Ultimate Off-grid Solar Installation on a Lake Island

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Ultimate Off-grid Solar Installation on a Lake Island

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Solar Install on Off-Grid Island
    1. Triple Redundancy System
    2. Solar Pergola Design
    3. Water Tanks for Irrigation
  3. Inside the System
    1. The OTG Board
    2. Battery Storage
    3. Output Service
    4. Redundancy and Generator Integration
    5. Monitoring and Remote Access
    6. Flexibility and Scalability
  4. Installation Process
  5. Price and Affordability

Solar Install on Off-Grid Island

In this article, we will explore a fascinating 10 kW solar installation on an off-grid island in the middle of a lake. Off-grid contracting has become increasingly popular as many people seek self-sufficiency and independence from the conventional power grid. This particular project showcases the impressive capabilities of solar energy and its ability to power multiple structures and provide backup options.

Triple Redundancy System

One of the most notable features of this solar installation is its triple redundancy system. With the use of a large gin rack and a hundred amp service, the system can charge the battery bank using any two of the four inverters at any given time. This setup ensures a continuous power supply even if one or two inverters are unavailable. Additionally, a horseshoe loop is integrated into the system to bypass the solar panels and run the generator in case of utility company outages or solar failure.

Solar Pergola Design

The solar panels are mounted on a sturdy stand, which is often referred to as the solar pergola. This design not only provides an aesthetically pleasing structure but also allows for easy maintenance. The solar panels are centered on two-by-sixes, making them easily accessible for cleaning and upkeep. The affordability of pressure-treated wood makes this design a cost-effective option for off-grid solar installations.

Water Tanks for Irrigation

Apart from powering the structures on the island, the solar array also contributes to the irrigation system. Two water tanks are strategically positioned to collect solar energy and provide water for the irrigation system. In the future, additional solar panels will be added to power a dedicated solar irrigation area. This setup allows for efficient water usage while utilizing clean and renewable energy.

Inside the System

Moving inside, we come across the Off-the-Grid (OTG) board, a brilliant solution that combines the combiner system, solar torch controller, and breaker box all on one backboard. This arrangement simplifies the grounding process and includes an EMP protection unit to safeguard the system. The battery storage is another crucial component of the installation. The customer benefits from a substantial battery bank, ensuring a one-day standby capability. This ample battery storage enables the system to power multiple houses, AC systems, water heaters, pumps, and lighting.

Output Service

The output service of the solar installation is connected to a transfer switch in the owner's home, providing the flexibility to switch between utility power and solar power. If the owners decide to stay connected to the utility company, they can do so effortlessly. On the other hand, they can also choose to rely solely on solar energy by flipping the switch. This setup empowers the owners to make informed choices about their energy sources.

Redundancy and Generator Integration

To enhance the system's redundancy, a generator is integrated into the panel setup. In the event of a complete power failure, the generator can bypass the solar system and provide direct power to the island. A horseshoe conduit will be added to allow the generator to bypass the solar system completely, offering triple redundancy and peace of mind for the owners.

Monitoring and Remote Access

The solar installation incorporates a Gateway control system that allows the customers to monitor the system remotely. With the addition of a router, the owners can view the system's performance and manage it from anywhere. This remote access feature provides convenience and enables the owners to stay connected with the system's operation even when they are away from the island.

Flexibility and Scalability

One of the advantages of this solar installation is its flexibility and scalability. The system can accommodate additional structures and equipment without compromising its functionality. By separating the power supply for a separate structure, the system can adapt and cater to individual needs effectively. This flexibility ensures that the system can grow and expand as the island's requirements evolve.

Installation Process

The installation process for this solar project took approximately one week. While this particular installation is considered a mini-mega style due to the emphasis on infrastructure rather than panels, additional panels will be added in the future as planned. Off-grid contracting offers various pricing options depending on the size and complexity of the project. Tiny homes and small cabins can range from $10,000 to $15,000, while larger installations like this one, which power multiple structures, can reach the $60,000 to $100,000 range.

Price and Affordability

Off-grid contracting provides a wide range of options when it comes to harnessing solar energy. The cost of a solar installation varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. While larger installations may require a significant investment, the long-term savings and environmental benefits make off-grid contracting an appealing option for many individuals and communities.

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