Do you live in a remote area where it is very expensive to connect to an electrical utility service?
You can use an off-grid solar power system that is completely self-sufficient to operate your lights and appliances. The system can be expanded if you need more power in the future.
An off-grid system uses a battery storage system for the electricity that you produce so that it will be available for times when there is no source of electricity. A backup generator can be started automatically to recharge the batteries during prolonged cloudy periods.
An off-grid solar power system has five basic components:
1. A charging system, consisting of a solar panel array.
2. An energy storage system, generally a large bank of deep cycle lead-acid batteries in a sealed, vented box.
3. A charge control system, to prevent overcharging of the batteries, mounted by the inverter.
4. An inverter to convert low voltage DC to 110 V AC to power normal household loads and automatically start the backup generator when needed.
5. A backup generator operating on gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane, for extended cloudy periods.
Off-grid systems are practical for energy efficient homes that use less than 500 kWh a month. The battery bank and generator are expensive, require maintenance and have a much shorter warranty period (10 years) compared to the 25 year warranty for the solar panels. The battery bank also takes considerable space. You cannot store power from the summer for use in the winter (as you can with a grid-tied system and net metering program) so electric and geothermal heating systems are not feasible choices for an off-grid home. Natural gas or propane heating and hot water systems are more practical choices. You can use many standard electric appliances such as a fridge, microwave, and coffee maker but an electric stove uses too much power so a gas range and oven are recommended for off-grid systems.
An off-grid system is carefully designed to provide enough power for all the appliances, pumps and other electrical loads that you will need for your home. We start off with a load analysis to see how much power you will need, then size the system for the most cost effective operation.
The following blog article discusses and compares the pros and cons of off-grid and grid-tied systems:
Why invest in an Off-grid Solar Power System?
Proven technology with 25 year warranty on solar panels
Solar panels have an expected lifetime of 35 years of more
No utility connection fee
No monthly utility bills
Self sufficient power system for your home or business
Reduce your carbon footprint