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Enjoy free solar power off the grid

By 22 April 2013 5

Solar batteries

There is nothing quite as rewarding as the feeling of sourcing your electricity free from the sun.

And if you live on a farm not connected to the electricity grid, installing an off grid solar system is usually the cheapest, most effective and most sustainable way to secure your power needs – and protect against rising electricity prices.

The latest technology off-grid solar systems from gosolarACT offer many long-term advantages for farmers as well as other potential users such as rail companies conducting rural track maintenance, telcos maintaining monitoring towers and mining companies undertaking exploration.

Setting up an off-grid solar panel system for a four-bed farmhouse that has 24 solar batteries and enough storage capacity to last up to three days will cost around $50,000. If you connect your farmhouse to the grid, you may pay even more and your power bills will keep going up.

Benefits of an off-grid solar panel system include:

    • low ongoing maintenance costs with batteries lasting around 10 years and solar panels lasting more than 25
    • free energy, with no need to worry about rising electricity prices
    • the satisfaction of knowing you’re using clean renewable energy direct from the sun – nature’s own source of electricity. A 5kW basic system for a family of four removes more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over 25 years.

ACT Solar is your one-stop shop for solar power systems. Once you call them on (02) 6143 3655 the entire process can take less than four weeks, much quicker than connection to the grid.

They work with you to design a solar system that suits your needs and sends you a tailored quote. Approve the quote and pay a 10% deposit and they’ll start buying the components you need for your solar panel system, even a diesel generator for backup.

Installation takes just two to three days and you have the ongoing reassurance of knowing you can count on ACT Solar, a Canberra-based company, to monitor and maintain your system as it continues to provide years of free energy.

ACT Solar also provides solar panel systems for people already connected to the grid. If you are connected, it makes economic sense to stay connected and sell the electricity you generate back to the electricity companies.

Go to www.actsolar.com.au to find out about solar power systems, both off-grid and on-grid, or call Lucas Sena at ACT Solar on (02) 6143 3655.

[Image courtesy of SMA Solar Technology AG]

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5 Responses to Enjoy free solar power off the grid
#1
MERC6006:05 pm, 22 Apr 13

Well thats a very impresive lookin room on the farm for the leccy. All we had was a little Lister engine drivin a 32 volt gen; with a stack of batteries , located at the end of the shearing shed.

#2
davo1018:40 am, 23 Apr 13

MERC600 said :

Well thats a very impresive lookin room on the farm for the leccy. All we had was a little Lister engine drivin a 32 volt gen; with a stack of batteries , located at the end of the shearing shed.

Think you’ll find that’s a bit more than a 5kW installation. Each box will be something between 5 ~ 11 kW.

PS: Might want to fix the link at the bottom of the article as it’s broken.

#3
Rangi11:40 am, 23 Apr 13

A 5kW basic system for a family of four removes more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over 25 years.

Legitimate question, how many tonnes of carbon dioxide do the batteries and solar cells put into the atmosphere when they are made and transported?

#4
shauno1:31 pm, 23 Apr 13

Rangi said :

A 5kW basic system for a family of four removes more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over 25 years.

Legitimate question, how many tonnes of carbon dioxide do the batteries and solar cells put into the atmosphere when they are made and transported?

When I got my 6KW system I based all my savings on extremely dodgy maths and I recommend it. I basically see my self as having free power now because in my subconscious I have written off the costs of my install. So know I have free power yippee!

#5
p996911turbo2:11 pm, 23 Apr 13

Rangi said :

A 5kW basic system for a family of four removes more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over 25 years.

Legitimate question, how many tonnes of carbon dioxide do the batteries and solar cells put into the atmosphere when they are made and transported?

It does pay off, but if you’re using lead acid batteries, it’s only just.

Basically, a rooftop mono-Si PV system pays its embodied energy off in about 4 years, including all the embodied energy in the wiring, inverters, etc. Since that stuff is going to last at least 15 years (more like 25 years), it’s a good deal.

But lead acid batteries aren’t too pretty. All in all, over the entire life of the battery, it will have stored twice as much energy as it took to build it. Lithiums are a bit nicer, they store about 3 times as much. Compressed air and pumped hydro are way better, but not as practical for a home system.

So overall, it’s pretty OK. But the important thing is it is certainly much, much better than coal.

Sources:
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-06-16/energy-payback-roof-mounted-photovoltaic-cells
Barnhart, C & Benson, S. (2013) On the importance of reducing the energetic and material demands of electrical energy storage. Energy Environmental Science, vol 6, issue 4, pp. 1083-1092.

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