The Hybrid Solution Right for You?
Off-Grid Power Systems Surge in Popularity
Off-grid power systems have grown massively in just a few short years here in Australia. In 2014, the global investment bank UBS suggested that the average Australian household would find it more cost effective to install an off-grid power system rather than stay connected to the traditional grid. It’s a forecast that appears eerily accurate here and now in 2019; Australia’s National Electricity Market saw prices hike up to 130% between 2015 and 2017, and experts are ominously saying those high prices are likely here to stay.
Those crippling bills, connection fees, blackouts and brownouts have led to an increasing number of households looking for options to reduce their electric bills or deciding to move off-grid entirely. In 2017, Australian homes added more than one gigawatt of solar panels, adding over 170,000 rooftop installations. Outside of the major cities, there already exist communities and businesses that utilise off-grid power systems, citing the installation of off-grid power systems as a cheaper alternative to expensive connection fees charged by electric companies.
The Hybrid Solution
Off-grid power systems have grown in popularity in large part due to the growth of renewable energy solutions. Renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind have witnessed impressive technological advancements in the last few decades, however even here in sunny Australia, these technologies used alone have their limitations. If you are ready to make the jump to an off-grid power system utilising renewable energy technology, we suggest you consider what we call “The Hybrid Solution.”
To truly recognise your off-grid power system ambitions, it’s wise to incorporate a reliable diesel generator. Whether you are looking to take your home off the grid, build a new home or off-grid workshop, or want to power your weekender without paying costly connection fees, this advice holds true. If you don’t believe us, consider the following:
When Off-Grid, You Are On Your Own
With an off-grid power system, should the power fail, there is no utility company coming to solve the problem for you. Keeping a diesel generator as a back-up is a smart way to make sure you have power and can lend you some peace of mind if nature isn’t cooperating with your renewable sources of power generation.
Solar Power: The Sun Doesn’t Always Shine
In a purely solar powered off-grid power system, bad weather or poor solar exposure could leave you in the dark. The biggest drawback of an entirely solar powered system is that solar panels only charge when the sun is shining. Depending on where you are, peak power generation will last for 3-4 hours during the day, and sunless days make up 25-33% of the year. A reliable diesel generator genset can be used to supply extra power when its needed, or recharge solar batteries at night or during inclement weather.
Wind Power: Mercy of the Elements
Using wind powered off-grid power systems has an obvious drawback: it requires a regular breeze to be effective. If the turbine isn’t turning, there’s no electricity generation. This means you’ll need the right amount of space, and the right circumstances for a functional installation. The less obvious problem with keeping wind off-grid power systems running in proper order is the maintenance required. A wind turbine has a lot of moving parts, and moving parts means more maintenance and a higher possibility of power failure.
Generator Power Knows Off-Grid Power Systems
When it comes to off-grid power systems, we know an effective hybrid off-grid power system relies on four major components: Solar power, grid capacity, batteries, and a reliable generator. When it comes to the generator, we at Generator Power recommend Himoinsa generators above all others. Himoinsa is a world leader in diesel gensets and an industry pioneer of designing hybrid off-grid power systems for remote areas around the world.
Himoinsa has been making a difference in remote areas of Africa and the Dominican Republic since 2015 with its hybrid technology power solutions. The company’s work started with designing and installing hybrid off-grid power systems with telecom and mining companies who required power sources in remote parts of Africa. They have been developing and pushing the technology since, applying their knowledge to residential uses.
In 2017, Himoinsa worked with Quantum Power in Malvinas, Argentina to create the first hybrid microgrid to provide power for an entire community. As the first hybrid power plant of its kind, it supplies power to the rural community of ‘100 families, two schools, a health centre, and a police station’. With that kind of pedigree, you can see why when we think off-grid power systems, we think Himoinsa.
If you aren’t sure the hybrid solution is right for you and would prefer a pure diesel generator off-grid power system, check out our article on the subject here – or give our experts a call at 1300 767 257! We can’t wait to share our wealth of knowledge and expertise on the subject to help your off-grid living dreams a reality!
A word from the editor
My name is Aaron Robins, I’m the sales manager at Generator Power. I have been in the generator game for over 10 years. I have supplied generators to residential and commercial clients for a wide range of various uses. My aim in writing this short article it that I may be able to arm you with the right information in order to help you make a wise decision. There are many people who make poorly informed decisions in my industry. This commonly results in loss of finances, wasted time and bucket loads of stress. I believe in doing a job right the first time and with as little stress possible. As a result I aim to educate potential customers so that people avoid these issues before they happen.