Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Centre - Off Grid AC Coupled

Little River, Victoria

  • System Design: October 2012
  • System Installation: December 2012
  • System Commissioned: December 2012

Client: Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre

Project Goals

Design, supply and install an off grid or Stand-alone power system (AC coupled) for new classroom & research facility at the wildlife reserve.


  • Roof-mounted photovoltaic array consisting of 12 x 240W Winaico poly PV panels
  • 8 x 6V Exide Energystore II wet acid batteries
  • SP Pro 7.5kW 48V interactive inverter/charger
  • Kaco Powador 3002 solar inverter
  • Complete system documentation including maintenance schedule and log sheets.
  • PV System size: 2880 Wp
  • Battery capacity: 48V 1080Ah
  • Average Load = 7kWh/day
  • Estimated Average Solar Output = 10kWh/day

Locating the solar array on the wildlife reserve involved shade testing & assessment using the Solmetric SunEye, due to the tall gum trees close to the new buildings.  Options considered included roof versus ground mounting, structural certifications for pole mounts, maintenance issues, trenching for underground cabling, logistics and budget constraints. The final solution was roof mounting the solar array on the classroom with the client committing to regular maintenance of the nearby trees.  A new control shed was installed close to the classroom for the battery bank and control gear.

The system was sized to suit loads in the classroom including split system air conditioners and a small kitchen. The AC coupled system allows for upgrading and has the capacity to be connected to supply other small buildings nearby via underground AC cable.