Dodgy battery backup systems

Grid-connected systems with battery backup

Due to the poor export tariffs being offered by many electricity retailers around Australia, many folk are turning to having some on-grid battery storage options so that they can store their valuable solar energy during the day to use at night – when they need it.

These kinds of systems are much more complex and have a lot more safety standards to comply with than a pure grid-connected solar PV system. Below is an example of a non-compliant system that breaches many of the requirements of the relevant standards: AS/NZS 3000; AS 4086; AS 2676; AS/NZS 4509.

 

Not secured for authorised access only
Not secured for authorised access only
Poor cable support and protection
Poor cable support and protection
Equipment placed above battery vents
Equipment placed above battery vents

Rapid environmental degradation of solar cable and connectors

These photos were provided to me anonymously – they show a three year old solar PV system in Australia that while being serviced had major problems with the cable and connectors.

Sun damaged 3 year old solar connector
Sun damaged 3 year old solar connector
Connector fell apart in the installers hands while being disconnected
Connector fell apart in the installer’s hands while being disconnected
Sun damaged cable detail
Detail of supposedly PV1-F certified cable. White marks are remnants of a sticker.

Solar Training

Swinburne student checking that status of the SP Pro/Kaco a.c. coupled system
Swinburne student checking that status of the SP Pro/Kaco a.c. coupled system
Students configuring a battery on grid system
Students configuring a battery on grid system

 

Swinburne students with off-grid equipment
Swinburne students with off-grid equipment
thermal imaging camera on PV panels
Using a IR camera to look for hot spots and failed diodes on a PV module
aerl dc charge controller
Installing the AERL Coolmax Maximiser d.c. charge controller
Swinburne solar grid class
Some of my solar grid-connect students in front of a Sanyo HIT pole mount array

 

cleaning pv modules
By cleaning the thin layer of dust off these modules their output went up 10%
safe working at heights 1
Safety always comes first – good planing and documentation of all hazardous work activities is imperative
Skystream installation at Swinburne's Wantirna Campus
Tightening the hub bolts on the Skystream 3.7 turbine
UPS system 1
SP Pro and Outback FM60 installed as part of a grid-connected system with battery backup
Solar students at Hawthorn Campus 2
Swinburne grid-connect students on the roof of Hawthorn Campus
Solar students at Hawthorn Campus 1
Swinburne grid-connect installation at Hawthorn Campus
Pole mounted PV
Pole mounted Sanyo HIT modules at Swinburne’s Wantirna Campus
Morton Island SPS
Example of a high quality stand-alone power system – installed by PowerSafe of Brisbane

Solar training at Swinburne University of Technology. Glen Morris is running a range of grid-connect and stand-alone short course at Swinburne’s Wantirna Campus. See here for more information.

Students can complete learning tasks and assessments here.

What is Clean Energy

Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewable resources, with 10% of all energy from traditional biomass, mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from hydroelectricity. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 3% and are growing very rapidly.[1] The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 19%, with 16% of electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from new renewables.[1]

NB. The above is from Wikipedia

Learn more about clean and renewable energy from our online training course.