Power options for farm shed and bore pump

We are considering power needs for intermittent use of an 8mx 10m farm shed and for irrigation for a small orchard and watering stock (near Ballarat Victoria). We envisage using the shed once a week during the summer, sometimes staying over while working on the block. There is no house on the property. Cooking and hot water will be by means of gas and/or wood stove.

One option is to connect to the grid – we have a quote from Powercor and an estimate from an electrician to run power to the shed and provide a meterbox etc. total c $25k.

We could install a small off-grid system to cover all our power needs. We have developed a basic (Clean Energy) spreadsheet for our estimated power needs. It’s a bit hard to do this for intermittent use, but we estimate 3.89 KWh per day average – for bore pump (at 75m depth), small rainwater pressure pump, lighting, charging phones/laptops, ceiling fan, and possibly a small fridge. The bore does not need to be run at the same times as the pressure pump. We may choose to have a backup generator both to re-charge batteries and to power any larger tools we use. The start up power needed for a bore pump to that depth is an issue.

Or we install a stand alone solar bore system (say $8k including tank) and a separate very small solar off grid system for minimal shed needs – lighting, fans, charging only, and manage without a fridge

Cost estimates from our own research and conversations with off-grid suppliers vary considerably – from $10 - 12k for a basic off the shelf system through $16k to $20k plus. There is also some risk of batteries etc being stolen especially as we are not living on the property.

Would be grateful for any advice/ suggestions - have appreciated the articles on this site #off-grid #farmshed #bore pump

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It appears your most viable option is to install a smaller off-grid system that will cover all your needs for $15 to $20k. Off-grid systems are very modular so you could start smaller and see how it performs, then add more solar or another battery module if required.

If you add some security cameras and sensor lights it should deter any would-be thieves. I just installed a cheap $85 security camera with smart app that notifies me when it detects a person. You can also have an alarm sound. But you would also need a mobile sim for internet though.

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Thanks - there’s a lot to take in account - and thanks also for the possibilities re security.

No problem, as a quick guide, it appears all you would need to start out is a small solar array (around 3kW, or 6 to 8 panels), a Victron Multiplus II 5000VA inverter-charger and 2 or 3 Pylontech 3.55kWh US3000 batteries.

However, before you go ahead, have you done a full load table? What is the pump power rating (surge?)