Remote Cabin Power System
This is an example of a private cabin on a lake in the Okanagan area of British Columbia. The cabin is powered by a Kubota 7.5 kW diesel generator and feeds a 48 volt battery bank and a Trace 5548 inverter system.
Automatic start and battery equalization are just one of the many features of this versatile and powerful inverter system.
The unit is software controlled with LCD display. The cabin features an optional remote LCD monitoring system installed in the entranceway to map power system parameters.
Beaver Lake Lodge
What do you do when added loads exceed the capacity of your generator? Picturesque Beaver Lake resort, perched on a mountain top high above Winfield in B.C.’s Okanagan, was faced with this problem when a new restaurant was added. Miles away from hydro, the lodge has always used diesel gensets to operate 24-hours a day. When the decision was made to add a restaurant, the demands on the prime power, a 16 kilowatt three-phase generator, were exceeded.
The resort was able to increase the output of the two legs of the generator from 5 kW to 7.2 kW, thus increasing the generator’s output to 20 kW.
The third leg of the generator was wired to loads that could be dispensed with during evening hours.
The two 5.5 kW inverters are connected to a 48 volt battery bank with a storage capacity of just over 50 kw/hrs. This battery reserve allows the generator to be shut off during the evening when the heavy loads have been reduced. The use of
inverters cuts down on fuel and maintenance costs and most importantly gives the guests the quiet time that they came for.
As mentioned earlier, the inverters have battery chargers built in. When sine wave inverter synchronize its charging from a generator, the generator’s output and current are monitored. If either falls outside user adjustable limits, the inverter sheds itself as a load and then reverses the power flow if necessary. This delivers energy from the batteries to the loads, assisting the generator when operating two units in series at 240 VAC, one 120 VAC leg can be charging while the other is supporting. The pass-through current of either the 4 kW or 5 kW inverters is 60 amps per inverter, or 7.2 kW. Automatic generator start mode can be triggered by battery voltage, load size in amps, or time of day.
Quiet time can be set, during which the generator is not allowed to start unless the “Must Start” override voltage is reached. Warm up seconds, max cranking seconds, and max starting attempts are some of the user adjustable parameters.
When connected to a generator, the waveform to that of the generator, locks to it, and operates in parallel. This ability, coupled with the bi-directional power topology and micro-processor control, makes it possible for the units to offer multiple operating modes. Recently, another Trace 5548 inverter and 48 volt battery bank was added to the system.
Off-Grid System for Remote Private Home
This is another example of a system installed in Central British Columbia. The system features a Trace 4024 inverter, Air 403 wind generator, 24 volt battery bank, 4- Kyocera 120 watt solar panels and a diesel generator to provide backup power. It uses a C-40 controller/charger and provides all the needs of a reasonably sized home that is remotely situated where grid power is just too costly to install.
Remote Telemetry Site
Here’s a small system used to provide power for a stream flow data logger set up in the interior of BC. Three Unisolar 64 watt solar panels provide power for a 12 volt battery system on Trepanier Creek. The site is located in an area with periods of low light conditions due to proximity of large hills and trees. The Unisolar panels, with low light capabilities provide more than enough power to keep the system fully charged and running. A charge controller with auto-cycling features provides LCD readout of system conditions.
Here’s another example of matching a solar powered inverter system to a small cottage or weekend retreat with all the comforts. A Trace inverter, a 24 volt battery bank and four Kyocera solar panels provide lots of power.
A Repeater Station
Come winter’s ice, sleet and snow. it is imperative that repeater stations on remote mountain tops keep working. The energy supply for these stations usually comes from renewables such as wind and photovoltaics supplying power to a battery bank. Generally it works without fail. But the inclement weather of winter can change that! Extreme cold can reduce the battery bank output dramatically causing the repeater to go down.
Heavy frost build-up on solar modules and wind generators can completely eliminate the station’s electrical supply. If that happens, a trip to the site via snow cat or helicopter along with repair costs, makes station repair a pretty expensive undertaking.
That was the problem recently confronting Valley Internet Providers (VIP) of Penticton, B.C., whose repeater station is perched 7300 feet atop Apex Mountain. The thick build-up of frost on the equipment, along with a continuous draw of more than 2 amps were too much for the 75 watt solar panels and small wind generator to handle. It resulted in all too frequent and expensive, one hour rides by snow cat to the top of the mountain to replace the station’s batteries. A survey of the situation determined that no matter how many solar panels were used at the site, the accumulation of frost would eliminate the modules output. The solution NOVA provided was an experiment that worked out very well. It was decided to try a thermal electric generator (TEG) sized to fit the load. The generator was installed with two 100 pound propane bottles to provide generator fuel for 40 days of continuous running time.
Taking advantage of the TEG’s heat by-product, the insulated battery box was placed next to the TEG and its heat vented via a plenum into the battery box. This arrangement kept the batteries at a constant l5 C rather than the -30 C is before. In addition to adding the TEG, a Unisolar 64 watt, thin film, triple junction module was also used. Unlike conventional glass modules, the UNISOLAR solar panel has a polymer coating which appears not to suffer the frost build-up problems. The panel has now been in service for months without any frost build-up at all. This panel is proving to be an excellent alternative as it is flexible, will take a puncture, and works very well under low light and shaded conditions. The panel also carries a 20-year warranty.
Unique Remote Home
This is an interesting house constructed in the interior of British Columbia. It is based on the “Earthship” design with recycled tires in the walls for insulation and special membranes under the topsoil for water drainage and specially coated windows to conserve heat and provide light for the plants. It uses Kyocera solar panels and also uses a solar domestic hot water system. The control room is shown with the Trace Sine Wave inverter and controllers.
Rescue Power on the Go
At Vernon, BC, the Search & Rescue team use a battery powered inverter system installed by NOVA to provide AC current for their mobile equipment . The unit is extremely well equipped with all the latest in radio and emergency equipment.
Using a solar powered inverter system instaled by NOVA – this Bhuddist Retreat Centre in southern British Columbia is able to match their power needs with the keyword at their retreat: Quiet!