Off-Grid K'Gari Home - So Much Power, It Could Be Mistaken For City-Living

Replacement of a 13-year old off grid system with an oversized solar array, lithium batteries, and an EV charger.

Nestled in the hills of Orchid Beach on stunning K’Gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, an unassuming home functions with so much off-grid power that it could be mistaken for city living.

Back in 2010, our clients first reached out to us with a unique proposition: crafting a comprehensive off-grid solution, given the infeasibility of accessing grid electricity for their secluded island residence

Springers Solar director, Joe Springer, and off-grid energy expert, Dave Whinnett, worked closely with the customer in 2010 to determine the home’s electricity needs and formulate a long-term, no-fuss solution.

Read more: Somerset Dam Home With A $0 Power Bill - Detached From The Grid, But Not Detached From Power

The two-bedroom home required a reliable source of energy to power lighting, refrigeration, a hot water system, and internet. The homeowner’s priority was to provide enough power to cover their daily consumption requirements without needing to micro-manage their usage. 

Brisbane Fraser Island Off Grid Home

At the time, a 24V off-grid solar and battery system was implemented. Our team employed an arrangement consisting of eight 900Ah Raylite wet cell batteries, configured in series-parallel to yield a total storage capacity of 43kWh. 

Brisbane Fraser Island Raylite Wet Cell Batteries

At the heart of the setup, a first Generation 2.5kW Selectronic Inverter Charger operated reliably to convert solar energy harnessed from the PV array into a viable power source for the residence.

Read more: Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy In 2023

The total useable capacity of this battery system was 8.6kWh per day - 20% of the rated capacity of the total battery setup. To achieve a longer lifespan with wet cells, a low depth of discharge is required to preserve the integrity and performance of the battery. 

Brisbane Springers Solar Off Grid Selectronic Upgrade

For its time, this DC-Coupled system proved an excellent demonstration of what energy storage systems were capable of achieving. For more than a decade, this home was supported by an excellent off-grid energy solution and hummed along reliably.

Now, 13 years later, the owners of the house reached out to us again and requested a full system upgrade. The wet cell batteries had begun to collapse under the load, as predicted for their amount of use and lifespan. 

Read more: The Key Differences Between Grid Tied, Off-Grid, and Solar Hybrid Systems

The homeowners were also interested in integrating newer technologies that had since been released to the market to future-proof their home for more decades to come. 

"The homeowners were interested in integrating newer technologies and future-proofing their home for more decades to come"

Prioritising an effortlessly managed and virtually maintenance-free setup was again our homeowner’s key goal. With this in mind, we designed a system that maximised solar panel placement on the roof and installed an oversized battery system designed to store surplus energy.

Springers Solar off Grid Home Before and After Solar Array

Read more: Can I Add A Solar Battery To My Existing Solar Installation?

This strategic decision empowers the occupants to conveniently expand their electricity consumption within the household, free from concerns about the system’s capacity to accommodate additional demands now and in the future. In short, this system has enough energy to power a city dweller’s lifestyle!

Forty modules of 430W Trina Solar Vertex S+ solar panels were installed to cover the entirety of the north-east facing roof. With a combined capacity of 17.2kW, the array will easily generate power to cover the home’s daily needs and keep the solar batteries charged. 

Trina Solar’s N-Type Vertex S+ range was selected for its innovative dual-glass structure and resilience against salt and dust corrosion. Given the home is situated on the world’s largest sand island, safeguarding the panels and overall system integrity ranked as a top priority. 

Read more: N-Type Solar Panels Versus P-Type Solar Panels

Read more: The Two Best Solar Panels On Offer In Australia 2023

Benefitting from Trina Solar’s advanced design principles and comprehensive warranties, our customers can rest assured that their system’s performance will remain steadfast for many years to come, even in the harsh environment of which they reside.

Off Grid Solar System Trina Solar Panels

Ten 48V 4kWh PowerPlus Eco Lithium Batteries were carefully installed in a sturdy PowerPlus IP54 wall cabinet, complete with thermal temperature control. This arrangement results in a total lithium battery storage of 40kWh. 

Read more: Off Grid Tiny Home Featuring PowerPlus Lithium Batteries

Due to lithium’s ability to maintain integrity at a high depth of discharge, the homeowner can withdraw up to 32kWh daily (80% of total capacity) from the battery bank. This generous reserve ensures autonomous system operation for approximately five days during inclement weather before the generator needs to take over.

Utilising lithium batteries allows the homeowners to withdraw up to 80% of the system's total capacity, enabling greater autonomy.
PowerPlus Lithium Battery Cabinet Off Grid System

A 48V 7.5kW Selectronic Inverter Charger was installed for reliable power conversion and was coupled with a duo of Fronius Primo Inverters, resulting in a combined inverter capacity of 13.2kW. This enhanced setup operates on an AC-Coupled configuration, empowering it to handle substantial AC loads throughout the day, including power-intensive devices like air conditioning and electric vehicle charging.

Read more: AC Versus DC Batteries

Fronius Primo Inverter Off Grid
Selectronic SP Pro Gen 2 Off Grid

Both the customer and our dedicated after-sales service team can monitor the system’s performance and metrics thanks to Select.Live, Selectronic’s remote monitoring system. We can view in real-time how the system is functioning and can proactively diagnose faults if they arise. 

Given the nature of an off-grid system, monitoring the performance of the system is critical to ensure consistent, optimal performance. Remote monitoring provides complete peace of mind as our customers don’t need to worry about whether the system is performing - we’re making sure it is. 

Select.Live data from Springers Solar off grid system

Select.Live displaying one week's worth of data from the K'Gari off-grid system.

With surplus energy being generated by the system and the homeowners keen to future-proof their property, they chose to incorporate a Level 2 EV Charger into their driveway setup. The Tesla Wall Connector was the preferred choice due to its versatility in accommodating various vehicle types. This inclusion of the EV Charger, powered entirely by solar energy, empowers the residents to lead a fully self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.

Off Grid Tesla Wall Connector

To facilitate backup power in the event of an emergency, our team upgraded the previous generator to a more robust and modern Himoinsa model. This enhanced generator stands ready to provide backup power to the home should the AC supply deplete - the system has been meticulously designed to match requirements, reducing the likelihood of needing the generator except in cases of severe weather conditions. To maintain its condition, the Springers installation team has scheduled routine runs to keep the unit operational and in prime shape.

Read more: Will My Solar Still Work During A Power Outage?

The system stands as a testament to meticulous design and outstanding workmanship, affording our customers continuous access to solar energy day and night, effectively powering their home akin to a modern city apartment.

Springers Solar | Queensland's Most Experienced Off-Grid Solar Installer

Springers Solar provides quality components with proven performance, backed by industry-leading warranties, and dedicated after-sales support. Thousands of satisfied customers over more than 20 years of operation make Springers Solar one of the most established and experienced off-grid, residential, and commercial solar providers in Australia. 

Springers Solar has received multiple awards for design and installation and is a certified/preferred installer for a large range of solar panel, inverter, and solar battery manufacturers, including Tesla, REC, and SolarEdge.

Our dedicated in-house team of electrical engineers, project managers, solar PV designers, solar installers and electricians work closely with you before, during, and long after your project is completed. Springers Solar offers an industry-leading 10-year workmanship warranty which is a testament to our qualified staff and offers you outstanding value and peace of mind.

Visit our About Us page here!

Find more of our off-grid projects here!

Share this post
Exclusive Tesla Powerwall Rebate: Harness Your Solar Energy Like Never Before With Tesla Powerwall
Save $750 on Tesla Powerwall with this exclusive, limited-time rebate offer.