Off Grid Solar Electricty for Quarry
Using an Off Grid Solar power system to supply much needed power to remote locations and sites is a concept becing more and more common. The use of of these off grid solar power systems has been around for many years. Only now are they becoming cost efficient. Continue reading to see how one of these systems helps protect the explosives store at a quarry in Wales.
A few weeks ago we got a call from a customer who manages a quarry in Wales, UK. He was looking for advice on an off grid solar electricity system. He had an unfortunate power problem at the quarry site. His generator which powered everything, including the security system for the explosives store was stolen. Obviously, this store needs to be secure and have CCTV and Alarm systems operating due to the contents of the store. Hence, he got in tocuh with us.
He desperately required a reliable power system which was not dependant on a generator running. If it could use solar panels to save on diesel costs, then all the better. He had thought about using an off grid solar system to solve his problem, but where to start.
The Solution – Off Grid Solar Hybrid Battery Charger
First of all, the main thing we have to look at when designing and specifying a solar power system is “what sources of non solar energy are available”. This is important in the UK and other countries which have short dull days in the winter time. In the winter solar panel arrays dont produce as much power as they do in the summer. There are two ways of specifying such systems.
1) Size the solar array to produce enough energy for the application at the worst time of the year. The problem with this method is that the system will become much more expensive. Also it will produce an abundance of energy during the summer months.
2) Take a balance between solar energy and another form of energy. Such as a wind turbine or a Diesel / LPG Generator. This gives the best of both worlds. Lower diesel consumption and cost effectivness of the off grid solar system. Therefore we opted to use a diesel generator, solar panels and batteries.
Most of the parts used on this project were supplied by Victron Energy. We like to use Victron Products due to their robust quality and versatility.
- Battery Charger, Centaur 12V/40A
- Lynx Distributor
- SmartSolar MPPT 150/85
- Battery Monitor – BMV700
- AC, DC & Battery Isolator Switches