New Off Grid House using Victron, Solar, BYD Lithium & backup Generator

♪ ♪ [Narrator] Although there is mains power a few meters from this newly built house, the owner has decided to buy sun, lithium and use a generator for its power supply. ♪ ♪ It is located in the English countryside in Shropshire, at the Stoke St. Milborough. This house with a garden and a wooden frame is almost finished and with scaffolding built around the house, it's time to put on the roofing. Every day brings a drama. Most are rather small. The professionals all know their trade, but don't always know how to leave the case for those who come after them.

So there are always transition problems. [Narrator] The north side of the roof of the house has normal pans and windows, but the south side will be covered with solar panels. Jim has chosen very specific panels. The lines fall within the roof tiles photovoltaic cells, they all look the same and there is no shiny aluminum or anything to spoil the view. They also don't sting in an ugly way above the actual pans. ♪ ♪ The weather is good and so the men can continue to work. # What Jim chose is a glass roof that provides free electricity. He chose the Veridian system that met waterproof panels are supplied. They have their own seal that goes around it and keeps everything watertight. So, first of all, there is no cost for roof tiles and you produce electricity for free. And because Jim is not connected to the net this is the network for his home. [Narrator] The team installs 22 Veridian solar panels and each panel delivers 270 watts and 37 volts. The panels are waterproof for the roof. Each panel has a rubber seal all around, which we work in with the seal and kits that go into the gutter, at the bottom and at the top.

Then we have a roof with frames that we finish with some pans on the outside. It is actually a glass roof. We have four series serial, so four panels connected together, in and out with plus and minus, that runs over a cable with two wires. Every cable arrives at Scott, that connects them to the controller, his Victron controller. On the deck, we have two sets of four cables and then two sets of five. [Narrator] Although the house is located in the middle of a village and electricity cables of 11,000 volts walking across his land is not that easy if connecting to the nearest electricity station. There can be several, costly, connections, it is possible that the connection to the net miles away. In some cases, it can be hundreds of thousands pounds cost. There may be problems with admission to pass through a neighbor's property, that can slow everything down, or it could be a real life choice.

Today many people like the idea to have autonomous power supply and so be independent. In the case of Jim's property, it was a confluence of all three. He loved the idea to have its own power supply, there were supply problems. Often the infrastructure in the UK is very old, putting the cabling in the ground need to modify, or add a substation which is all more expensive. In this case and there were problems too with passage and laying of cables over a neighbor's property, which got a bit complicated. So it was a combination in this case. Cost-wise was the independent solution only a fraction of the cost of the net to connect to the property. ♪ ♪ [Narrator] Before the system can be scheduled, calculations have to be made for the power consumption in the house. I want a very efficient fridge and freezer, because they are always on and some consume a lot of energy. The one I chose consumes only 115 kW / hour over a whole year.

Even a normal small refrigerator would consume so much. This thing is very efficient. [Narrator] Cooking? We cook with induction, in terms of energy efficiency, but it needs a boost when you turn it on and that can require quite a bit of power. The system we use for the photovoltaic panels on the roof can handle this. I've also got a… My heating is provided by an air heat pump. So there will be a unit outside and a ventilation convector such as in most hotel rooms, which is very efficient. For every kW of electricity consumed I get five kW of heating. So this will not consume much energy at all. Off Grid Engineering supplies independent power sources for residential and commercial properties. My co-director Scott is a qualified shipbuilding engineer. We also work in the marine industry, waterways and also the camper and other camping vehicles. I've looked at a few suppliers and Ian Hewson from Off Grid was the most knowledgeable and enthusiasm. He is a real champion and it is his main activity. So I was confident that it would all go well. [Narrator] During the construction of the roof with pans on one side and especially glass on the other, all equipment must be under the roof installed.

But first, they have to get to the top. The first appliance to be mounted against the extreme facade wall is a 48 smooth KVA Quattro inverter / charger. All cables have come in from the solar panels on the roof and first run through three switches and then by two Victron Energy MPPT 250/60 SmartSolar charge controllers. Cabling of the correct thickness goes from any load controller and the Quattro converter / charger and through the bus bars into a Lynx power in.

A 200 amp fuse protects the Quattro and each MPPT is protected by 125 amp fuses. On the floor of the ceiling stands the latest BYD Lithium Iron Phosphate 15.36 kWh battery. The unit consists of two separate battery modules that are mounted on top of each other. This modular design can be expanded to a maximum 983 kWh for larger systems. Before the battery can be operated, the Scott must connect the two 24 volt batteries in series with the provided BYD power cables.

The battery bank we chose is from BYD. Widely used today, with lithium-ion phosphate technology together with the Victron switches. BYD is an extremely large manufacturer. We have approximately 50 Off Grid installations in the UK with BYD products. We are also a BYD service partner and can provide a comprehensive 10-year warranty. With 6,000 cycles you have a battery which always has at least 60% capacity. So it is a lifelong system. [Narrator] Scott has been around for many years chief electrician and was awarded the award in 2019 as newly certified, Electric Technician of the Year award of the British Marine Electricity and Electronics Association. Very qualified to install Jim's system. ♪ ♪ As with our Off Grid systems this is connected to the VRM portal. That is very important if you have a large portfolio of off-grid systems.

You must be able to follow them 24/7. The functionality of the Victron remote portal allows me to upload and download everything necessary in the system, including reprogramming of the system and updating firmware without going on the spot. [Narrator] To make this possible, Scott has connected a Color Control GX. This is connected to both solar charge controllers with VE.Direct, the Quattro via VE.Bus and also the BYD BMU, via VE.CAN. Data from the BYD battery can be sent to the Color Control GX and also VRM. The data volume has increased with this latest BYD battery. As you can see in the description below, there is a link to the Victron NG website, BYD page and also a blog that accompanies this video. When you see the Color Control GX detail screen of the battery, you can get the lowest and see highest cell voltage.

In addition, also the minimum and maximum cell temperature, the number of battery modules and the installed and power capacity of each. You also see the historical data of the batteries and the firmware versions and parameters. To send all this data online to VRM, has Off Grid Engineering installed this standalone 4G LTE wi-fi router. This box uses battery power and has a wide ethernet RJ 45 connection to both the Color Control GX as a wide ethernet port in the house. There is an external 4G antenna and use a mobile network SIM card contract, not just to connect to the mobile network for internet access, but also for your own broadcast wi-fi network in the house.

Jim is very satisfied with that. Now that the DC system has been tested and working, it is time to commission the AC side. 16 millimeter outputs from AC out-1 of the Quattro walk to a master selector switch. This switch is made so that Jim can manually switch the power of his home, or from the battery or generator, if necessary. Then there is the local unit for domestic consumption with MCBs to protect the cables, both to the consumer unit and from the generator. Downstairs, Scott installs a momentary switch at the end of the armored 16 millimeter cables, that come from the ceiling. This will be replaced by the electrician for the home installation when the unit for domestic consumption connected to the rest of the house. A grounding conductor is installed outside, that runs back to the ceiling system.

There will be times in winter when we have long periods of low light, a lot of rain, and when I need a boost, which I get from the standby generator. [Narrator] That generator is a 4.6 kW single-phase HGI HRD 060 generator. As soon as the position is removed, this generator will be set up in a small building at the back of the property. As with most of our off-grid systems will be less than 10%, and often even less than 5%, from the power consumption of the backup generator and 90, 95%, sometimes more of the renewable energy or the storage in your battery bank. [Narrator] There are two armored connections from the generator to the system in the ceiling. A 230 volt power supply to an MCB in the consumption unit, then the manual switch and to AC in one port from the Quattro. This generator can be started automatically. An armored communication cable is connected to the relay in the Victron Color Control GX. At the moment there are two pre-sets in the Color Control GX. When the battery has less than 20% charge, the generator will turn on automatically, and run until the battery reaches 45%.

Although automatic, this can be limited according to a chosen time period, to avoid noise at night, for example. In this setting, the generator will start and help the Quattro, if there is AC power request is in the house of more than 5,000 watts for more than 20 seconds. Once the AC power load is less than 3,500 watts, the generator will switch off again. All this data is fed to the VRM portal and with the power of knowledge, Ian can remotely monitor and maintain Jim's system.

Although Jim's new home is not connected to the national electricity grid, he will have plenty of renewable energy for his home all year round. ♪ ♪ What will you do with any surplus? A bubble bath. [Narrator] Clearly, a bubble bath. What else should I do with it? ♪ ♪ I've always wanted to do this but never had the time. Now I do and I can have a lifelong ambition finally make it happen.


You May Also Like