Official opening: VICTRON-Competence Centre, Klagenfurt

A little over a year ago Victron Energy in association with Austrian Victron Energy dealer E-BOX Off-Grid Power Systems, together with HTL1 Lastenstraße and their headmaster Dr. Michael Archer forged a partnership to utilise Victron Energy products for their varied educational program – to build a ‘Competence Centre’.

As a result on Thursday, 5th December 2018, the new VICTRON-Kompetenzzentrum (VICTRON-Competence Centre) for ‘Renewable Energy and Storage Technology’ was opened at the school.

HTL1 Lastenstraße is a Higher Technical Institute in Klagenfurt, southern Austria, with around 1100 students and 120 teachers. The school trains engineers in the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and mechatronics. It has around 34 workshops and laboratories as well as several competence centres. Another focus is ‘Land und Umwelttechnik’ (agricultural engineering and environmental technology).

This all makes HTL1 a unique training centre, not only for students from Carinthia but southern, eastern and western Austria. With the new VICTRON-Competence Centre training courses will specialise in the fields of energy storage technology, photovoltaics and energy management. Besides these courses Victron Energy have also been welcomed to run their own special courses at the school. In addition, interested companies will also have the opportunity to use this modern infrastructure for their own education and training events.

HTL1 Lastenstraße – The school is equipped with many different, modern photovoltaic-systems.

The school were particularly pleased to receive a visit from Victron Energy sales manager Leo Yntema  for the opening. Here’s a brief video (in German) of that visit and a few photos from the opening event.

https://youtu.be/r9wasVuZIUU

From left to right: Manfred Hartner – Managing Director of  E-BOX Off-Grid Power Systems, Dr. Michael Archer – Principal of HTL1 Lastenstraße and Leo Yntema of Victron Energy.

A student explains one of the 5 Workstations and its components at the opening.

From left to right: Andreas Albel, the teacher who is responsible for the VICTRON-Kompetenzzentrum and Leo Yntema of Victron Energy.

Equipment utilised

There are 5 workstations utilising Victron Energy equipment. Each workstation is equipped with its own separate 3kWp photovoltaic-system, plus each of the panels can be switched on and off separately.

Workstation 1: components / power storage / 3-phase
  • 3 x MultiPlus 48/3000/35-16
  • 1 x Color Control GX
  • 1 x Battery Monitor BMV-700
  • 4 x LiFePO4 battery 12.8V/90Ah – BMS
  • 1 x Battery Management System VE.Bus
Workstation 2: components / power storage / 1-phase
  • 1 x MultiPlus 48/3000/35-16
  • 1 x Color Control GX
  • 1 x Wall mount enclosure for Color Control GX
  • 1 x Battery Monitor BMV-700
Workstation 3: components / power storage / 1-phase
  • 1 x ECOmulti 24/3000/70-50 2,3 kWh LiFePO4
  • 2 x LiFePO4 battery 12.8V/90Ah – BMS
Workstation 4: Components / power storage / DC coupled
  • 1 x BlueSolar MPPT 150/85 CAN-bus
  • 1 x Wall mount enclosure for Color Control GX
  • 1 x Battery Monitor BMV-700
  • 1 x Venus GX
  • 24 x OPzV 200 Batteries
Workstation 5: Components / power storage / DC coupled
  • 1 x EasySolar 48/3000/35 MPPT 150/70 with Color Control GX built-in
  • 24 x OPzV 200 Batteries

Conclusion

It’s great to see the new VICTRON-Competence Centre now open and we trust it will serve as a valuable resource for the school and the young engineers of tomorrow.

This artcle was orriginally published on the victron blog by John Rushworth on January 31st, 2019

Links

Interview with Dr. Archer – https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2017/11/13/back-to-school-with-victron-energy/

HTL1 Lastenstraße Klagenfurt Website – http://htl1-klagenfurt.at/index.php/en/

HTL1 Lastenstraße Klagenfurt on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HTL1.Klagenfurt/

E-BOX Off-Grid Power Systems Website – http://www.e-box.co.at


We’ve just added two Bluetooth enabled Inverters to our range. The new-build Victron Energy Phoenix Inverter Smart models are rated at 1600VA and 2000VA and we have models for 12V, 24V and 48V systems.

  • Dynamic cut-off/intelligent restart
  • We’ve added  48V models to the range
  • Bluetooth communication – allows easy set-up and monitoring on your phone, laptop or smart device
  • Slimline design allows for discreet wall-mounting
  • Eco mode

Bluetooth …and VE.Direct

Bluetooth has been built in to the Victron Energy Phoenix Inverter Smart – allowing your power consumption to be monitored, or the settings changed, straight from your phone, tablet or laptop via our VictronConnectapp – which is free to use. Victron Energy Phoenix Inverter Smart also has a VE.Direct communication port allowing wired connection to a tablet or laptop via an optional VE.Direct to USB cable. The unit can then be set-up and programmed using VE Configure software.

Built in Bluetooth allows you to view live data on your mobile phone, laptop or smart device via our VictronConnect app – which is free to use.

Dynamic Cut-off

Your battery is protected by a user-defined low voltage alarm.

The alarm will be followed by an automatic cut-off – the value of which is Dynamic: For example, if the inverter is providing a lot of power at the time a low-voltage condition is detected, the unit will perform its disconnect at a lower battery-voltage than if it were providing only a modest amount of power. When only a modest amount of power is being drawn, cut-off will take place immediately a low-voltage condition exists. See the Manual for full details.

Intelligent re-start

A cut-off will be followed by three intelligent restart attempts. If the cut-off was triggered by a sudden but temporary drop in voltage, the load will be reconnected. A thirty-second delay ensures that the increase in voltage which has been detected is enduring.

ECO mode

In ECO mode some Victron Energy Phoenix Inverter Smart units consume just 0.6 watts – so they can be left in ‘standby’ for extended periods without worrying about the battery running down between jobs. ECO mode is intelligent, too: When the power being provided by the device falls below a certain value – it will automatically enter standby mode. As soon as it detects a load above a preset ‘snooze’ limit, the unit will remain on, to power this new demand.

LED diagnostics

Similarly to its predecessors, the Phoenix Inverter Smart is equipped with ‘traffic-light’ LED’s – the behaviour of which relate to the Inverter’s current ‘status’ – providing you with information concerning which mode the unit is in, whether any alarm conditions exist, or if an automatic trip has taken place. In depth information can be found in the manual. Bluetooth connection to your smart device provides deeper analysis.

The Victron Energy Phoenix Inverter Smart – which weighs around 12kg – can be tidily installed in an out-of-the-way location, thanks to its slim profile, and sturdy mounting plate. But if it’s tucked away – what about reaching it …to turn it on and off? No problem – a remote on/off switch is available.

 

Summary

True Sine Wave power output can be used for sensitive electronics such as computers; and it’s Peak Power capability – of around twice its ‘continuous’ rating – will supply the inrush current typically drawn by workshop tools such as drills, jig-saws, sanders and LED lamps. It can continuously power all the comforts of home – such as Microwave cookers, vacuum cleaners – even pressure washers.

Phoenix Inverter Smart continues to use ultra-reliable ‘full bridge’ configuration and toroidal transformer topology – all housed in a stainless steel case – to provide years of worry-free service.

Phoenix Inverter Smart is a protected against short-circuit, and overheating.

Inverters for every requirement

We have  Inverters, and Inverter/Chargers for every possible requirement – from compact 175W models to 144kW – configurable for 3-Phase; Multi source AC; and even for Assisting Grid-Power. In Ghana call +2332442700092  or visit our facebook page  to find the right Inverter for you.


How solar is changing Ghana’s real estate market ? If you are involved in the business of constructing a new building in Ghana, whether it’s a logistics center, a manufacturing plant or a multi-family residence in East Legon, most likely installing solar panels was mentioned at some point in the process. Solar panels are being integrated into more and more new constructions, and some cities like Tema and Accra are leading the way.

Our research also indicates that there is a high demand for 2-3 bedroom houses and the cost of land and litigation has pushed the direction of real estate developments into apartment complexes rather than single detached or semi detached homes. Rooftop solar is a great investment that can generate hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars and has a return on investment of just 3-5 years. It increases the life of the roof, and the value of the property. Every owner, architect and general contractor should consider how they can integrate solar in their new construction.

This renewable energy revolution is a global one and many new home owners in Ghana are currently considering going green in their next real estate project, .with an average daily effective sunshine hours of 5.5 hours, Ghana is a great place to go solar. There is generally a hunger for renewable energy options even though many do it for  environmental and energy security reasons. Another school of thought indicates that the rising costs of diesel and the effects of pollution are gradually giving diesel generators an “uncool”  or even “savage” tag. How solar is changing Ghana’s real estate market ?

But where do you start? Should you integrate solar into new construction or just wait until later?

No Muss, No Fuss

The first thing to note is that adding solar to a new building doesn’t mean you need to redesign the whole building. In fact, only minor adjustments, if any at all, will be needed. However, there are some things to consider that will make the process of switching to solar easier. By planning ahead and integrating solar during construction, you can tap into efficiencies during construction and save money.

An nocheski installer installing a Victron Energy multiplus compact inverter

For example, you should ensure the structural load of the roof can support a solar PV system. Most roofs can support solar without structural reinforcements, but if your current building design can’t support solar, you want to catch this early on before you begin construction.

Brighten up the Bottom Line

You can also integrate solar into your building design, saving money by making the solar installation process more efficient. A few examples of this include strategic designs that may consider ventilation, insulation and air conditioning units, and integrating the solar system’s electrical wiring and equipment into your building design. This type of planning will lower your overall cost of solar installation whilst adding an energy efficient tag to the project.

Get In and Get Out

The last thing to consider is that installing solar during construction minimizes the disruption to your operations. Once your building is operational, installing solar will have minimal impact on your day-to-day work, but it is always better to complete the installation before people are in the building. That way, you will be producing clean energy and saving money from day one. How solar is changing Ghana’s real estate market?

The Future is Bright

Thousands of companies install solar after the building is complete, but some forward thinking can make your solar installation cheaper and more efficient. The process of transitioning to solar can be daunting. As the CEO of Royal Estates Group, Mr. Stanley Owusu shared regarding the company’s recent transition to solar panels, “I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.” They turned to a Nocheski solar to help them navigate the design process, solar installation.The result is the installation of several Victron multiplus inverters in Oasis estates projects.The evidence is clear that whether you’re a business owner or a commercial real estate developer, solar is an excellent investment opportunity. Integrating solar into a building during construction only gives an added boost to the economics.Real estate stakeholders such as architects, builders and homeowners may contact us on 0244270092 or email [email protected] for inquiries and how they may benefit from expert advice for prospective real estate projects.


Total Ghana Limited on Friday, commissioned its first solar-powered service station in the country with a 35-kilowatt capacity, at the Tema main harbour.This expected to save the company at $1000 per moth in electricity bills

The solar-powered station has a total of 225m2 solar panels comprising of 165m2 on the station’s shop and restaurant building, and 60 m2 on the pump island canopy.

Mr Eric Fanchini, Managing Director, said the energy architecture comprises of the solar panels, inverters, batteries, genset and the grid.

Mr Fanchini stated that it was his outfit’s goal to solarize at least 50 per cent of their network of 250 service stations within five years.

He indicated that the solar installation was in accordance with the company’s ambition of being the ‘responsible energy major’ as solar was now part of the modernization plan of Total Petroleum Ghana.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy, commended management of Total for taking advantage of the abundant renewable energy opportunities in the country.

Dr Adam announced that the Ministry of Energy had commenced the implementation of the scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) with the objective of delivering over 55 mini-grids, 38,000 stanalone solar home systems and 15,000 net-metered solar-with-storage systems for homes and small-medium enterprise across the country.

Dr Adam added that the Ministry was accelerating the process of promoting the use of solar in public buildings and facilities to reduce their reliance on the national grid as well as improve the financial health of the utility companies.

“We are currently procuring 65k Wp solar to meet about 35-40 per cent of the Ministry’s total load and this would be extended to cover the other state institutions”.

Mr Kojo Jackson, Director, Human Resource and Administration, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) congratulated Total for being the first petroleum company to commission a solar service station in Ghana and urged them to maintain the high standards in their operations.

Mr Jackson expressed concern about the illegal fuel activities undertaken by some unscrupulous persons noting that the NPA was collaborating with the security agencies to deal ruthlessly with any person found culpable in the act.

He added that any licensed petroleum service provider found to be engaging in any illegality would have its operating license suspended or permanently revoked.

Source: GNA


Should i wait for solar prices to improve in Ghana? As the cost per Kw/h of energy from Electricity company of Ghana (E.C.G) continues to rise each year, many Ghanaians are seeking long-term alternatives to reduce their energy bills.

Solar energy is a great alternative to drawing power from the electric grid, and saves homeowners substantially in the long run while also benefiting the environment. More so affordable solar power prices will improve Ghana electricity supply .

Considering low income levels in Ghana , the question that often comes up is can I afford it ? Should I wait ? That is what most people ask themselves when thinking about whether or not they should switch to solar. But the real question they should be asking themselves is: how soon do I want to start saving money?

A Victron 5kva-2.5kwp solar inverter power system installed by Nocheski solar in Accra-Ghana

Installing solar power in your home is one step further into the renewable energy direction and also one step closer to keeping your wallet full. But is current solar technology good enough to use now or should you wait until newer technology comes out?

We’ll answer your question with a more important one: why wait? Why the hesitation when solar can be saving you money right now?

There will always be newer technology and newer versions of everything, from computers to fridges, so you may be hesitant to jump in. But why deny yourself the benefits you can get now by making the switch to solar power? Especially when the technology we already have today will save you money now and in the future. Simply put, you can’t start saving the money that comes from switching to solar until you start using solar technology.

The most obvious factor that impacts solar power prices in Ghana is the size of the system you purchase. Generally speaking, the larger the solar panel array, the more costly it will be. However, this doesn’t always translate to increased electricity savings.

The quality of the solar panels you purchase as well the type of hardware and accessory equipment you use can boost performance. Optimizing the efficiency of your solar panel system will depend on a variety of factors, including how much electricity you use, the build of your roof, the local weather conditions, and more.

Did you pass on purchasing your smartphone because you knew there would be an even better one next season?  Probably not, because you wanted to use that technology now. Same goes for solar power; and you’ll be saving money, which is something we can all say yes to.The first step is to look for a professional solar power installer in Ghana.This will be followed by the right quality at the right prices

It’s worth it to look into it – especially when all it takes is a quick phone call

Contact our Victron Energy product specialist at Nocheski solar   for exciting deals for staff of reputable organizations in Ghana on 0244 270 092 or 0303 211 743

 


Salima Visram is the 23-year-old entrepreneur behind the Soular, a backpack company equipped with solar panels, which allow children who don’t have access to electricity in rural parts of Africa to study at night without having to use an expensive and carcinogenic kerosene lamp. Soular will be launching a new one-for-one model today, through the sale of trendy backpacks on HSN in collaboration with Disney, alongside their new movie, Queen of Katwe, which is set in rural Uganda, where the kerosene lamp is central to the plot of the story.

“I was inspired to launch Soular after seeing how some children in Kenya, where I grew up, were not able to study every day and get into secondary school, which perpetuated the vicious cycle of poverty,” Visram said.

these school children seem very excited about their solular backpacks

these school children seem very excited about their solular backpacks

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, who stars in Disney’s Queen of Katwe, is a supporter of Soular Backpack. Nyong’o and Disney went with the Soular team to Katwe in Uganda to distribute backpacks there in July.  Soular will also be showcased at the premiere of the movie in Hollywood later this September.

“On every Soular Backpack, there’s a quote from Lupita that reads, ‘The Power Is In Your Step,’” Visram said. watch the video here

Visram launched Soular by starting a crowdfunding campaign, which exceeded its goal by 25% raising $50,000. Soular has since distributed hundreds of backpacks across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

“So far, we’ve distributed backpacks to 500 children but we’ve realized that with one backpack in the family, on average 3 children are able to study with it,” Visram said.

Soular’s new one-for-one backpack

Soular’s new one-for-one backpack

Visram has big plans for Soular.

“The next phase of Soular would be to scale the one-for-one model across North America in a big way and make sure that everyone who needs a backpack is aware that they could buy a backpack that gifts light to a child in need,” Visram said. “We’re excited to position ourselves as a leading backpack company that stands to create social impact.”

Soul’s new one-for-one backpack is for sale on HSN for $49.95 in two colors, navy and white

Visram stays committed to making Soular a company that finds sustainable solutions to poverty.

Salima Visram, founder of Soular, with the new backpack for sale on HSN

Salima Visram, founder of Soular, with the new backpack for sale on HSN

“My vision for Soular is to make a holistic system of interventions and services that give people the tool to alleviate themselves from poverty,” Visram said. “We want to partner with a bank, so that the money saved on kerosene every month goes into a secondary education fund for the child. We want to set up micro-franchises in rural villages to sell lamps and batteries, in order to generate employment. We’ve just moved production to Kenya, which is creating more employment and impact within the region. Realizing how electricity is at the center of education, health and economic development is also something that inspired me to start it.”

 


German automaker BMW has unveiled its new solar carports in South Africa, which it will begin rolling out in July.

The BMW i solar carport supplies an average of 3.6 kW of solar power straight to the BMW i Wallbox, which is used to charge electric and plug-in hybrid BMW models and which is equipped with a live readout of how much power is being generated by the sun.

Tim Abbott, CEO of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Sahara, said the company was the first automaker to offer such a broad-based EV smart charging product to reduce costs for customers. The rollout is part of the company’s global efforts to expand home and publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, Abbott added.

In the coming months, BMW Group South Africa will expand the installation of the solar carport in major cities, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, for public charging.

Customers and fleet companies will also be able to order the solar carport for home and office charging.

“We have always emphasized that in order for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be successful, we need to firstly increase consumer confidence in the viability of electric vehicles and secondly make public charging easily accessible for customers who purchase these cars,” Abbott said. “The roll-out of the solar carport is also an emphasis on this philosophy.”

The solar carport is produced by PV solar system designer and installer Sunworks. It is made of high-end bamboo and stainless steel housing for the glass solar modules.

Bamboo is considered a particularly sustainable and high strength-to-weight ratio natural composite material useful for structures, BMW said.

watch video [youtube id=”QSXsyFsDVec”]

sources:PV magazine, BMW blog


Apple has a solar power problem. It has too much of it. Worldwide, Apple gets 93% of the electrical energy it needs from solar and other renewable sources. That electricity runs its stores, offices, and datacenters worldwide. But in California and Nevada, it gets more electricity than it can use from the solar power installations it has constructed.

Apple Inc. plans to sell excess electricity generated by solar panels on the roof of its new headquarters in Cupertino, California, joining Google parent Alphabet Inc. in efforts to trade on the energy market.

A subsidiary named Apple Energy LLC has applied to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell power from the site’s solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells, as well as from solar farms, hydroelectric plants and biogas facilities in Oregon, North Carolina, California, Nevada and Arizona, according to a June 6 application submitted by Apple to the agency. The filing was reported earlier by 9to5Mac.com.

Apple, which plans to move into Apple Campus 2 next year, and Google are among the biggest investors in energy projects outside the utility industry.

The iPhone maker spent $850 million last year on a 130-MW solar farm south of San Francisco. If Apple’s application is approved, it will be able to sell energy directly to customers, rather than through an energy utility, beginning Aug. 5. It says in its application it should be able to sell energy at market rates since it’s not a big energy company and can’t influence the price of electricity.

Even with the excess capacity it has at the moment, Apple plans to add another 521 megawatts of solar power capacity worldwide, according to its 2016 Environmental Responsibility Report. Is there a connection between the desire to add renewable energy capacity and Apple’s not-so-secret plan to build an electric car? Apple is known to have an interest in electric car charging technology. Perhaps it plans to create a network of electric car recharging stations to compete with the Tesla Supercharger network?

It would be an excellent marketing strategy if it could claim all the electricity needed to recharge electric cars comes from renewable sources. Tesla already gets the power for its Supercharger stations from some renewable energy sources, but it cannot say all the electricity it needs for the network comes from solar power. At least not yet. Google secured similar rights back in December 2010 under the trade name Google Energy.

sources:Bloomberg,MSN, The Verge,Apple inc