Pre-Assembled Solar Boards and Cabinets

02 Mar 2022

The pre-assembled solar board is the heart of the off-grid solar system. It includes the Inverter, Solar MPPT(s), battery and system monitors all conveniently pre-programmed & prewired with suitable solar & battery cabling, fusing & Isolation to meet “AS/NZS 4509 – Stand-Alone Power Systems” standards. Because we do all of the leg work for you before they get to you, we ensure the installation is as safe and easy as possible. All you have to do is connect your panels and batteries, and have your electrician wire it into your switchboard and you’re up and running!

 

Forbes offers a choice of:

Board: All equipment mounted and installed on a Form Ply Board that can be screwed directly to a wall in an enclosed area like house or shed. Boards are 1800H x 1200W and can be cut down to 1200 x 1200 if required.

Cabinet: All equipment is mounted inside an outdoor/weatherproof steel electrical closure. Enclosure is 1200H x 1200W x 300D (or 400D for larger inverters). These cabinets can be mounted outside, however must be out of direct sunlight. Our in-house made cabinets feature air vents as well as an internal cooling fan that is automatically activated when the inverter heats past a certain temperature.

Pre-wiring on both options include:
- 15A Genset Input* (can be upgraded to 32A on request)
- MC4 connectors for easy connection of solar panels
- Solar String Fusing & Isolation
- Main Battery Fusing and Isolation Switch
- Victron Cerbo + Touch Screen Advanced monitoring and control system
- 2 wire auto start connector for compatible generator
- Electrical Sub-board*
- Twin GPO Sockets*

*These items require final fit off from a qualified electrician

 

Main System Components:

 

Inverter/Charger

The system features a Heavy Duty Victron “Transformer style” pure sine wave Inverter. These inverters offer impressive continuous power ratings and exceptional surge capabilities for equipment with high start up currents such as electric motors & compressors.

They also have a generator input which can be used to charge your batteries when required. When a generator is connected, power passes through the inverter directly to the household loads and excess power from the generator can also be used to charge the batteries. The inverter has a unique “Power Assist” feature which lets you utilise power from both the generator and inverter at the same time.

For example: You have a 5kva inverter & a 5kva generator. If you are running something large, or your entire house is using 7kw of power, neither the generator nor inverter is large enough on its own to do the job.
The power assist feature will blend the power of both together, allowing you to run the 7kw load off both the 5kva inverter and 5kva generator.

These inverters also allow you to control the max amount of power the system will ever pull from the generator via the included touch screen.

For example: You have a 5kva generator. You can easily tell the system never to draw more than 5kva from the generator so it wont overload it. If you ever replace the generator with a larger or smaller generator, you can easily adjust the settings accordingly

 

 

 

MPPT Solar Controller

The system includes an ultra-fast Victron Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) solar controller. This will collect power from your solar panels and use it to charge the batteries and/or send power to the inverter to power your household loads. An ultra-fast Victron MPPT will harvest up to 30% more power than conventional PWM solar controllers and up to 10% more than slower MPPT solar controllers. They are fully programmable with multiple stages of charging (including equalisation) and are compatible with many battery chemistries including, Flooded Lead acid, AGM, Gel, Lead Carbon & Lithium, plus high-quality solar chargers such as these are proven to significantly increase the life of your batteries.

 

 

Victron Cerbo & Touch Screen advanced monitoring & control system

This is the brain of the system, allowing full monitoring and control. The large colour touch screen is simple & easy to read, allowing you to accurately and precisely see:

- Amount of power being generated by solar (Watts)

- Amount of power left in your batteries (% + Volts + Watts & Amps coming in and out)

- Amount of power your house / loads are using (in Watts)

- Amount of power being supplied from the generator

 

The monitoring system will also record all of its data and notifications to its built-in memory, which can be increased with a standard micro-SD card. This allows the user, installer or supplier to view the history and data recorded by the system, in order to check and monitor the system’s overall health and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Being able to identify how much power you are using on a daily, weekly, monthly basis can be invaluable with an off-grid system, and being able to monitor how low the batteries are getting each night and ensuring they are receiving adequate charge each day can increase the longevity of the batteries and your system as a whole.

 
If the monitoring system is connected to an internet connection, all this data will be uploaded to your own online portal for easy access. If you don’t have regular access to the internet, this can be done intermittently via a cellular internet connect. Even if this is done only a few times a year, the information that is uploaded may be invaluable to the ongoing health of your system. In addition, while connected to the internet, the system can be accessed remotely by a technician to diagnose and torubleshoot issues.

A demo can be found here: https://vrm.victronenergy.com/installation-overview?demo-login (please select VIC JONES as the offgrid demo).

 

The Victron Cerbo can also be used to automatically start compatible generators in certain conditions such as:

- The batteries are getting low on charge
- There is a large amount of power being drawn and the inverter is struggling to keep up with the demand
- Periodically, to keep the generator operational, ensuring that it won’t remain unused for a number of months.

The Victron Cerbo can also be used to control managed lithium batteries, such as BYD or Pylontech. Unlike lead acid batteries, where you program the chargers to charge the batteries, the Cerbo will talk to the managed lithium batteries via its Can.Bus communication cable. The batteries will tell the Cerbo exactly what voltage and amps the batteries require, allowing the Cerbo to take control of the inverter and solar charger and ensures it is only charging or discharging the batteries as required, resulting in an ultra-stable system and exceptional battery life.