It’s okay to ask questions

Mini-grids and Standalone Systems

A mini-grid is a distribution network setup to supply a localised group of people with electricity by using various sources of energy (solar, wind, hydro, diesel gensets etc)  to generate the power required to generate the electricity.

A standalone system is a system that operates in off-grid areas (i.e. locations where no formal electricity infrastructure is in place) and which operates off various sources of electricity generation (e.g. solar, wind turbine, diesel or bio-fuel generator. Examples of a standalone system are solar home systems (SHS) and single power stations (SPS).

A solar home system is small power producing installation (utilizing solar power as the only source) and specifically tailored to power basic home necessities such as lights, radio, phone charging and television.

Single Power Stations produce power via solar, wind but commonly diesel with the aim of serving one customer which are usually larger remote users. Examples are farms, resorts, telecommunication towers etc.

  • SHS have a lower power capacity than SPS
  • SPS typically powers larger remote users
  • SHS powers smaller remote users

Battery Technology

Tytech’s system designs take environmental controls to the nth degree. Tytech customises the environment so that the system components perform optimally and achieve the warrantied lifespan.

The design-life of batteries used in Tytech’s systems are between 10-25  years. 

Eternity Technologies and Discover.

2-5 years for both suppliers depending on the range and model.

Lead Acid Lead Gel Lead Crystal Lithium
Temperature -18 to 45 -18 to 50 -40 to 65 -20 to 65
Usage Life 2-3 3-4 7-10 5-6
Environmental Impact poor poor friendlier friendlier
Transport Safety poor average Very good good
Handling Safety average good Very good average
80% Discharge Cycle 350 400 3100 1000
High Current Discharge Ability poor poor Very good average
Performance average average Very good good
Recyclability good good Very good poor
Size average average average small
Cost lowest low low-med 5-6 times  higher than gel

Battery technologies are racing ahead. If you went back 5 or 10 years, a lot of the batteries were generic flat plate lead-acid batteries that were designed for mainly traction applications. The nickel, cadmium and other earlier forms of rechargeable were less efficient,  only had a two or three-year design life with a one year warranty.  and the number of cycles they could perform was substantially low.

And nowadays we’re talking about high capacity, densely packaged lithium ions, tubular OPzS gel batteries which have a 20 years design life.

Eternity technologies and Discover are Tytech’s preferred battery suppliers and are at the forefront of current battery technology having a design life of 20 years.

Maximum power point tracking is the method used by a charge controller to work out the optimal power output required from the panel to charge the battery to minimise the losses due to transmission. It carries out the tracking electronically and is between 93-97% efficient in the conversion.

Tytech carries out a full site assessment to be able to be able to accurately calculate the load profile. The system design and intelligent software-defined rules will ensure that batteries are always charged and never run out of power.

Inverter Technology

Early inverters were purely a brick or box that you would apply DC to in a regenerated AC and have very limited functionality.

The Victron Quattro Inverter hardware is so physically advanced and extremely capable producing a 50 hertz pure sound wave at whatever power it’s designed that the only limiting factor is the software that’s supplied to that piece of hardware.

Inverters are very similar to computers. The software-defined capabilities allow for the interfacing of P.L.C. and process control equipment. A mod bus, cam bus or other protocol facilitate a networked intelligence between different components and machines within a factory, complex or building.

The power output can be configured and programmed with a laptop to suit almost any operational requirements because the inverter units are software defined. Furthermore, the inverter cluster can be configured to create one large virtual inverter with a single output or even segmented to create multiple outputs.

Tytech helps your business develop a power strategy that takes into account your planned operational growth. We give careful consideration to the system design to ensure we provide a dynamic solution that is able to adapt and scale with your business.

Yes, provided that the system has been correctly designed and the load has been accurately profiled during a thorough site assessment and energy analysis.

60 meter long cords are the recommended maximum as keeping batteries close to inverters improves efficiency as transmission losses are reduced.

Mostly inverters take approximately 17 milliseconds to respond to power cuts and transfer electricity from one mode to another mode. It is short enough that it won’t even notice.

A power inverter converts DC power into conventional AC power for use of any device that requires plugging into a wall socket (runs of AC power/grid power) to operate. 

UPS is a device equipped with both a battery and battery charger in a single unit. It is generally used for running computers to get an uninterrupted power supply to avoid electricity fluctuation which usually takes place during power cuts and conversion of battery powered electricity supply and main power supply.


UPS Inverter
Backup Rapid supply Slower supply
Technical Variation Continues to charge battery after battery is fully charged and has released its stored power Stops power to battery once battery is fully charged
Time Lag 3-8 milliseconds 500 milliseconds
Connection Directly connected to appliances
Price More expensive Less expensive as UPS
Circuit Rectifier/Charger





Voltage Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) set at a certain voltage Input voltage same as output voltage at 230V
Size Up to 2KVa Up to 16KVa
Usage Houses, offices, and commercial or for industrial use due to its double conversion system Industrial or commercial use because it is unable to bear more load. Also used for normal lighting at homes or offices

Hybrid Systems

Solar hybrid means the generation of electricity with photovoltaic modules combined with another power generating energy source. This conjunction creates a generation of electricity with low greenhouse gas emissions and a high security of supply.

Financial investment factors
  • Weighted average capital cost [%]
  • Annual fuel escalation [%]
Investment costs Typical investment costs of the components of the mmini-gridsystem:

  • Cost of solar PV system [USD/kWp]
  • Cost of batteries [USD/kWh]
  • Cost of diesel generator [USD/kWe]
  • Overall cost of electrical balance of plant [USD/kW]
  • Connection cost [USD/customer]
  • Additional project cost (e.g. SCADA or Fuel Save Controllers) [USD/kW]
Operating costs Operating costs that are necessary input values are:

  • PV plant maintenance (% of capex [USD/yr])
  • Annual diesel maintenance cost [USD/yr]
  • Cost of diesel fuel [USD/litre]
  • Overall annual operating cost increase [% USD/yr]
  • Annual plant maintenance — incl.staff [USD/yr]
Other factors Further costs that have to be keyed in by the user are:

  • Annual increase of demand [%]
  • Annual PV power output reduction [%] caused by degradation of the modules

Source: GIZ – Sizing Handbook