Off grid solar systems provide you with electrical power where there is no mains utility grid. An off grid system consists of PV solar panels, a solar charge control system and storage batteries. The solar charge control system ensures that the batteries are charged at the correct voltage and also prevents the batteries from being damaged from overcharging.
Off grid systems can also include control systems to prevent the batteries from being discharged too much (which will also damage them), AC power inverters to convert the stored battery power back into main power and electrical switchgear to allow for other energy sources to be incorporated, such a wind turbine or a back-up generator.
When planning an off grid PV solar system, it is necessary to accurately assess your specific energy requirements. It is important to understand what you want to power from the installation and also at what time of year. In the UK, there is a ten fold difference in the amount of solar energy available in the summer compared to the winter, thus an off grid system that works all year round will be substantially larger than one that only operates in the summer months.
Off Grid PV solar system power requirements need to be determined before designing a system. The power output from the solar modules throughout the year, the size of battery storage required and the need to incorporate AC inverters and alternative energy sources must all be taken into account.
For this reason designing an off grid system is a more complicated process than grid-connected solar systems. Run By The Sun use the ‘PV Sol’ solar design software to help perfect off grid designs. To be accurate in our considerations we need to know: