Lithium ion upgrade
This 30kWh Freedom Won battery replaced a bank of 1600Ah (48V) lead acid cells. While not a solar installation (the batteries are charged daily from a generator), the lithium ion battery is able to be charged at a higher rate and, with its better recharging efficiency, we are able to reduce generator run time. To achieve this, there is a stand-alone 50A charger in addition to the 70A charger in the Multiplus 5kVA unit, giving 120A of charging capacity.
Lithium ion upgrade for a 3kWp solar installation
We upgraded this old lead acid pack (24V / 1400Ah) with a 10kWh (52V / 200Ah) lithium ion battery. Increasing the system voltage to 48V allows us to double up on the solar system without the need for any more charge controllers – there are two 70A controllers in place handling the 12 x 250W panels. Future plans are to add another 12 panels and another battery when more accommodation is added.
The old battery bank in the yellow cases makes for an useful comparison
Off-grid house and cottage (8kWp)
This 8kWp system feeds into a 16kWh BlueNova lithium ion battery through two Victron charge controllers. Power is provided by two 5kVA Victron Multiplus-II units. Remote monitoring with the Victron Colour Control unit is standard on such installations to provide real-time analysis and historical usage data.
Off-grid household – 1kWp (to start!)
This system has been designed to be upgraded, so we’re starting with 4 panels for now with the plan to upgrade to a 4kWp in future and as it grows. This is linked to a 3kW Victron Multiplus-II and a 5kWh Freedom Won lithium ion battery. In addition, it has a remote monitoring system to keep track of usage.
Off-grid household – 3kWp
This system operates a household out of town with no mains power. The off-grid system has a 3kWp solar array connected to a 10/7 Freedom Won lithium ion battery and linked to a Victron EasySolar 3kVA unit, complete with remote monitoring access.
This small system runs two off grid cottages. It has an 800W Victron Multiplus inverter/charger and 4 x 200Ah batteries (and a battery balancer). There are two such system on this remote farm running two sets of cottages.
Office backup (with some solar)
This is a 5kVA office and workshop backup system with an 8kWh lithium ion battery from Blue Nova. For extended daytime outages, we’ve included a 1000Wp solar system on the roof.
Remote camp site – 4.5kWp
This remote 4.5kWp system with 5kVA Victron inverter and MPPT keeps a remotely located camp site operational. We’ve linked in a 12kWh Blue Nova battery to easily handle the overnight loads.
Off-grid office in Maun – 4kWp
Just upgraded this 2kWp to a 4kWp system to add a small aircon unit. The new Victron MPPT charge controller (with up to 250V input) allows us to string up to 6 panels in series for an easier upgrade in future (currently we have 5 in series).
We also upgraded the ailing lead acid battery with a Blue Nova 4kWh lithium ion battery to handle the small overnight loads for security lighting and refrigeration.
Safari Camp – 55kWp
This 55kWp solar array is connected to Fronius 20kVA grid-tied inverters and Victron Quattro units. At the heart of the system is a 195kWh Blue Nova lithium ion battery bank.
This off-grid system provides all the power needed for a remote anti-poaching unit in the Okavango Delta – with a 16kWh Blue Nova battery and two 3kVA Victron Multiplus units. It also has a remote monitoring system to allow offsite monitoring.
Lithium ion upgrade: Blue Nova 16kWh
We used a 16kWh 52V (310Ah) Blue Nova lithium ion battery to replace a 900Ah lead acid battery bank. So far, the change has been dramatic, with the batteries getting to a 100% SOC on a daily basis despite cloudy weather – mainly due to the efficiency (96%) of the lithium ion system compared to 70% of a lead acid battery.
Blue Nova Retrofit – 32kWh
We replaced an ailing lead acid battery bank with a two Blue Nova 52V 16kWh lithium ion batteries for a 32kWh system. The original bank was a 76kWh bank with 24 x 2V 1600Ah lead acid batteries.
Residential 1.5kWp (upgradable to 2kWp)
This small 1.5kWp residential system has a 20kWh lead acid battery system and 3kW inverter to cope with fridges and power tools (occasional use). We’ve allowed for an additional 750Wp of solar for future needs.
June 2019: We’ve upgraded the battery bank to a 10kWh Freedom Won lithium ion battery and added 3 more panels!
This residential installation has just had a 16kWh lithium battery bank installed
Update: March 2018 – we’ve now added another 4 panels, pushing this to 3kWp
Safari Camp in the Okavango Delta
The main part of the camp is powered by a 4kWp solar system with 2 x 3kVA Victron Multiplus inverters
Each of the tents have a 200L solar geyser and a 500Wp solar system with a 800W Victron Phoenix inverter housed in a lockable and weatherproof enclosure.
2kWp system in Maun and Kasane
A set of two 2kWp solar installations at the UNDP offices in Maun and Kasane with a 1200VA inverter to provide power to the computers, main server and security lighting. We are also in the process of replacing all the flourescent lighting with LED tube lights.
6kWp Residential solar system in Maun
Residential solar in Chanoga (30km from Maun)
This plant was initially a 1kWp system (left) and was upgraded to a 2kWp system