OFF-GRID

APPLICATION

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WHAT IS OFF-GRID

Off-grid, or off-the-grid (OTG), refers to the absence of the main electrical grid as a source of power. It can also mean the presence of stand-alone power systems, or mini-grids that are used to provide communities with electricity. It is the opposite of grid-tied, or on-grid systems.

CHALLENGES OF OFF-GRID AND RURAL ELECTRIFICATION

For the 700 million of people in Africa alone who don’t currently have access to on-grid electricity, the promise of being connected to the utility grid has often led to decades of disappointment. Grid extension efforts are significantly behind expectations. Government, utilities, NGOs and private sector are realising the need for decentralized off-grid power supply.

More than that, remote locations, such as game lodges, eco-friendly tourism destinations, and off-grid agriculture, need power solutions that are reliable and sturdy enough to withstand the rigorous demands of their remote conditions, and are yet clean and affordable.

SUSTAINSOLAR OFF-GRID SOLUTIONS

SustainSolar has two main approaches to rural electrification: mini-grids and stand-alone systems. Both types of systems operate independently of the national electricity grid and are thus known as ‘off-grid systems’.

Mini-grids
A mini-grid is an off-grid system with small-scale electricity generation (10 kW to 10MW) that serves a limited number of consumers via a distribution grid.

Stand-alone systems
Stand-alone systems, or our mobile rapid deployment systems, are solar electricity systems that provide power in remote and demanding locations, with batteries for storage and extended energy availability.

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    Turnkey

    solution

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    QUICK

    IMPLEMENTATION

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    REDUCED

    OPERATIONAL RISK

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    STREAMLINED

    PROCESS

OFF-GRID CONFIGURATION

Since off-grid systems are mainly required in rural and remote locations, pre-installed, turnkey and rapid-deployment solutions hold many logistical and operational advantages.

Remote monitoring and control of the solar system for security, system management and maintenance come standard and provide visibility of the installation no matter where it is.

off-grid

1. solar Mounting Structure 

Light-weight, quick and easy mounting structure with integrated mounting points on top of the container, and optimized ground ballasting in combination with larger open ground mounted solar arrays are available.

2. sustainsolar Container

Rugged and insulated shipping containers safely package the power electronics, batteries and solar equipment for maximized mobility, protection and durability of the turnkey solar generator.

3. generator  

Diesel genset can be used as back-up or extended power in case of energy demand exceeding installed solar system or battery capacity.

4. remote power user 

Remote communities with no grid connection including lodges, farms, rural clinics and governmental infrastructure.

CASE STUDY: MALAWI

This SUSTAIN COMPACT™ installation was part of a larger project sponsored by Peachtree Church of Atlanta Georgia, USA, where a girls’ dormitory was added to a rural school in Northern Malawi as a solution aimed at increasing access to education by making class attendance safer and easier for young women.

PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS

The containerised solar system has an initial PV capacity of 6 kWp and 10 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage, with future expansion capability built into the system design allowing the power supply to grow with demand.

This is the first mini-grid in Malawi using market leading technology from Tesvolt batteries and SMA inverters, both German manufacturers.

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    The containerised solar system has an initial PV capacity of 6 kWp and 10 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage.

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    The rapid-deployment mounting structure, which is adjustable for uneven ground levels and requires no foundation, yet is built to withstand the wind pattern of the region, took only a day to assemble without the use special or motorised tools.

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    Within three days of the team’s arrival it was producing electricity, thanks to its pre-configuration and turn-key design.

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    The SUSTAIN COMPACT™ took four weeks to reach Sokola, transported by truck from Cape Town across Zimbabwe and Mozambique to Northern Malawi.

CUSTOMISE YOUR OFF-GRID SOLUTION

We customise our products to match your requirements. Whether you need only one SUSTAIN COMPACT™ or a string of containers, our modular, turnkey solar solutions will perfectly meet your need.

No matter how remote or demanding your project location.

SUSTAIN FLEX™

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A modular and mobile solar generator including the innovative retractable accordion-style EXOrac engineered by Swiss PWRstation, an industrial-class racking system that offers ultra-rapid activation - within minutes. Extremely flexible and scalable, from 5 kWp to megawatt size, the Sustain Flex™ is suitable to a wide range of applications.

SUSTAIN COMPACT™

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All solar modules, structures, batteries, and electronics are pre-installed and packed inside a standard ISO 20 ft shipping container for safe and easy transport. Equipped with up to 30 kWp and 100 kWh of storage, the Sustain Compact™ includes all equipment, tools, ladder, and installation manual for turnkey installation.

SUSTAIN EXTENDED™

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Servicing larger power requirements, packaged in one or more 40 ft shipping containers, the Sustain Extended™ offers bespoke and modular configurations. Housing electronics for up to hundreds of kilowatts and battery storage in the megawatt hour range, it is ideal for larger mini-grids and commercial hybrid systems.

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