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Grid Connected Solar Power and Zendure Balcony Solar System

On-grid with surplus Electricity Sale to a Utility

Grid connected systems where surplus energy is sold to an energy company is not a sector of the market in which we compete. Regulations vary from country to country, and there are always administrative hurdles to over-come. Many do not have any energy storage capacity, and use technically different hybrid controller/inverters. Selling prices for the surplus energy are generally unattractive, and bureaucratic requirements force up total installation costs. We therefore ONLY supply systems that can be installed by any competent handyman and which require no official permission.

On-grid with NO Electricity Sale to a Utility

Although we are off grid solar system specialists, firstly, many of our existing products are 100% suitable for smaller grid connected solar power installations without sale, and, secondly, we are impressed by new standalone zendure balcony solar system that use micro-inverters to inject solar output into a standard domestic system, storing any surplus in batteries for use later. Both solutions help you reduce your energy bill very substantially.

Grid-connected

All our existing systems for “off-grid” houses can be used for grid connected solar power installations that do not sell to a utility. The hybrid inverter controllers are designed for either purpose – they can be programmed to use solar first; grid power second, and battery third. The physical installation is identical. Mains power can come from a generator or a utility.

Balcony Systems

The “balcony” system (so-called because you can hang the panels from your balcony) works slightly differently. Solar panel capacity is usually under 1Kw and uses a micro-inverter(s) to inject generated solar power directly into your domestic network. If it is producing more than you are consuming, the surplus is automatically stored in its batteries for use later.

Both are what are called self-consumption systems where the user uses all the energy generated and the grid connection is “one-way” to buy electricity in case of need, but not re-selling any surplus to a utility. We see this as much preferable to selling to a utility, and certainly avoids bureaucratic hassle.

Product Advice

Solar Panels are now an integral part of the design of on grid solar system for home. You can’t do without them! Our FREE Electricity Consumption ForecasterMunchen Solar 385w rigid solar panel will help you decide the right size for your array. Contact Us to get your copy. Roof space is extensive so an installed capacity of 5Kw nominal or more may be possible.

Choose from

  • Rigid
  • Flexible, or
  • Portable solar panels.

Rigid are the least expensive and perform better for a given surface area. They will be the default choice for a pitched roof off-grid installation. Flexible panels are around 3 times the price for a given output but are 6 times lighter, and, as their name implies, are flexible. Either or both can be critical elements in deciding what you need. A curved roof for instance needs flexible. Portable panels are the most expensive and offer output similar to that of other flexible panels. They can be deployed anywhere, any time, and require no installation at all. The maximum capacity currently offered is 400w – not much for a land-based dwelling.

They can be connected to a 3 or 5Kw hybrid inverter using 48v batteries, or to a power station (see below).

“Balcon” systems are only sold as complete kits. (See right).

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE DECISION OUTSIDE THE SOLAR ARRAY CAPACITY

PowMr 12v 1500w solar hybrid inverterThere are now three ways to manage and store the solar energy from your panels.

Connect them to:

  1. appropriate simple MPPT solar energy controller(s) to charge your batteries 12, 24, or 48v. You will need at least 2 if you have over 5Kw nominal of solar panel capacity. To have 230v mains electricity you will need to add an inverter. You will certainly need one of 3Kw and you may feel that one of 5Kw is desirable. Total system cost will be upwards of £1500. This solution does NOT provide a mains battery charger that needs to be bought separately. Since the need for 12v power is limited or non-existent for off-grid houses, this is not a solution that we recommend.
  2. An MPPT hybrid solar energy controller(s) to charge your batteries. This can be connected to 12, 24, or 48v batteries, but if you use 12v batteries, the inverter capacity is limited to 1500w. Most on-land users will opt for 48v batteries and a hybrid controller/inverter of 3 or 5Kw. Which will depend on your power needs. Hybrid inverters also include a mains/generator charger.
  3. Directly to a power station. Those with a 2Kw inverter capacity are not expensive but as well as the limited inverter capacity, their solar input is limited to 900w. Battery cost, although falling, is higher than for conventional batteries. However if you connect a 2Kw power station to 2 x 400w solar panels, it can act as an independent source of energy also available should the main system fail. Our houseboat has a 15Kw 48v main system with twin 5Kw inverters, backed up by a 2Kw/4048Ah power station. All power stations are hugely convenient. You take them out of the box, connect them to your solar, plug in whatever you need to power, and you’re away. No installation of any kind. Those of 3Kw and more also have an automatic UPS feature – total proof against power failure. They can be charged from solar, mains, and an external battery. Output is both USB, 12v DC, and 230v AC. This versatility and their sheer convenience makes them our first choice in most circumstances.

Basen Green 12v 200Ah LifePo4 batteryAlthough LifePo4 batteries are still more expensive than lead/acid, prices continue to fall, they offer longer life, less weight & volume, and charge much faster. For your off-grid house, either a 48v LifePo4 domestic battery bank and hybrid inverter OR a power station (see below) will provide year-round comfort.

Our chosen supplier of lithium batteries under 3Kw is Basen Green- we use them ourselves. They are available in both 12 and 48v versions with storage capacities up to 2400w (50Ah at 48v). You should not connect more than 4 in parallel.

Most off-grid houses will find that the latest high capacity batteries are a better solution to their needs. Please see the following section for more information.

BG 280Ah 51.2v battery packHigh Capacity Energy Storage solutions with up to 15Kw in a single unit are new to the market and available at very competitive prices. They come in multiples of 5 and 15Kw. Not only are they less expensive than buying multiple smaller batteries to achieve a similar storage capacity, but they avoid the need for inter-battery cabling. Their sole disadvantage is that they are bulky and, in the case of the 15Kw units, heavy. Supplied on wheels, mobility is not however an issue.

We offer products from Basen Green. We have a 2 x 14Kw units as the main source of battery power on our houseboat. They are easy to install and up to 16 can be connected in parallel for unrivalled capacity.

Zendure balcony solar system

Bluetti AC200MaxPower Stations have long been the favourite of outdoor campers, as well as motorhome and camper van owners. With the greater storage and inverter capacities now available, they deserve the close attention of off-grid house owners.

In a single package,  they provide

  • MPPT solar controller, 
  • a large LifePo4 battery, and
  • extensive AC, DC, and USB power outlets.

They can be charged from solar, the mains, a generator, or another external battery. 

Power stations can be divided into three broad product types:

  1. Small portable units designed to be moved around for use as a mobile source of electricity. Most are usually charged by portable panels. They store 1Kw of electricity and offer the same inverter output.
  2. Medium-sized units with inverter ratings of 2, 3, and 5Kw. Batteries are of 2 and 3Kw capacities and up to 4 can be connected to a single unit. They can therefore either  be the primary source of power or form part of a hybrid solution as an extension to a main domestic solar installation. The 3 and 5Kw models also have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) option that means they take over instantly and automatically if the main system fails. The 2Kw models are keenly priced, those of 3 and 5Kw remain relatively expensive. None in this category can handle more than 1200w of solar input but mains/generator power can add another 500w.
  3. Larger units designed to be the primary energy source for your off-grid home. They offer inverters of 6Kw and more; storage options go up to 39Kw, and solar input rises to 2400w (EP600) to 9000w (EP760). The second needs professional installation – as will a large solar system based on a hybrid inverter and a mass storage device.

We are distributors of the Bluetti range. An AC200Max is part of our houseboat system. It has been invaluable. These medium-sized units offer an outstanding solution for off-grid houses. The 2Kw models are very keenly priced but the inverter capacity will be a problem for some. In practice it means that you cannot use more than one domestic appliance at a time. If the dishwasher is in use, no toaster or coffee machine!

40 litre Water heater

40 litre Water heater

Electric water heaters are extremely efficient thanks to exceptionally good insulation. In most cases, a 60 litre tank may well be sufficient.

We supply the Italian Quick range They all have engine heat exchangers and 230v/1000w heating elements with 1 1/4″ BSP thread compatible with our solar water heating solution.

We can supply replacement heating elements of 12v/300w, 48v/600w, and 230v/900w.

Our own brand 3S solar hot water controllers are an established favourite on sailing yachts. Owners long ago discovered the comfort of having free hot water from surplus solar energy, and it is thanks to them that we realised that not having hot water was not only a problem/need on sailing yachts, but on all boats, and at remote off-grid land sites. Our solution is much easier to install than thermal panels and much safer than gas – always a hasard on a boat.

The digital controller unit is connected to your 12 or 48v domestic battery bank (lead/acid or lithium) and from there on to your water heating element either directly or via a 230v mains connection. The default configuration switches on the heating element if

  • 12v battery voltage is greater than 12.2v (51.2v for 48v)
  • solar panel output is greater than 300w (prevents accidental use when there is insufficient solar input)
  • water temperature is less than 40°C and not over 52°C

This means that you are using any surplus solar energy to heat your water. If there is insufficient battery & solar power, the mains charger will mean that the batteries are over the 12.2v threshold. Starting the engine will activate the heat exchanger and push the battery voltage level over 12.2v so is the more efficient of the two as long as there are no angry neighbours!

The system needs a solar installation of at least 400w and 12v battery capacity of 2400w. We know what works with what, and, more importantly, what doesn’t. We can help you make the right purchase decisions for your precise circumstances. To help us best help you, complete the Project Appraisal Form and we will gladly advise you.

How to Buy

The previous section is intended as a guide to individual product groups. You can buy whatever you need from the products offered below. Alternatively you can opt for one of our two standard kits:

  1. Conventional
    This kit contains everything that you need to install a basic solar system for a house of up to 100m².
  1. 4 x Trina 450w rigid solar panels
  2. 1 x EASun 5Kw hybrid controller/inverter
  3. 100 Ah of BG LifePo4 batteries
  4. 10m cables to connect panels to controller
  5. 2 x MC4 Y connectors
  6. Battery connection cables
  • Power Station based
    The power station is an all-in-a-box solution providing controller, battery, and inverter in a single convenient package.
  1. 4 x Trina 450w rigid solar panels
  2. 1 x Bluetti AC200Max power station
  3. 10m cables to connect panels to controller
  4. 2 x MC4 Y connectors
  • Options
    The following items can be added to the kit
  • Additional Trina 450w solar panels (in pairs with all cables)
  • Additional conventional battery storage OR extension battery for the power station
  • 3S solar water heating system
  • electric water heater

If you are interested in a more powerful power station based solution, please Contact Us. They are available in 3 and 5Kw capacities.

Your Complete Grid Connected Solar Power Solution

Our Off-Grid & Grid-Connected Resources:

  • Off-Grid Solar System Design: Learn about the components and considerations for building a complete off-grid power system.

  • The Advantages of Off-Grid Living: Discover the environmental and lifestyle benefits of achieving energy independence.

  • Alternative Grid-Connected Solutions: Explore options like balcony solar systems to reduce your reliance on grid-supplied power.

Products for Grid-connected & Balcony Systems

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  • Delivery in 5 to 7 working days

  • 30 days money back guarantee

Our Selection of products to reduce your energy bill

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