A more efficient system

Battery chemistry has developed rapidly over the last few years. Lithium technology has replaced lead acid as the battery of choice. Lithium can store more energy, has a longer lifespan, and takes up less space. Upgrade your existing lead-acid batteries and benefit from a more efficient off-grid system.

An intelligent system with full visibility

We can connect your system via an off-grid 4G device to the internet. This will enable you to monitor every aspect of your system from how often your generator has been turned on, to how much charge is in your batteries.give you full visibility of your system. At Off Grid Engineering we will monitor your system to pick up any potential issues such as your generator and battery health for the lifetime of your system.

Increase the amount of energy you generate

As time goes on it is common for your energy demand to increase. Due to the fact we offer entirely bespoke systems, we will be able to add to an existing or install a completely new Solar PV system that fits in seamlessly with your existing setup. This will result in you using your generator less.

The right system for you

With our extensive knowledge and experience, we can carry out a full survey of your existing system to ensure it is perfectly matched for your needs. We can asses whether your generator is the right size, check how your batteries are performing and let you know if you would benefit from more generation from your renewable source.

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Lithium V Lead Acid Battery Chemistry.

All car manufacturers use Lithium battery technology in their electric vehicles. If you think about it, that is a little surprising as the car industry has been using lead-acid batteries for decades! There are a number of reasons why Lithium is the chosen battery chemistry even though it is more expensive initially.

Lithium V Lead Acid Battery Chemistry.

All car manufacturers use Lithium battery technology in their electric vehicles. If you think about it, that is a little surprising as the car industry has been using lead-acid batteries for decades! There are a number of reasons why Lithium is the chosen battery chemistry even though it is more expensive initially.

Usable capacity or depth of discharge

The usable capacity of a lead-acid battery is only 50% whereas a lithium batteries usable capacity is between 80% and 100%. This means you will need a larger lead-acid battery to satisfy your demand as opposed to lithium technology.

Weight of battery

Lead Acid batteries are both larger in size and weight. A lead-acid battery weighs 4 times more than a lithium equivalent. Where size or weight is a consideration when designing the system it is worth bearing this in mind.

Ability to cope with high peak demand

Lead-acid technology is designed to release a steady amount of power whereas power demand can vary dramatically in practice. When working at peak, the higher the level of discharge required, the less of the battery capacity becomes usable. For example, the usable capacity can drop to as low as just 8% if the demand is high. This means a lead-acid battery system would need to be substantially oversized to cover peak demand. Lithium, due to its different chemistry is relatively unaffected by a higher load and even at peak power capacity would only drop by a few percents at most.

Charge rate

With lead-acid coping better with discharging in low amounts the same also applies to the charge rate. Lead-acid performs better with a low continuous trickle charge. Charging lead-acid from a high rate generator will burn twice the amount of fuel as lithium. Lead-acid batteries will charge to around 80% relatively quickly (bear in mind only 50% is usable) but it then takes an agonisingly long time to fill the final 20%. When it comes to storing renewable energy from wind or solar PV you need to install around 30% more generation equipment with lead-acid as you do with lithium to cover the same load. Another aspect to take into account is that when not used lead-acid will start to discharge of its own accord as it is not very efficient at storing energy for a long period of time. By contrast, Lithium can quickly charge to 100% and can hold that power for as long as needed.

Cycle life

Lead-acid batteries can cycle from 500 – 1500 times generally whereas Lithium batteries can cycle over 6000 times and still retain two-thirds of their capacity. This means you have to replace lead-acid batteries far more often than lithium batteries.

Cost

Lead-acid is initially cheaper than lithium technology, there are factors to take into account, however. Firstly as the lifespan is shorter it will need to be replaced more often and it also costs more in fuel or require more generation installed to power. These extra expenses mitigate the smaller initial costs. If you are on a very tight budget to complete the project maybe it would be worth considering lead-acid initially, however, if you are looking for long term value for money lithium is the best choice.

Summary

To summarise, it is clear to see that Lithium technology has huge advantages compared to lead-acid. The only time when Lead-acid scores against lithium are for those on a tight budget where the initial costs need to be kept as low as possible. It must be understood, however, that in the long run due to lifespan and running costs it will be less economical. Within the marine and automotive sector, Lead-acid does have a place, like a starter motor for example. As both chemistries are very different, with the new Victron management system it is great to seamlessly link both technologies and get the best of both worlds giving you the most efficient system.

Victron monitoring portal.

With the Victron remote monitoring portal, you now have the ability to assess information on exactly how your system is performing, from wherever you are in the world. This gives you full visibility of your system and allows you to use preventative maintenance in order to extend the lifetime of your system along with giving us the capability to remotely diagnose issues and make adjustments without leaving our desks! Here are a few of the cool features of the portal:

Victron monitoring portal.

With the Victron remote monitoring portal, you now have the ability to assess information on exactly how your system is performing, from wherever you are in the world. This gives you full visibility of your system and allows you to use preventative maintenance in order to extend the lifetime of your system along with giving us the capability to remotely diagnose issues and make adjustments without leaving our desks! Here are a few of the cool features of the portal:

Energy demand & source

On the main dashboard, there are two main views in system overview you are able to look at your consumption, renewable generation, and the percentage charge of your battery hour by hour over the last 16 hours. The second view is consumption where you can look in detail at your consumption and what source you have used the energy from, whether that is direct from your renewable generation, the battery or the generator. You can also look back at your consumption over the last 24 days, 7 days, 30 days, and 365 days.

Battery health

In advanced settings, there are no fewer than 39 points of system data! We won’t go into every data point here, but one of the things you can monitor is the health of your battery. We look at the battery cycles to check for any abnormalities. We can make adjustments remotely to ensure the settings are optimised for your system.

Generator health

You are also able to assess the health of your generator. You will be able to see if there are service requirements such as changing the filters for example. Keeping your generator well serviced will extend the lifetime, which will save you money. When we complete a project we will take time to show you how the monitoring portal works so you feel confident you understand the data. We will also check in on your system and ensure it is performing efficiently.

Other benefits

There are a few other benefits of using the monitoring portal. It is always worth looking at your energy consumption and see if there are potential savings you can make by reducing your demand. It may prompt you to change to LED lighting for example if you can see your demand increasing significantly when it gets dark. Another advantage is being able to use data to demonstrate issues with the generator, or solar panels if you need to make a warranty claim from the manufacturer.

Find out more about upgrading your system.

Why Off Grid Engineering is the preferred choice.

Here at Off Grid Engineering we feel our knowledge, experience & passion in all things off-grid sets us apart from our competition. Here are the reasons why we are the number one choice for all Off-grid solar PV projects:

1

Off-Grid Specialists

Unlike many of our competitors we specialise solely in off-grid systems. This gives us the upper hand when it comes to having the knowledge and experience required to ensure you constantly have an uninterrupted power supply 24/7, 365 days of the year. The integration of solar PV, batteries and a generator is best left to highly skilled, specialist engineers.

2

Bespoke System

When it comes to when and how we require energy in our property, everyone is unique. There are many aspects to consider especially when you combine electrical heat such as heat pumps & MVHR. We always take your lifestyle into consideration and then design the perfect solution for you.

3

Future Proofed

None of us can predict the future. With technology being ever changing it is hard to predict what your energy usage will be in a few years’ time. With our modular system, you can relax safe in the knowledge that we can easily add to your existing system if your energy demand grows. So, you don’t need to worry if you want to switch to an electric vehicle or treat yourself to a hot tub in the future.

1

Off-Grid Specialists

Unlike many of our competitors we specialise solely in off-grid systems. This gives us the upper hand when it comes to having the knowledge and experience required to ensure you constantly have an uninterrupted power supply 24/7, 365 days of the year. The integration of solar PV, batteries and a generator is best left to highly skilled, specialist engineers.

2

Bespoke System

When it comes to when and how we require energy in our property, everyone is unique. There are many aspects to consider especially when you combine electrical heat such as heat pumps & MVHR. We always take your lifestyle into consideration and then design the perfect solution for you.

3

Future Proofed

None of us can predict the future. With technology being ever changing it is hard to predict what your energy usage will be in a few years’ time. With our modular system, you can relax safe in the knowledge that we can easily add to your existing system if your energy demand grows. So, you don’t need to worry if you want to switch to an electric vehicle or treat yourself to a hot tub in the future.

4

Expert Monitoring

Once we have completed your installation our relationship does not end there. We will continually monitor your system, and offer instant remote diagnosis and technical support to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency for life. Due to the unique way, this product is powered by your battery bank you can be confident that you won’t lose connectivity.

5

App-Based Reporting

It is always nice to feel in control. We will provide you with access to the Victron Energy web based monitoring portal. This will allow you to look at data on your systems performance both historical and live time, using your laptop, tablet or smartphone. We will help guide you through the portal so you will have a thorough understanding of your personal power supply.

6

Unrivalled Experience

When upgrading a system it is important that you choose a company which has the experience to understand your current system. Off Grid Engineering will connect any existing generation equipment and also assess your system and try to incorporate as much equipment as possible into your new system.

4

Expert Monitoring

Once we have completed your installation our relationship does not end there. We will continually monitor your system, and offer instant remote diagnosis and technical support to ensure your system is operating at peak efficiency for life. Due to the unique way, this product is powered by your battery bank you can be confident that you won’t lose connectivity.

5

App-Based Reporting

It is always nice to feel in control. We will provide you with access to the Victron Energy web based monitoring portal. This will allow you to look at data on your systems performance both historical and live time, using your laptop, tablet or smartphone. We will help guide you through the portal so you will have a thorough understanding of your personal power supply.

6

Unrivalled Experience

When upgrading a system it is important that you choose a company which has the experience to understand your current system. Off Grid Engineering will connect any existing generation equipment and also assess your system and try to incorporate as much equipment as possible into your new system.

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