Samples of designed, developed
and maintained solutions
A Moderate Solar Power System
The home is situated in the Goldsborough
valley, near Cairns. Power consumption is modest, and as a result the
home required a moderate solar power system. The home uses 240 volt
including fans, microwave oven, a refrigerator, a medium sized chest
freezer and washing machine. Hot water is supplied by solar with an
The majority of electricity is generated by an array of sixteen 123 watt SHARP
photovoltaic modules mounted on array frames above the equipment enclosure. This
2kW array feeds power into a battery bank consisting of four EXIDE 6 volt, 1330
amp-hour batteries via an OUTBACK Maximum Power Point Tracking Regulator.
A 2.3kw OUTBACK sinewave inverter/charger converts the extra low voltage DC electricity
from the batteries to 240 volt AC electricity to power the house. This combined
inverter/charger also allows the batteries to be charged from the backup generator
during times of low solar input or excessive power usage.
The system has performed reliably, with the solar array providing around
90% of the energy required to run the house. The only maintenance required
the routine topping-up of battery electrolyte levels, washing the panels when
there is no rain or morning dew. The generator hasn’t been run long enough
to require servicing.
The system would cost around $33,000 to install at today's prices. We chose a
RAPS system because a connection to the mains grid would have been prohibitively
expensive. Also, we wanted an uninterrupted bush/country view with no overhead
wires as well as one less quarterly account. At the same time the solar system
also allows us to do our bit for the environment.
Owner’s Comments on the Power System performance and
Since commissioning the solar system the main problems I came across in the early
stages were ones that I could have fixed myself if I had taken the time to read
the manual supplied by SolarWorks. Instead, I rang Nick often and he helped me
understand how the system works. The following figures show generator run time
320 amp hours versus system run time 2970 amp hours for 758 days of operation.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Larry we still had continuous power. We are planning
an upgrade for the future.
The BCSE paid a visit in January 2007, checked the serial numbers of the solar
panels, batteries and Outback equipment, and checked the overall neatness of
the installation of the system. We are pleased to say they have given the system
a 10 out of 10 in all the categories including visible warning signs so Thank
you Nick and SolarWorks.