Achieve the near impossible with Blue Energy
The ChallengeOne year ago Orbic Solar was given the opportunity to design and install a Solar System for a upmarket property in Camps Bay area.
The request was to design a system spec as follows”
- Power a large family home with Solar Energy
- Power air conditioners, garden pumps, pool pump, water filtration pumps and various other appliances including two geysers and a large stove in other words ( The Complete Home)
- Power the biggest load request, was the requirement to for the 3 phase elevator-lift of the home. The lift covers 3 stories and can lift a maximum weight capacity of around 800 Kg.
- Automatically switch over between Eskom and Loads without tripping the loads
- Record all data for analysis later
- Use roof space optimum to obtain the best ROI / yield per m2
System Operation with lift
When the lift starts, the motor and control board can draw a large amount of power and this value is a variable, which basically means it changes every time based on the weight. As the total weight lifts up the power also fluctuates and movement also have an effect on the power needed.
Now for a connection that is connected to Eskom its not a problem, because most of the time Eskom is stable, and we don’t care about power requirements. But for a solar system there are many factors to consider. Like clouds in-front of the sun when you drawing a large current etc.
So back to the lift , when the lift need to move it will influence the total amperage or power consumption at that moment on a big scale. Lift comes on and the power spike to n high level around 10KVA
Determining the correct Inverter Sizes
So the big question is how do you still use the same capacity size inverter as competitors, but handle the current required on start-up better without destroying the equipment or the need of over sizing the inverter and increasing the prices. The goal of the design was also to not use oversize size inverters to handle the extra power but to find a more efficient and smarter solution that use better power management to achieve the same results without increasing the budget. This was a huge challenge by itself, then we still need the system to be stable, flexible, reliable plus the options to expand the system including a remote management solution. The system further have to be extremely efficient and have lower than normal operating and maintenance cost.
Blue Energy’s Answer
the answer was to design a solution that uses Blue Energy’s 3 x Victron 5KVA Quattro units for 3 phase operation. These Blue Energy inverters can bypass current, and combine current form various sources. Blue Energy also can also deliver much higher loads power for extended time period to handle the startup power loads for the lift and other spikes from the pumps.
The extended power spike capability is what makes it possible to achieve nearly the impossible. By using smaller units to handle high power spikes with reliability and no compromise to system guarantees.
We also opted for Lithium LifePHO4 batteries that can handle up to 150A of power at 50V at around 12.5Kw/h of storage. Each unit can deliver a peak power of around 2.5Kw for a total power peak of 10Kw from 5 modules.