From the category archives:

Off-grid solar power, Stand-alone solar power, Remote solar power

Backup power with home solar battery storage: What are your options?

September 12, 2017
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Home battery storage is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, and one of the most in-demand features is backup power, which provides electricity to a home even when the grid is down. In this article we take a look at the main approaches to battery storage that you’ll come across as you shop around for a […]

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Australia’s 5B launches ground-breaking ‘solar farm in a box’

July 20, 2017
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Sydney-based 5B has launched a pre-fabricated, easily deployed solution for solar farm construction that looks set to revolutionise medium to large-scale solar in Australia (and possibly the world). The company’s rather bold tagline for the MaverickⒸ units is ‘solar re-invented’. On Wednesday 19 July, 5B held a demonstration of the MaverickⒸ’s easy deployment outside Customs […]

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Can you go off the grid with a 10kW solar system plus battery storage?

May 16, 2017
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We previously wrote an article about the feasibility of an Australian home going off-grid with a 3kW solar system – quite a small system size for such an ambitious endeavour. In this article, we’ll look at the case for going off-grid with a 10kW solar system – the unofficial upper limit for residential solar system […]

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What’s a partial off-grid solar-plus-storage system?

November 30, 2016
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Going partially off the grid is a smart alternative for homes who want to become completely energy self-sufficient. A partial off-grid solar system is one that runs a few essential electrical loads – for example, the refrigerator, lights and television – on a separate electrical circuit that has no physical connection to the grid mains. […]

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Thinking about going off-grid? Keep these points in mind

August 4, 2016
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With the dawn of the age of (nearly) affordable battery storage, more and more Australian homes are considering the possibility of disconnecting from the electricity grid; or the first time, off-grid living looks like it may be feasible virtually anyone – even for urban households. Solar Choice has conducted some desktop analysis into the minimum amount […]

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Ergon publishes 10-point ‘reality check’ list for would-be off-gridders

July 29, 2016
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Queensland utility Ergon energy has decided to address the issue of grid electricity defection by publishing a 10-step guide for consumers considering the idea. Ergon, which doubles as the main network operator and retailer in Queensland and services regional and sometimes remote areas, is likely to be at the forefront of the move to quit […]

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Can you go off-grid with solar and energy storage?

July 20, 2016

These days, almost everyone considering solar and battery storage is wondering if it’s possible to disconnect from the grid altogether; ‘going off-grid’ seems to be all the rage. Just how feasible is it for the average household to go off grid – and is it really worth it? How easy is it to go off-grid with […]

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On grid or off-grid? Some advice for a Solar Choice customer

June 8, 2016
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We were recently in touch with a customer who was deliberating between whether to have his new-build home connected to the grid, or to go off-grid with a solar-plus-storage system. Located in regional Queensland, the customer’s home had no existing grid connection was over half a kilometre away from the nearest distribution lines. With that […]

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Aussie property developers could skip grid to design microgrid-powered communities

June 9, 2015

Australian property developers are exploring the option of not connecting newly built housing estates to the electricity grid, but instead offering solar and storage as part of a standard package, industry experts have said. According to players in the battery storage and smart technology markets, the development of “off-grid” housing is already happening around the world, […]

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New residential energy storage pilot projects to showcase promise of energy independence

May 19, 2015
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In a sign of the times and an indication of things to come, a total of 22 homes are to be fitted out with emergency backup energy storage systems in a pilot project overseen by Australian energy storage solution wholesaler, 360Storage. The company’s energy storage solutions have already been installed in nearly 1,000 grid-connected homes across the […]

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15-20% of Australian solar customers interested in energy storage

July 18, 2014
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Installation rates of battery storage systems in Australian homes could reach around 1,000 a year by the end of 2014, according to new estimates, as solar households look for ways to make the most of the energy they generate. Feedback from solar installers suggests that between 15 and 20 per cent of solar customers are […]

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Morgan Stanley: US solar PV and solar-with-storage installs to skyrocket

March 28, 2014

Investment bank Morgan Stanley says the addressable market for solar PV in the US is way bigger than anyone had previously imagined; and battery storage costs could fall way quicker than thought. This combination of solar and storage will have big implications for the utility industry, which tries to tackle a rampant new technology in […]

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Latronic Sunpower: Australian-made grid-connect and stand-alone inverters

December 2, 2013

Latronic Sunpower is a Queensland, Australia-based inverter manufacturer that operates globally. The company has been in business for over 27 years. The company makes inverters for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The company has a strong reputation in Australia and many of its products are also available overseas. Latronic Sunpower: Product range Although Latronics started […]

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Magellan Power’s ‘smoothing’ devices for grid-connect solar

November 30, 2013
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When northwestern WA‘s electricity utility Horizon mandated that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems must regulate their power output, one of the first companies with the capacity to offer a viable technological solution to the problem was Magellan Power. The company’s Solar Smoother has enabled solar system installations to continue happening on the Horizon grid, whose relatively […]

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BHP’s mining in Western Australia gets solar-powered

January 24, 2013
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BHP Nickel West Kalgoorlie is a mining facility located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia, approximately 600 kilometres east of Perth and includes two sites – a smelting operation in Kalgoorlie itself and a concentrator plant in Kambalda. During the summer months, temperatures in the region regularly reach 35 degrees or above, pushing demand on […]

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A gross Solar Feed-in Tariff for Queensland?

September 20, 2012
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Although a gross metering setup for small-scale solar, suggested as a possible alternative to the current set up, has resulted in uncertainty and concern in solar industry, solar PV still offers substantial benefits to consumers who install as system before a final decision is made in March next year. The change was suggested by the […]

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Solar power storage solutions: Beyond batteries

May 30, 2012
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The development of affordable storage solutions for solar power or other renewable energy sources such as wind will change the nature of electricity generation and distribution as we know it. Most people think of wind and solar power storage (usually in the form of batteries) as a technology primarily for use in off-grid/stand-alone solar power systems. However, a […]

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Off-grid solar power system in Sydney’s Western Suburbs

September 27, 2011
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Nev and Linda Sweeney have been living on their 500-square-meter suburban plot in Sydney’s St Clair Suburb since the early 1980s, and have been trying to live sustainably using the resources on their land for almost just as long. Their approach includes innovative energy generation and efficiency strategies (including off-grid as well as grid-connected solar […]

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South Pacific Solar Power

June 23, 2011
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We are all familiar with the large scale solar projects sweeping developed countries, producing Megawatts, if not Gigawatts of solar electricity.  But what about the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity? According to an interview in the New York Times with Michael Eckhart, the President of the American Council on Renewable Energy, Just 1 percent […]

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Residential Solar System Warranties: What to look for, what to watch out for

May 9, 2011
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When thinking about installing a residential solar power system, it is important to carefully consider the types and durations of the warranties offered by solar system installers. This article explains the differences between the types of warranties that may be available to you when shopping around for a solar photovoltaic system for your home. (Get […]

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First international solar-powered flight

May 5, 2011
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The Swiss-engineered Solar Impulse is set to make its first international flight on 2 May 2011 (yesterday in Australia as of the time of this writing, but today in Switzerland!) This is the first international flight of its kind: one powered solely by solar power. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print […]

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West Australia’s first 100% renewable-powered mine: Wind and Solar

April 27, 2011
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Lithium producer Galaxy Resources is planning to be operating West Australia’s first mine powered by 100% renewable energy within 3 years. The mine is already partially powered by solar panels mounted on solar-trackers. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend Related PostsExport control & grid protection for […]

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Stand-alone solar power to be set-up in Japan refugee centres

March 23, 2011
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As part of the relief effort for the 11 March 2011 Northeastern Japan earthquake and tsunami, Sharp and Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery are planning to assemble and provide 250 solar power arrays with batteries for refugee shelters throughout the region. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend Related […]

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Batteries for Stand Alone Solar Power Systems: Maintenance

December 9, 2010
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This is the third installment in a series about batteries for stand-alone or off-grid power systems.  Our first blog in the series provided a rundown on how to size a battery bank, while the second was about the different types of batteries that you will typically find in a remote power system. This time we’ll […]

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Solar Powered Stand Alone Power Systems: Ways to minimize cost!

November 19, 2010
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There are several components to designing a Solar Powered stand alone power system and thus there are several ways to minimize the cost of the system! This article will talk about each component how it is sized and what your options are in each case. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print […]

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Inverters for Stand Alone Solar Powered Systems

November 17, 2010
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When you decide that you want to power your entire home from solar power one of the decisions that installers make is the size of the inverter this is the one of the most important pieces in the puzzle and its pretty important to know how to size it. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin […]

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Batteries for Stand Alone Solar Power Systems: Types of Batteries

November 15, 2010
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Part 2 of 4 Welcome to the second installment in a four-part series about batteries for stand-alone power systems (SAPS) otherwise known as ˜off-grid’ power systems. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend Related PostsWalnut Energy: Battery solutions for commercial, industrial & grid-scale applications (11 Jul, 2017) […]

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Solar Power the choice of Renewable Energy in the Pacific Islands

November 1, 2010
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The Pacific Islands have been under the influence of volatile oil prices for far too long and they have, for the last few years, decided to move towards renewable energy as a way to reduce their dependence on imported oil. So what did they do and why Solar power? Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin […]

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Using direct current to power devices in off-grid solar PV systems

September 13, 2010

Off-grid solar systems tend to require significantly more caution, care, and maintenance than grid-connected systems, where you can plug in and use any appliance you want without having to think about the consequences. The reason for this is that AC (alternating current, as opposed to DC, direct current) is the electricity flow type of choice in […]

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Batteries for Stand Alone Solar Power Systems: Sizing Battery Banks

September 10, 2010
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Part 1 of 4 Previously we here at Solar Choice wrote a bit about some of the things you would need to take into consideration when thinking about installing an off-grid (or stand-alone) power system in your home.  There are a number of reasons you might want to install an off-grid system, the most obvious […]

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Solar Panels on your roof and where else?

July 5, 2010
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This week we’ll take a brief look at the versatility of solar power and what people are doing with their photovoltaic panels. This first segment will take a look at public transportation and personal rapid transportation with respect to what’s being done in Australia! Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for […]

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