Featured Install: Off-Grid System in Malibu, California

Off-Gridding on the Pacific Ocean!

In 2015 Rick Fields purchased his (and everyone’s) dream home on a mountain top overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.  One of the unique attributes about this home was that it was completely off-grid with no pipes or wires coming to the property. The nearest power lines are about a mile away.  It would cost more than $300,000 dollars to get his home connected to the power grid.

Why do that when the future of energy is renewable energy.  Fortunately for Rick, his home came with a 48V flooded lead acid battery bank with more than 190 kWh of total energy along with 17 kW of ground mounted solar PV.  Over the years Rick learned the challenges, along with the art of frequent battery maintenance where on a bi-weekly basis he would have to properly fill all 48 batteries with distilled water.

One of the challenges that Rick frequently faced was when he would rent his home out for vacation rentals and many media production companies for film and print projects.  During these events the energy utilization of the production would often be extremely taxing on his solar and energy storage system and would risk forcing his lead acid batteries to dip below a recommended state of charge which could potentially lead to sulfation.

Mission Accomplished!

"This company is the real deal, they were happy to answer any questions, easy to get on the phone, responded to emails promptly, and the changeover was seamless. I now also have a lot more room in my garage and equipment room as the new batteries and inverters are much smaller than my old system. In addition the system works much better, lights are not flickering, if the generator comes on there are no surges or issues, and what used to be a system that I looked at and monitored daily has now become something that basically runs itself with no maintenance and no input from me."

Fortunately, Rick was well ahead of the game and kept his FLA batteries nourished for almost 15 years which is well beyond the normal cycle life of flooded batteries.  The time finally came when it was time to upgrade his batteries to lithium batteries. 

In January 2023 Rick contacted POWERSYNC Energy Solutions and expressed his interest in upgrading his battery system.  After reviewing a years’ worth of energy utilization with his solar and battery system it was determined that a 75 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery system would be sufficient enough to supply enough power to his home to last several days under normal utilization while having enough power to supply guests and production companies with the power they would need.

In March 2023, Rick hired his local electrical contractor Wesly Johnson with Sun Pacific Solar Electric to replace his four Outback 48V inverters and four charge controllers with two 15K Sol-Ark inverters and 75 kWh of POWERSYNC residential LFP batteries.The installation process was relatively easy taking approximately 20 hours from start to finish.

Since then Rick has been pleased that he has had plenty of reserve power for most normal days in southern California. 

Even with once-in-a-century barrage of heavy winter storms that hit the Los Angeles area over a period of about 2-3 weeks following Rick’s installation,  between the 17 kW of PV and the 75 kW of energy storage, Rick had plenty of energy to get through the nights following low solar production.

Overall, Rick has been very pleased with his new upgrade.  Now, it looks like he can take the next step and use his POWERSYNC battery system to help charge a new electric car he hopes to buy soon.

It’s been a privilege to work with Rick to be a part in the renewable energy revolution.

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