New-Build Energy Storage System with Solar, Lithium & Victron

With 9.6 kilowatt hours of lithium, a 48 volt Multiplus-II and 4.8 kW solar power is this an energy storage system that turns on the light when the electricity goes out. We planned to renovate the house on the land but when we started work we saw that the structure was unstable and so we had to tear it down. We had to start from scratch and wanted to make it as eco-friendly as possible. The contractors we work with, HM Construction, started out as carpenters, and they specialize in half-timbered houses built with sticks. With our designer they came up with the idea to build a half-timbered house on the land itself instead of in a factory, which gave us the flexibility to adjust things during the process.

Then came the insulation, the biggest investment which we did. With triple glazing, underfloor heating, and a heat source from the air does this house have the energy label A. In less than a million years I would have thought to build a house. In my career I have supervised projects such as building airports and hospitals. I was busy with my last project renovating an iconic building in West Africa, Abidjan, but I never wanted to build my own house. We have an underground lake here, plenty of water. It's been well tested, and we've made a well. But if you're going to use a wellbore, you have to be sure of your energy supply. From an economic point of view we save in the long run if we can generate our own electricity. And I foresee that electricity will become more expensive. Many people who live off-grid work with a diesel generator. They spend money to burn diesel to keep the electricity up or they do not have a continuous energy supply because they turn off the generator at night.

However, we install off-grid systems that supply energy 24 hours a day. We wanted to live as off-grid as possible, and use the latest technology. I've had a boat that I've owned for the past 10 years in Grenada in the Caribbean. We are self-sufficient on the boat because you cannot be connected to the electricity grid when you are sailing. Steve was fantastic. He tried not to go for the hard sell. He looked at the options, he does a lot off-grid systems and we realized that that was what we wanted. We installed solar panels and the Victron Inverter was a logical choice for us because we knew it from the boat. We knew it was one of the established brands and we wanted to go to sea with them. Callidus and Devon go on a complete Making an ESS system for Sue and Mark.

It starts in their workshop in Newton Abbot. It will be a 48 volt Multiplus-II, 5,000 VA, Include 70 amp inverter/charger. I did everything level and symmetrical and everything looks good. I don't believe in half work bad work like this. An MPPT 250/100 with VE direct communication, the size of MPPT allows for expansion If necessary. A Color Control GX that connects to the VRM, and a Victron Lynx distributor, for the main fuse. There will also be channeling keeping the cable network safe, with MCBs and RCDs for protection, and isolation switches for isolation. Sue and Mark have decided to make four 2.4 kWh, 48 volt Pylontech lithium batteries to be used. They will power specific power circuits in the event of a power failure. The house has 15 320 watt solar panels which together with the roof construction are installed. There are three parallel sets of five panels wired in series. The six cables are already running down through the building, to the room where the ESS system will be installed. These cables go through these two isolating switches. One is connected to two solar cables and the other has one. This leaves room for a fourth row of panels if needed in the future.

They are connected to the MPPT via MC-4 connectors. The DC of the MPPT is fed through a Blue Sea switch and a 125 amp fuse to the Lynx distributor. VE.Direct is connected from the MPPT on the Color Control GX. Energy for the consumer unit is diverted via an ET112 energy meter. This meter measures the energy going in and out the network has been taken and passes this on to the Color Control GX via the RS-485/2 USB interface. An AC power supply comes from the consumer unit to the ESS system board. It goes through an RCBO and the master switch, before connecting to the MultiPlus. It is important that a qualified electrician this board makes, because the regulations can be complex and are constantly changing. DC cabling is connected through a 123 amp fuse on the MultiPlus via another Blue Sea switch.

And the cable size is calculated to keep the resistance as low as possible. The AC power comes from the MultiPlus via an MCB back to a separate consumer unit, specially installed for critical loads. Circuits for light, water pump, sanitation station, and multiple main power outlets around the house, such as the cooling, will be connected on this second panel. If the power goes out, they stay on. Additional steps need to be taken when insulating the house, because the critical board stays on. Sue, Mark and the construction manager have been informed of this via the schedules that must stay in place next to the main unit If a truck makes the connection For example, completely disconnected, then the ground can go with it.

So Callidus is on it that they make their own grounding cable close to the mains connection, and install a ground stake. If the network fails we have our own grounding for the system. Grounding throughout the board is essential for all metal structures, including cabling and the MultiPlus, the MPPT and neutral from the DC Lynx distributor. We kept all DC of the batteries, the panels. The batteries go through this cable duct at the back down instead of through the center and the AC stays on this side of the larger cabling.

Experience has taught us make the board here. It saves time, and ensures that we are well prepared. Sometimes we don't get to see the construction site for before we set off, so we take measurements of the area and we say "Okay, we need a meter at 1300" And as long as we make it happen, it doesn't matter. We install the board, turn it on, and you're done. No programming problems, no connection problems, everything works. It has been tested for load capacity and everything works as the customer expects. The board has been tested in the workshop, and the firmware of the Color Control GX and PPT, and the MultiPlus-II are all up to date. It's time to take the board to the construction site. We have installed systems for motorhomes or caravans, and larger systems, commercial systems, 4,000 to 5,000 solar panels on commercial roofs. We have done many commercial installations, but we are mainly in the off-grid market now where it's 20 to 30 panels on a house with a 10 to 20 kWh battery so that these people benefit the most of being off-grid and saving as much money as possible without using diesel.

We looked at different manufacturers looking for the right solution for us. I think there is no good manufacturer goede which we have not used. But there is a flaw technical support, lack of skills, to quality. There are a number of factors that we always encountered and lead to frustration. Our customers are also getting frustrated because they want everything perfect right away. With Victron we have found that the system works. It's waterproof. We never get in trouble later. We know we can install a connection that lasts forever as long as it is well taken care of. With the VRM kit installed can we control the system remotely, if the customer experiences a problem. We can make adjustments, Victron comes regularly with firmware updates. This is important, because they improve the system.

The customer does not have to pay for this. As a long-term partner we see that Victron offers everything what we need. We've been looking for that for 10 years. Within this new building is a small space filled with pipes, and the consumer unit. The heating of the ESS devices and the water storage tank and the pipes are thought out in advance. An air transfer unit is installed here to extract warm air from space to heat the rest of the house. Four Pylontech lithium batteries are fitted on a small rack normally used for computer equipment. This rack is on the floor, under the ESS board. Each US2000 battery is 48 volt and contains 2.4 kWh of energy. They charge quickly and last a long time. A small footstep in space. Another factor in the decision to get a battery is the economy. Solar power works best in the UK in the summer, but you don't use it that much because you are exporting to the network.

After all, it is light for most of the day. In winter you have cloudy days when it's hard for the panels to generate enough energy. If you have a battery and a variable rate, like us, then you can choose to charge the battery in the middle of the night, at the cheapest time. If you want to use that electricity during the day you do not pay the highest rate. That spoke for itself for us. And I think what we did… We built a house for ourselves and it's a bit like a ship, like our boat. We are self-sufficient on the water, self-sufficient in electricity. When a snow storm comes in winter and the power grid goes out… Hopefully we see it coming and we have charged our batteries and we can continue even if there is no power. Being self-sufficient. That's what we want to be. Pylontech works with Victron Energy and because the batteries have CAN bus communication are they wired together and then to the Color Control GX.

This gives their voltage, charge percentage and amperage in the GX device list. The batteries are connected in parallel to the Lynx Distributor via a Blue Sea connection. Below is a link to the Victron website with more information about these lithium batteries and how to integrate them into a Victron system. After both the Victron installer and the current have tested electrical connection standards the system is ready for use. We had a terrible winter, these guys worked their way through it. And just as the sun came out, COVID-19 came. We thought we could forget the construction, but they decided to continue.

Partly because I spent a lot of time to pre-stock. I saw what would happen and I made sure we were stocked. We had plaster. Plaster is the toilet paper of the construction industry. You can't get it right now. Mark said at one point: "Let's stop building and sell our plaster, then we can buy a house like that." But instead of getting rich by selling plaster they used it for their new construction project. Their electricity bill has fallen drastically drastisch since the solar panels and batteries power their A-certified eco-home instead of being dependent on the national network..

You May Also Like