Solar and Battery Energy Provide Off-Grid Power for a Non-Profit Youth Camp

The Black Duck Island near Old House Channel, NC
System Allocation
1 aGate + 3 aPowers
System Size
40.8 kWh


Transforming the power source in an off-grid island from a generator to a more environmentally friendly solar (PV) system plus energy storage.


  • Stage one - Deploy four new PV panels of 1.2 kW and an energy management and storage system of 40.8 kWh
  • Stage two (upcoming) – Add additional 12 PV panels of 4.8 kW to reach a total of 6 kW of solar power production


  • Off-grid energy independence
  • Remote energy management
  • 80% - 90% utility cost savings

Quote of Mike Johnson, National Director of Cross Trial Outfitters (CTO): “The FranklinWH system proves its effectiveness by managing the solar generation and battery storage to provide steady, reliable power on an isolated island, improving our ability to provide services in place.”

Troubled by the low power efficiency of environmentally unfriendly diesel fuel, and the noise from the existing generator, CTO was looking for a more stable and environmentally friendly energy source to power their youth camp on an island. FranklinWH donated a Franklin Home Power system to the non-profit organization to address those issues.


Offering a Better Living Environment for Youth Camps

Every year, on the Black Duck Island, near Old House Channel in North Carolina, CTO provides mentorship, training, and assistance for kids while ensuring a wholesome and fun environment. Camp participants are primarily boys ages 7 – 19. They have fun during the day, but at night the experience wasn’t as good due to the noise produced by the generator which supports the camp’s electrical loads such as lights, refrigerator, and air-conditioner.

In addition, fuel is expensive, and they wanted to improve the environmental sustainability of the camp.

When the director talked about this problem with Strata Clean Energy, the installer immediately thought about the Franklin Home Power (FHP) system which supports off-grid scenarios. After hearing about the need, FranklinWH decided to donate one aGate energy management controller and three aPower batteries to fully support the camp’s needs.

“Our campsite has a 3000 square foot house. It has lights, water pumps, and air-conditioners. We used to use a generator to provide power for these loads, and we frequently ran into power shortages. That’s why we decided to change the power source.

We have run the PV and energy management system for a couple of days. The result was amazing. The system is quiet, easy to use, and stable. There is no more noise at night. Due to the result being so good, we have decided to add more PV panels in the near future to achieve fully off-grid living,” said Mike Johnson, National Director of Cross Trial Outfitters.


Quality Technology Powers Quality Off-Grid Experience

The FHP integrates aGate, an industry-leading, intelligent energy manager that can control energy from the grid, solar, battery, and generator, and aPower, a super-robust, high-capacity AC-coupled battery. It is also possible to connect the previous existing generator as a backup power source when needed.

It is worth noting that the FranklinWH generator module used in this case has contributed many benefits. With the generator module, the generator used by the camp can be integrated into the FHP, supplying power to loads as well as charging the aPower battery. The generator module can be remotely controlled by the FranklinWH App, which can seamlessly and automatically switch between the generator and battery power supply.

FranklinWH generator module

The intelligent energy manager, aGate, has optional Smart Circuits that can connect three separate loads, including sub-panels, allowing remote control of the loads through the FranklinWH App. This function enables the island owner to manage the system remotely at any time. For instance, the air-conditioner can be turned on as a group approaches the island.

FranklinWH provides a full 12-year warranty for Cross Trial Outfitters to support them with a hassle-free user experience.


Installer’s Feedback

The island had several old PV panels already on-site. Since the FranklinWH system can adapt to any inverters, we originally decided to only install the Franklin Home Power system. The panels were too old to use when we arrived at the site. Therefore, we donated and installed 4 new PV panels as well.

The Franklin Home Power is very easy to install, even in a small wooden house in the middle of nowhere. We like its integrated design, which is very friendly to installers,” said John Jennings, the Director of Electrical Engineering at Strata Clean Energy.