Off-grid solar power systems- An introductory guide
Do you need off grid solar power systems? Off grid solar power systems mean power is getting from the sun- sometimes diesel or the electrical grid for backup.
To make this possible, you need to install a solar power system with battery storage.
The off-grid solar systems are very useful in a place where the power is not stable, usually cut off for no reason. Or a place where no electricity grid at all, they will need an off-grid solar system to supply the power.
If you’re thinking of buying off-grid solar systems for your home, you’ve come to the right place. Before you buy one off-grid solar system, you can get useful information from this blog. In this blog, we will help you how to figure out do you need an off-grid solar system or not, and tell you how to buy the right one to meet your need.
What are off-grid solar power systems?
Many people think only of solar panels and batteries when they hear "off-grid solar". But there are many other components to getting complete off grid solar power systems.
As off-grid solar systems operate battery power first, and diesel or grid electricity for backup when battery power run off. They are also called standalone solar power systems according to it working mode.
Unlike on-grid solar power systems, off-grid solar systems rely on batteries to provide power when the sun isn’t available.
Batteries, a very important component in the off-grid solar system, are to keep the solar power in the batteries, they are costly - and usually have a limited life span. We call it cycle time. Different type of battery has different cycle time.
What are the different uses of off-grid solar power systems
One of the biggest advantages of solar as an energy source is solar panel quantity and battery quantity can be designed according to different needs. It's very flexible and varied in use. Usually, there is three-phase and single phase. For someplace, there is split-voltage as well.
It works from small system to big system, from small home system, all the way up to a system that can power a factory.
Here are some of the most common applications of off-grid solar system:
For camp small cooker appliance
Powering the appliances in an RV
Generating electricity for home
Being the main electricity for the hotel, hospital, and factory.
What equipment do off-grid solar power systems require?
Here’s a list of all the equipment required for a functioning off-grid solar system:
Solar charge controller
Bracket for solar panel
Cables and accessory
How to size an off-grid solar system?
We will size an off-grid solar system in 3 steps.
- The first step is to calculate the inverter power.
- The second step is to calculate solar panel quantity.
- The third step is to calculate battery quantity.
1. Calculate the inverter power
For example, if you need an off-grid solar system for home use, and have 1set 9000BTU air conditioner, we suggest to use 5kw inverter.
Because for pump and for constant frequency air conditioner, there are motor inside, we call them inductive load. The start working current may reach 4-6time than rate power. That's why when the air conditioner start working, the light will flash in one time.
For 1set 9000BTU air conditioner, the power is 750w. And they will get 4-6time when start to work, so we will need a bigger inverter to supply power. That's why we need a 5kw inverter for 1set 9000BTU air conditioner.
2. Calculate total electricity usage needs
You can list all the appliances you plan to use, and how many hours you’ll be using each of them. This is to get daily consumption, to calculate how many solar panels you will need in the off-grid solar system.Knowing how many kWh in a day you’ll use will allow you to size your solar panel array, as well as the solar battery storage.
For example, if you have 3sets 100w fan, every day using 6hours, and have 1set 250w TV, using 5hours every day.
Then total consumption would be:
3set * 100w * 6hrs+ 1set * 250w* 5hrs= 3050wh
If you have 6hours good sunshine
Then you will need
3050w ÷ 6hrs ÷0.8factor = 635w
So you will need at least 2pcs 320w solar panel.
3. Decide on battery storage capacity
Next, you’ll need to decide how much battery you want. Do you want to cover one day, or do you want to have extra backup capacity?
For example, at night use 1set 250W TV for 3hours, and 10sets of 10w lights for 6hours.
Then you will need
Most comment capacity for Gel batteries is 100ah, 150ah, and 200ah.
One set 200ah battery capacity is 12v*200ah=2400wh
That's why one pc 200ah Gel battery can meet all the need.
And never use 100% of the battery, it will damage the gel battery.
Click here to know more about Gel battery
Customized 24-hours off-grid solar electricity
How much does an off-grid solar system cost?
The prices of off-grid systems range from about $100 (for a phone or tablet charger) to tens of thousands of dollars. That’s because off-grid solar range is very wide, from 300w-300kw.
If we talk specifically about off-grid solar kits that can power a home or factory, the price would be different.
You can get an idea for contacting our sales person
to know more detail.
Please note that the costs mentioned are only for the off grid solar power systems. If you use a professional solar company for installation, there will be additional labor charges; And if you want to do DIY, we can send you full detail. You can DIY follow our instruction step by step if you have faith.
Learn more about solar power system installation
The impact of battery type on cost
Your choice of gel battery or lithium battery will have a big impact on the cost of your off-grid solar system.
Lithium batteries offer advanced functionality and come in a small. They are, however, very expensive and will account for a large portion of the costs if you use them.
Gel batteries are large and have a shorter lifespan - but they are much cheaper. Their low price makes them a popular choice for off-grid solar systems.
You can compare the difference detail here. Gel battery vs lithium battery - How to choose solar power system Battery?
Best places to buy off-grid solar power systems
The buying process for off-grid systems will vary based on the size of the system you want.
The best place to by off grid solar power systems is here. Contact us
Best place to find turnkey solar installers
If you don't want to DIY, you can ask electrician for help. They will understand how to do the installation after reading the manual and the diagram.
However, there are now many brands in the market, many with much lower prices; just make sure to check reviews and warranty details before making a purchase.
Customized 24-hours off-grid solar electricity
The advantages of off grid solar power systems
Over 300,000 homes are believed to be using off-grid power sources for their energy needs. Here are a few reasons why some family choose to live off the grid:
1. Freedom from the grid
This is the main reason why people are interested in off-grid solar system. The city grid often cut off without any reason.
When the grid cut off, so does your power supply. You can not use any of the home appliances, because there are no back up power.
If you have an off grid solar power systems, when the city grid cut off, you can still use all your home appliances.
2. It’s good for the environment
If you are using a diesel generator for backup power. The diesel would be a bad smell and be noisy.
Going off-grid reduces carbon emissions. When the inverter runs, there is no noise and no smell.
And compare to the generator, off grid solar power systems no need fuel, and no need much maintain.
3. Sometimes the only option
When you want to power a building in a remote location, there are no any city grid power at all.
If you contact the local power company for a connection, they will tell you that you are out of their area. Or they could offer to lay the wire to connect you to the grid — but only at a big cost.
That means that you will need a power which can produce by itself. You could use a backup generator, but fuel for it is expensive and need maintain. This makes solar as the only option for off-grid power.
Do you really need an off grid solar power systems?
The off-grid solar system is the best power source when it is hard (or impossible) to access the grid.
Because diesel needs fuel and maintenance.
What if you just trying to save the electric bill? Do you need an off grid solar power systems?
This is because off-grid solar systems for homes are expensive and battery life spans only a few years. And inverter will supply power to all the home appliances, if the inverter breaker is down, the whole system can not be used until the inverter is repaired.
If you are trying to saving electric bill, then look at grid-tied solar systems instead. You can save day time electric bill, by using solar power.
It doesn't matter there is no sell solar power to local power company policy. Because you can add a 0 export to stop the exceed solar power send to the grid.
You can learn more about how on-grid solar systems work here. 4 types of home solar power systems
Allon has over 10 years experiences in off-grid project. Including diesel or solar area, he always have his idea to design a perfect system for you.