Xantrex Demonstrates New Solar Hybrid Power System for Remote Homes

August 22, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Xantrex Technology Inc. installed its new Hybrid Power System combined with solar power on the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation near Chilko Lake, British Columbia. This remote site is located in the Chilcotin area of central B.C., more than three hours from the nearest urban center, with no access to the provincial electricity grid. The system is well suited to supply electricity to homes in remote areas. Similar to hybrid cars, the Xantrex Hybrid Power system integrates advanced power electronics, a battery bank, and a generator into a single system providing enough electricity to power an average household.

The Xantrex Hybrid Power System can work efficiently with renewable energy sources such as solar power, micro-hydro power systems and small-scale wind generators to produce electricity for use in the home immediately or stored in the batteries for later use. The advanced features of this system include real-time satellite data monitoring, automatic battery conditioning, battery temperature management, and optimal generator fuel consumption. The system also offers comprehensive data logging and advanced partial state of charge operation.

Xantrex claims that the system provides users with a cleaner and more efficient electricity system than continuously running a combustion generator. When combined with a solar array, the home runs off solar energy during the day and stores excess energy generated from the solar panels in the battery bank. At night or when the house electricity demand is high, the power comes from stored energy in the battery and if required, the system automatically starts the generator and seamlessly combines the electricity from these sources. When the battery bank is depleted, the generator automatically turns on and runs efficiently to recharge the batteries. The Xantrex Hybrid Power System is easy to operate and was developed to minimize generator run time, thus saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The demonstration project is being funded by Xantrex and the Canadian government's Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM) program. TEAM is an interdepartmental technology investment program that supports projects designed to demonstrate technologies that mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nationally and internationally, and that sustain economic and social development.