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Step 1 is to figure out how much power your supplemental lights/ fans/ pumps require. For us, we use sunlight with low power supplemental lights, in our vegetation/ cloning areas , which equates to: 480 W/h required for 6 hours per day = 2880 W/h

Step 2 is to add the loss of the inverter at 15% (for an efficiency of 85%), which means 2880W/h + 15% = 3312 W/h

Step 3 is to determine what A/h ratings your batteries will require. In our case for a 12V system it will be I=P/V. 3312 / 12 = 276 A/h

This is quite a bit, therefore we have opted for a 24V system of which the A/h rating required is 3312/24 = 138 A/h

Step 4 Select your battery rating. In a 24V Setup, 2 x 12V batteries connected in series are required. The A/h rating however remains that of one battery. As we require 138 A/h we opted for 2 x 220 A/h batteries (as shown) since it will provide us with 40% more standby time than the 6 hours required = 10 Hours

Step 5 Select your inverter. Get expert advice also for the installation itself. Anticipate your needs growing. For us we settled on a 2,4 - 3 KW Sine wave Inverter that is 24V based and capable of charging the battery pack as well as comfortably carry our load.

Step 6 To go off grid with your Vegetation/Nursery area. Therefore you have no electricity cost. To achieve this you have to charge the batteries with solar panels through a charge controller. In our situation we have to replace the 3.2 KW/h that our nursery, lights & pumps require with solar power. If we add another efficiency factor loss of +15% we require 3.69 Kw/h of solar power in 6 hours of sunshine which equites to 3.68 KW/h / 6 = 613 W/h. Therefore 3 x 250W (750 W/h) modern solar panels will be the ideal requirement for our situation.

In terms of experienced designers, installers & suppliers we highly recommend Future Design Technologies for the Garden Route area, and Ian Kleyn Electrical for the Port Elizabeth & Eastern Cape region.

In terms of Solar Panels, we also highly recommend that they are cleaned twice a year to maintain optimal efficiency.

Also check out these videos from Marijuana SA :

Our current power solution at TCC :

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