Solar Powered System in Pourvoirie Kanawata

Posted by Armin Nalavi on

Solar Powered System in Pourvoirie Kanawata

View of Kanawata outfitters from a plane

Kanawata has been the favourite resting spot for all pilots that have been around Quebec at least once. They are really popular because of their hospitality, fantastic food and, more importantly, their very long airstrip.

About ten years ago, our friends in Kanawata Outfitter spent thousands of dollars producing the needed electricity with diesel generators. In addition, the massive resort of Kanawata used to rely on diesel generators to produce electricity.

To produce the needed power for their massive resort independent from the Hydro-Quebec grid, they spent a monthly fuel fee of $6000. In addition to transport costs through the harsh condition of roads in winters which used to occur more frequently than now. 

The generators were not sufficient for Kanawata outfitters. Multiple maintenance sessions each year for a system that solely relies on generators were causing numerous blackouts. Also, the headache caused by the loud generators running day and night was causing a lot of disturbance.


About ten years ago, we collaborated with Kanwata outfitters to design a system to allow Kanawata to be less dependent on generators. The main challenge of installing a complete off grid solar power system was making sure that Kanwata would receive sufficient power at all times.

Hence, our engineers developed a hybrid design that mainly uses solar energy and has a backup generator system in an insulated container. 

In this photo, you can see the container with a much smaller fuel tank than they used to have. The Diesel generators provide a backup power source for scenarios when the discharge rate is too high, and batteries can not continue providing the needed power by the outfitter.


Let's dive in and look into the OLD Solar Energy System.

Old electrical system with lead acid batteries, midnite solar charge controllers and outback power inverters

Our team installed 130 solar panels with on-the-ground solar panel mounting structures as the primary clean energy. With enough area in Kanawata outfitters, we installed solar panels with a concrete base to ensure the system is secure all year long. At the time, this solar power system is one of the most extensive off grid solar systems in Quebec, independent from the Hydro-Quebec power grid.

One hundred thirty solar panels of 235 watts are used in this massive system producing an incredible numeral power of 30 kW.

Volts Energies installed these solar panels about ten years ago with an electric system composing midnite solar charge controllers and outback power inverters. An OPzS lead-acid battery bank of about 325KWh accompanied this system for a long time until a few years back.

Upgrading the electrical system and Battery Bank

Tesla Lithium ion battery bank

Last year, while caught in a storm, generators had a severe electrical malfunction that led to losing outback inverters despite all protection and breakers. As they were almost due for a battery swap already, and we had lots of other upgrades in mind, we decided to give the whole system; a do-over.

First, we needed a much more efficient battery bank. So went through our options to decide which battery is best

The final decision was to build a strong battery bank with our second life Tesla lithium-ion batteries. Our technicians got to work and created an enormous battery bank with 255 kWh power using forty-eight Tesla batteries. 

The lithium battery bank was just the beginning of a much more complex system using top-tier renewable energy products. We wanted to be present with the system 24/7 to monitor the electrical system. Therefore, we started with a Victron Energy Venus system for monitoring.

Venus GX became the communication center of our new system. Utilizing Venus GX, we can talk to our system components and ensure they cooperate in harmony. In addition, we can monitor the system performance through the Victron Remote Management portal. 

To improve the system's solar array performance, our project managers used five Victron Energy Smart Solar charge controllers to accompany the solar panels. Benefiting from ultra-fast maximum power point tracking, Victron MPPT helps us maximize the solar energy harvest.

Different view of the tesla lithium ion battery bank

Adding new solar charge controllers and battery banks were the first two pieces of this renovated energy system. Now we just needed a bridge to connect the lithium battery bank to the generators and to transfer the reserved battery power for Kanawata day-to-day use.

Left side of the electrical system with quattro and mppt of victron energy

Victron Energy Quattro, was our solution. Quattro, similarly to Multiplus, is a combined inverter Charger that additionally accepts two AC inputs. Right now, as you are reading this article, the Quattro is inverting the battery bank power to accessible 120-240V energy, which Kanawata then uses.

Right side of the system with 3 other quattro devices and MPPTs

In harsh winters of Quebec, when solar panels can not produce enough electricity, the same Quattro will be in charge of recharging the batteries until the next sunny day.

Future Plans for Kanawata Outfitters

The next phase for Kanawata would be installing new solar panels, as we have seen with the new system in the past few weeks. Kanawata's new solar-powered system is limited by their old solar panel's production rate, which can be drastically improved by installing newer generation bifacial solar panels. 

Using Bifacial Solar panels can almost double the solar panel production rate which will be a fantastic upgrade to this off-grid power system. So tune in for our future adventures with Kanawata outfitters.


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