I bought this home 5 years ago. I was lured by the size of the land (5500m2) which provided an opportunity to be more self-sustainable.
The property was already self-sufficient with water and I am gradually working on creating an edible garden that produces plenty of food but I soon found that electricity reliability was a real issue.
The property is subject to regular power outages, both scheduled and unplanned. It is frequent for blackouts to last longer than 24 hours when they occur.
While I could have joined my neighbours and bought a generator, I decided to become as self-sufficient as possible with electricity instead. After considering a lot of options, with the help of Off-Grid Energy Australia, I installed a PV/Battery system in August 2019 that would meet my energy requirements for the majority of the year but would have grid access for backup over winter. I am also able to sell excess solar to the grid.
The system design was determined by the inverters needed to meet electricity distributor Ausnet’s requirements and consists of 12kW REC solar panels and a 20kWh BYD battery, with a mix of both AC and DC coupled panels.
Over spring, summer and most of autumn I had practically no grid import but was able to export hundreds of kWh to the grid each month, turning quarterly bills of several hundred dollars into credits from my electricity retailer. Since installation there have been multiple power outages, one lasting around 40 hours, and the system was able to fully power my home, even to the point of being able to charge my plug-in hybrid electric vehicle overnight. I have not had to reset my clocks!
Winter is more of a challenge as I use more electricity than is generated by the solar panels. But to ensure I always have power, I charge my battery overnight using off-peak power to create a reserve in case the grid fails.