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What is Off-grid Solar System & how it works?



One of the main types of the solar power system is Off-grid — also known as a stand-alone power system (SAPS). Off grid solar energy systems are completely independent of the power grid.

It works by generating electricity from solar panels and using it to charge a solar battery via a charger controller. That electricity is then converted using an inverter so that it can power the home or business appliances. By saving the electricity in a solar battery, it is possible to run home with solar energy, even at night or during times when there is less sun exposure.



What is Off-grid system?


These systems allow you to store your solar power in batteries for use when the power grid goes down or if you are not on the grid.

An off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid and therefore requires battery storage. An off-grid solar system must be designed appropriately so that it will generate enough power throughout the year and have enough battery capacity to meet the requirements, even in the depths of winter when there is less sun light. Off-grid living completely relieves you of dependency on the electrical utility, because the system provides all of your power. Due to this, off-grid systems are generally larger than grid-ties. The high cost of batteries and inverters means off-grid systems are much more expensive than on-grid systems and so are usually only needed in more remote areas that are far from the electricity grid. However battery costs are reducing rapidly, so there is now a growing market for off-grid solar battery systems even in cities and towns.



Off-Grid Applications

  • Solar home systems

  • Clinics

  • Schools

  • Rural business

  • Tourism

  • Solar water pumping

  • Solar mobile charging stations

  • Telecom, two-way radio

  • Street lighting and signs

  • Mini-grids

  • Small portable appliances

  • Remote homes and cabins

  • Water pumping systems

  • Livestock watering

  • Telecommunications

  • Boats

  • Sign lighting

  • Traffic warning lights



Components



Solar Charge Controller


Charge regulators or just battery regulators

- the main function is to protect the batteries

- Block Reverse Current


Types of Controller

- PWM Charge Controller

- MPPT Charge Controller





Battery Bank


- Storing energy is daytime

- Battery bank is essentially a group of batteries wired together

- Lead acid type batteries are most common in Solar PV system






Off-Grid Inverter


Draws its DC energy from batteries charged by charge controller.

Do not interface in any way with the utility grid.

Many stand-alone inverters also incorporate integral battery from an AC Source.





Benefits of Off-Grid Solar System


- Avoid Power Outages

- Reduced electricity costs

- Easier Installation

- Easy Alternative for Rural Areas

- Keeping the Environment Clean and Green




Before Going Off-Grid

If you are considering the off-grid lifestyle, you first need to fully understand your own power use habits, as well as exactly how an off-grid system works. To live off-grid you will likely need to make adjustments to when and how you use electricity so you can live within the limitations of your system’s design, and to keep the system cost reasonable. This doesn’t necessarily imply doing without, but rather a shift to more conscientious use of electricity.



We also recommend that before you choose an off-grid lifestyle you talk with a few folks who are already doing it. This will give you practical information that you may not come across in your other research.

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