OutBack Power™ and Aim High Solar Provide Clean, Reliable Solar + Storage System in the Rocky Mountains
Renewable energy has always been a passion for Kevin Sova, retired Air Force electrical engineer and cybersecurity professional. When he completed his service to his country he founded Aim High Solar, a photovoltaic (PV) installer providing reliable renewable energy solutions to Colorado Springs and the Black Forest area at the front range of the Rocky Mountains.
The region Kevin and his team serve is often bombarded with snowstorms in the winter and heavy winds and other weather systems throughout the year. The result is frequent power outages for residents.
One Black Forest resident in a particularly extreme weather-prone rural area turned to Aim High Solar for an off-grid solar solution that had the potential to power their whole home during sustained outages. Sova explained, “while many of our clients choose solar over diesel generators for environmental reasons, this customer was primarily concerned with ensuring the solution was both non-polluting and silent. Maintaining the tranquility of his pristine property was a high priority.” However, providing the necessary long-term power capacity meant the solar installation needed to be scaled to the size of the home, and it needed a reliable battery to store the reserve energy.
While lithium-ion batteries may have been an obvious choice, Sova helped his client understand the region’s topography created additional points of consideration specifically with altitude restrictions. The lithium-ion batteries that met specifications for the client made it clear if they were installed higher than 2,000 meters (6561 ft) above sea level, the manufacturer’s warranty would be void. This presented a dilemma for Sova and his team since the customer’s property lies above this altitude.
“We are a local company and have a strong reputation for treating every customer with integrity,” Sova explained. “We’re not going to install a battery that would void the warranty.”
In search of a reliable and robust alternative, the Aim High Solar team turned to OutBack Power’s Radian Series inverter/charger, FLEXmax 100 charge controllers and EnergyCell 2200RE (1800Ah) high capacity VRLA battery, which has no altitude installation restrictions and has “the highest capacity of any of the batteries we’re aware of,” he noted.
Sova explained further, “The entire installation process took about eight months, including the time needed to work through regulatory roadblocks with local jurisdictions and utility companies.” Impressively, this effort is the largest installation Aim High Solar has completed in its three-year history.
The system can automatically and seamlessly provide silent power to the customer’s entire residence during outages lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several days, or even weeks. This installation provides the homeowner with peace of mind during some of the most extreme weather the front range of the Rocky Mountains can produce since the system can run for up to three full days without sunlight.
While the system can sustain the entire home in off-grid mode indefinitely, it also generates and sells enough power back to the grid to fully pay for the homeowner’s annual electricity costs.
Now that they have the experience, partners and found the necessary power conversion and batteries to make the system successful, the team hopes to take on more of these large installations in the future. With extreme weather and dangerous power outages making headlines across the country, innovative companies coming together to find solutions like Aim High Solar and OutBack Power are a must, giving customers options and making renewable energy with backup available to more households.
“This project is an excellent demonstration of a critical power solution that was only made possible through collaboration between OutBack Power, and EnerSys, and Aim High Solar, and the key equipment and expertise each organization provides,” noted Outback Sales Director Brian Lawrence, “We are proud to support small and local businesses in their endeavors to provide clean and reliable power to the communities they serve, as well as instill confidence for families and businesses across the nation, and world.”
Uncle/Nephew Aim High Solar Co-owners, Kevin Sova (left) and Kyle Sova (right) in front of panels for the largest project they have installed in their company's three year history. The 9.6kW system has 1800AH of Outback Power™ storage to ensure off-grid reliability. The system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 tons per year.
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