The term Off-grid can be used in two ways: either where the grid does not exist and so to get power you need to take matters into you own hands or where the grid is limited or unreliable so you need more power than the grid can supply.
The cheapest way of getting power to a remote location used to be with a diesel generator, but nowadays the costs of alternatives such as solar and wind are such that this is no longer true. Furthermore, generators need refuelling and this can be expensive: the more remote the location the greater the cost to refuel.
But renewable energy is intermittent and alone can only solve part of the problem.
Step in Energy Storage. Generate what you need to supply your demands, and enough to recharge the Energy Storage System (ESS) and when the sun isn’t shining the ESS will take over and keep things running. By comparing the full cost of the diesel, the refuelling, and the maintenance of generator, with an off-grid system it is possible to determine which gives the best technical and financial solution to the problem. We are now at a point in the technology’s development that Renewables are at a price which makes this the best solution. Tomorrow diesel will most likely be more expensive, renewables cheaper.
In such scenarios, it is often still necessary to have an emergency backup diesel generator just in case. In this situation, it is preferable to run the generator occasionally to test it and flush the fuel through. An ESS can not only control the generator, it can run an automated maintenance cycle and report on the outcome, alerting the user to any preventative or corrective maintenance that may be required.
An ESS fits in at the heart of your energy needs. It is the fundamental part of the puzzle to control multiple inputs from solar, wind and diesel generator and maybe the unreliable grid and optimise these energy sources whilst managing how the energy is supplied. The ESS can provide granular control of the loads and interface with building services, acting as a Building Energy Management System (BEMS).
ESS optimises the performance of energy sources, minimising diesel runtime, coping with PV surplus, bridging the gap when the grid collapses and giving you the best return on investment in the cleanest way possible that is easy to live with and rely on.