Solar & battery projects
Out of town camp
This system has 12 x 270W panels to cope with the daytime pool pump and a newly installed Blue Nova RacPower “Daily Use” 5.2kWh lithium ion battery. This replaces the original 200Ah lead acid batteries which are a couple years old now.
Remote research camp
This 3kWp solar system is running a remote research camp in the Okavango Delta. The 3kVA Multiplus supplies power to their vital refrigeration and communications systems as well as the borehole pump. The system is powered by a 5kWh Freedom Won lithium ion battery.
Off-grid private lodges
We installed two similar systems with 6 x 270W panels, a 4kWh Blue Nova battery and 3kVA Victron inverter to run these self-catering private lodges in a remote bush location for Omogolo Bush Lodges.
Off-grid luxury family villa
This is a small system we did for the luxury family villa at The Lodge at Feline Fields a while back and we never shared at the time. It has 12 x 260W panels feeding a 14kWh lead acid battery bank and 5kW inverter
Off-grid camp and campsite – 6kWp
This camp and campsite outside Maun has a 6kWp solar array with a 40kWh Blue Nova battery linked to a 10kW Victron inverter system. We’re linking in a colour conrol (CCGX) unit to allow offsite management of the system.
Off-grid household – 3kWp
We completed this new 3kWp solar system which has 12 x 270W RenewSys panels connected to a 5kVA Victron EasySolar with 100A MPPT and a 10/7 Freedom Won lithium ion battery. Its taking up a tiny corner of the clients storage container and will feed the house, the farm and two pressure pumps. With the EasySolar unit, the remote monitoring system in built-in, so off-site monitoring will assist in ensuring the system is updated and running smoothly.
Grid-connected household with 3kWp solar
This small home system sustains most of the household load with 2kWp on the roof and a 3kW EasySolar with built-in 70A MPPT connected to a Freedom Won 5/4kWh lithium ion battery. Victron’s remote monitoring system is also built into these units, allowing easy off-site monitoring of the system. The house reverts to mains power when the solar cannot provide enough.
2020 Update: We’ve added another 4 panels to assist with extra daytime loads (water pumps)
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.
6kWp off-grid safari camp
Lithium ion upgrade for a 3kWp solar installation
We upgraded this old lead acid pack (24V / 1400Ah) with a 10kWh (52V / 200Ah) Freedom Won 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. The old battery bank in the yellow cases makes for an useful comparison
2020 Update: We have added another 12 panels and further upgraded the battery to a 20kWh unit
Off-grid house and cottage (8kWp)
An 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!) and now 2kWp as of November 2019
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. This system has been upgraded with another 4 panels in November 2019
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 systems 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.
December 2019 update: The solar was increased to 2kWp which now makes this system fully sustainable without the need for mains input.
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, while the remote monitoring system allows off-site control of the system
Off-grid office in Maun – 4kWp
We 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 5 panels 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.
Work in progress – busy installing and programming the new 32kWh system
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
Update: July 2020 – we’ve upgraded the 3kVA to a 5kVA inverter (new on the left – old on the right above)
Safari Camp in the Okavango Delta
The main part of the camp is powered by a 4kWp solar system with two 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 Off-grid residential solar system in Maun
This 6kWp system runs an off-grid house out of town. The two 5kVA Multiplus units power the loads from a 66kWh lead acid battery bank. A remote monitoring system allows off-site communication with the system.
Residential solar in Chanoga (30km from Maun)
This plant was initially a 1kWp system (left) and was upgraded to a 2kWp system. The 3kVA Multiplus inverter powers the house from a 4kWh Blue Nova lithium ion battery