discharge to 100% depth of discharge without damage and no loss of capacity over their lifespan, however they are significantly more expensive that most other technologies and have a low round-trip efficiency.




Solar Panels


Solar panels – collect energy from the sun and convert it into DC power. The solar array is sized to produce enough power to supply your loads on most days, even through the winter months. The direction and the angle of the solar panels is important as we need to maximize the energy captured by the system particularly through the winter months. There are various options for mounting the solar array including ground mounted systems.


Inverters


Battery Inverter – converts the DC battery power into 240V AC to power loads and also converts 240V AC from the Solar Inverter or Generator to DC to charge the batteries. The battery inverter is the heart of an off-grid system and can enable remote monitoring, controls the charge and discharge of the batteries and automatically starts and stops the generator.

Solar Inverter / Charge Controllers – coverts the DC power from the Solar panels into 240V AC in the case of a Solar Inverter and regulates to 48V for the battery in the case of a Charge Controller


Generators and Enclosures


Generator – Provides a backup power source in case of extended poor weather or increased power usage. While most systems require small amounts of generator support even through the winter months, it provides essential backup no matter what the conditions. A good quality generator is quiet, fuel efficient and reliably auto-starts when requested by the battery inverter.

Enclosure – houses the inverters, batteries etc and helps protect the equipment from the environment. We custom build each enclosure which is prefabricated and tested in our workshop, before heading out to site to do the installation. Enclosures are typically located in a shed or garage but can also be located outdoors if required.


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