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What started with a well-timed E-mail that reached one of our service techs who happened to be within an hour's drive of the client's site, which was in southwestern Alberta.

The client had recently purchased an off-grid home that was partially completed. The renewable energy system was in place, but was having some issues with battery capacity and generator.

We were able to attend to the site and determine:

  • His battery bank (two huge forklift banks weighting approximately 4000 lbs each) had the equivalent capacity of 4 golf cart batteries weighing 65 lbs a piece.
  • Aside from some minor programming issues, his Outback inverter system was working ok. Reprogrammed the automatic generator start controls
  • His PV modules were not suitably located. Not facing south, and subject to cover-up by snow.
  • Existing generator, older onan was very tired and had been run by previous owner without oil so was seriously damaged and unreliable.
  • A Proven wind generator mounted on a robust, home-made tower. Very directional wind, tower should be 40' taller to clear obstructions on site.

Customer gave EA the go-ahead for system upgrade:

  • 48V 1800 a/h bank of Global-Yuasa 2V industrial batteries
  • New Onan RS12000 generator
  • Relocation of PV and additional modules on ground-mount rack.

These upgrades were completed and the system operated ok until winter time came, and the client's hydronic heating system was kicked in. After much head-scratching, it was determined that the Outback inverter charging circuit causes problems with some electronic devices, and this client had several problem devices.

Upgrade # 2

  • Remove Outback VFX3648 dual inverter configuration
  • Replace with Xantrex XW6048 inverter

Since the upgrade, customer reports the system works without problems.


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