FREEDOM WON – POWERING THE FUTURE (1.4 MWh)
The beautiful Jao Camp based in the pristine Okavango Delta in Botswana was the site of the latest innovation in green energy involving Freedom Won – that of installing the largest Victron off-grid lithium battery system in the world.
The camp received a major upgrade and as a result, the camp’s electrical loads have grown substantially. All rooms were fitted with climate control systems and swimming pools, to name only two of the energy-hungry enhancements included in the design for the ultimate in bush luxury.
In a four-way collaboration with Energenic, Victron Energy and Fronius, Freedom Won were instrumental in supplying the Commercial 200/140 LiFePO4 batteries that were integral to the successful installation of the system.
12x15kVA Victron Quattro’s (left) and 4 of 7 Freedom Lite Commercial 200-140 (right)
Says co-founder of Freedom Won, Antony English, “The mandate given to Energenic was relatively straightforward. They were tasked with designing, supplying and installing a solar power generation plant that would largely eliminate the need to run a diesel generator, thus supporting the camp’s important objective of a reduced carbon footprint. Additionally, a minimum design life of fifteen years was required with nominal maintenance requirements. The plant equipment also had to be able to operate in ambient temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius with a negligible loss in performance and service life.”
Satisfied Commissioning Team
In summary, the system consists of:
- 7 x Freedom Lite Commercial 200/140 LiFePO4 batteries
- 12 x Victron Quattro 15kVA battery inverters
- 10 x Victron Smart Solar 250/100 MPPT’s
- 6 x Fronius Eco 27kW PV Inverters
- 1 x Victron Octo GX system controller
Adds, Antony, “We delivered a system that is expected to offer up to three days autonomy in cloudy weather, however a 250kVA generator was included for the rare occasions where this autonomy is insufficient. The generator is set to be started by the Victron Octo should the Freedom Lite batteries drop below 20% SoC. The north facing solar array consists of 608 panels rated at 330 Watts each to give a power rating of 200kW peak.
The installation has received much praise, for both its seamless and efficient implementation from Technical Director at Energenic, James van Wyk who had this to say. “The primary equipment for this plant is from Victron Energy, Freedom Won, and Fronius. These brands offer leading technological advances in operational performance and durability, and unbeatable value. “The technical support and commitment to customer service from Victron and Freedom Won is the best I have experienced from any brand in this industry. The Jao system design philosophy and partnering with Victron, Fronius and Freedom Won products is proving to be the benchmark for off-grid systems in Botswana.”
Freedom Lite Commercial 200-140’s North Line.
James elaborates “We designed the PV generation as a mix between AC coupled and DC coupled to allow us the option of generating power that exceeds the AC back feed capacity of the battery inverters. This ensures that the plant has adequate generating power to catch up after cloudy weather”.
Freedom Lite Commercial 200-140’s South Line
He continues, “This high charge rate can only be achieved with the impressive charging performance of the Freedom Won batteries”. Each Freedom Lite 200/140 can receive a continuous charge current of 1000A. The seven batteries communicate together on CAN Bus, where one is the Master monitoring six Slaves. The Master also communicates with the Octo GX controller to continuously govern the maximum charge current and maximum allowable charge voltage. The Master transmits to the Octo other important information such as State of Charge and battery temperature.
The combined battery system is set up to receive and deliver up to 3 000A from and to the DC busbars that run the length of the plant room, with battery chargers each fitted with a pre-charge circuit. The plant can deliver a sustained output of 180kVa and a solar charge power of 150kW has been demonstrated.
A most remarkable accomplishment by Freedom Won, and another first to be added to their notable list of achievements.