Off Grid Solar Systems
Have you recently received your quote to connect your property to the electricity grid? Are you maybe thinking, wow this is really expensive! In our most recent off-grid solar feasibility study the customer had a rural mining site where they need to power the accommodation for workers, site sheds (offices) and workshop. We approached the customer with the project design for a pitch work. The grid connection cost was over $1.5mil. Kuga Electrical provided an off-grid solar system that ground-mounted the solar panels, including over a 1mW containerized battery solution inclusive of the inverter, battery cells, air-conditioning, and LED Lighting then also had a backup diesel generator connected. The pay-back was less than 18 months and the entire site will run off-grid for over 12 years for very very little maintenance costs.
Australia is a massive country and it’s a fact that our main electricity grid does not reach into every corner. For remote rural communities and businesses, a reliable power supply is vital. However, the cost of connecting a property to grid power can run into tens – or even hundreds – of thousands of dollars. And sometimes, the connection is not even an option.
With an aging grid infrastructure, power quality can be unreliable particularly towards the end of the line. If you’re living in a remote community or running a business that relies on a guaranteed power supply, an off-grid solar system is an ideal solution. It can also be more cost-effective than trying to ‘make-do’ with patchy power and regular outages.
Kuga Electrical, large scale off-grid solar specialists
At Kuga Electrical, we believe that reliable power in remote locations is a necessity, not a luxury. We have the skills and expertise to design, install and maintain off-grid solar systems in Australia for businesses, entire communities, government organisations and households.
No matter how complex your off grid power requirements, we have the capabilities to design an off grid solar system that provides you, your business, or your community with guaranteed power 24/7, 365 days a year.
We can also provide project financing and can advise on solar rebates for off grid power systems in Australia.
What are off grid solar systems?
Off grid solar systems are a way or powering a property or business completely independently from the main electricity grid. An off grid power system consists of four main elements:
- roof or ground mounted solar panels
- a battery bank to store energy
- an integrated back-up power supply (such as a diesel generator, wind turbine or hydro); and
- an inverter and/or charger which acts as the interface between the different inputs.
What are the advantages of an off grid solar system?
Commercial off grid power systems and off grid residential systems have several advantages in common. The main benefits of an off grid system are:
- Can be cheaper than connecting the property to the grid
- No electricity bills
- Complete energy independence
- Avoid grid power outages
- Not exposed to electricity price rises
- Low maintenance
- Known running costs – no unexpected price inflation
- Built-in resilience for 24/7 operation, 365 days of the year
Modern off grid systems are much easier to maintain than older off grid systems. They can be fully automated and monitored and controlled online.
Power quality is also much more stable than grid power, particularly in rural locations. This improved power quality has the massive advantage of extending the useful life of your electrical equipment and appliances. For commercial organisation running expensive electrical equipment, this benefit alone can justify the cost of an off grid solar system.
What size off grid solar system will I need?
Designing an off grid power system is a completely different process from designing a grid-connect solar power system. Whilst there’s no need to engage in negotiations with the network distributor – which is a plus – there are different challenges that need to be taken into account if the off grid system is to work effectively over many years.
Every off grid solar system we design – no matter how big or small – is completely customized for each customer. That’s because in off grid setting, there are a host of variables that vary by property, location, power usage profile and available budget.
Our off grid accredited experts can design the right off grid system to meet your power usage requirements, budget and meet any technical challenges associated with setting up a robust independent power supply to your property or business.
Our process for sizing and designing a reliable off grid system involves:
- Understand client requirements and budget
- Completing a comprehensive energy audit
- Mapping current and expected load profile
- Battery storage design
- Working out the number of days autonomy required without having to draw on a backup power supply. This will determine the size of the battery bank.
- Determining the optimal battery management requirements and battery cell type i.e., lithium-ion, deep cycle gel batteries, lead-acid batteries
- Designing the battery storage solution including electrical infrastructure and cabinet design
- Assessing the options for the location of the battery bank, i.e., within an existing building or custom-built unit
- Solar panels design
- Assessing options for solar panel installation, i.e., ground-mounted or roof-mounted.
- Identifying the best solar panels brand for the site.
- Back-up power
- Assessing options and costs for backup power including diesel generator, wind turbine, hydro, as well as integration with the off grid power system
- Installation logistics
- Identifying technical challenges relating to installation at the site. This will determine how much of the system set-up is done off-site
- Fully costed quotation
- Proposal and quotation for system installation and, if required, 24/7 maintenance and monitoring. Return on investment estimates and details of any applicable government incentives or rebates. Finance options are available on request.
How much do off grid solar systems cost?
Off grid solar system packages are another option however we recommend that you seek out a customized quotation if you want an off grid system for your home or business. Off-grid solar system prices start at around $40,000 for a family home requiring at least 2-3 days power autonomy from the battery bank, as well as a back-up power supply.
Prices for commercial off grid systems range from $40,000 for a small retail shop to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large commercial entity such as a mining operation, hospital or school.
Calculating the costs and benefits of a large off grid solar system is an area where we have extensive expertise. We can assess the risks and put in place mitigation strategies including 24/7 monitoring, remote diagnostics and system performance guarantees.
With the safety checks in place, you can rest easy knowing that your investment will deliver the power you need, no matter what.
How to fund your solar project?
The most common ways to fund your off-grid solar project are:
- Outright purchase
- Finance through a chattel mortgage or a rental agreement
- Solar PPA
During project feasibility, the consultation from Kuga also goes through the ideal way you would like to fund the solar project. Each client and project is different. Off-grid projects are also eligible for STC or LGC rebates and claiming solar rebates where eligible will help the overall budget be more cost-effective.
Get in touch
Our team at Kuga Electrical has been designing off grid systems for commercial clients and households throughout Australia for over five years. We only use the best brands and we are fully accredited off grid specialists. Contact us today for expert, obligation-free advice and a quotation.