To everyone who wants to switch to an ecological and stable way of generating electricity, solar companies offer several options for reliable solutions. Among them, autonomous solar systems deserve special attention, which can become the basis for creating an independent local energy system. This solution is of interest to many, as it can provide several advantages.
However, before looking for ‘solar companies near me’ which can offer installations, you should first learn about their features and benefits. After all, such structures are not suitable for all buildings and require a special approach. In the prepared material, we talk about all these aspects in more detail, so that you can learn about the features of the functioning of such systems.
Source: Clean Energy Reviews
What Does the Term “Off-Grid Power Supply” Mean?
Currently, solar energy in the USA is developing at an extremely active pace. This is evidenced by recent EIA forecasts. The organization says that in 2023 the country plans to add the largest amount of solar power in recent years. Indicators reach 29.1 GW. This is almost half of all planned projects for this year. However, most facilities currently use a mixed method of obtaining electricity.
That is, they have their solar systems and at the same time are connected to the general power grid. In this way, the owners manage to reduce their electricity bills and get stable power. As for off-grid solar systems, they have certain differences from conventional structures. That is why they are not so popular yet. However, their efficiency is much higher.
Currently, autonomous solar systems are the basis of the concept of “power off the grid”. They can provide electricity to all devices in sufficient volume, without connecting to the general network. Under such conditions, objects become independent in terms of energy and protected from various financial fluctuations. Everyone can switch to such systems by purchasing them from a reliable supplier. However, in some cases, complete off-grid solar systems are a direct necessity.
We are talking about buildings located in remote areas. There it is often not possible to connect to the general power grid, so you have to look for alternative ways of obtaining electricity. In this case, autonomous solar systems can become the only profitable solution for maintaining a comfortable residence or stay.
What Is Included in a Standard Off-Grid Solar Kit?
Many people are interested in the features of autonomous solutions that can provide full power to devices without additional support from utility providers. These designs are based on the same technology as standard solar systems. However, they have several differences. The main one is the increased power generation capacity. The design of such systems consists of several elements:
- Portable power plants (main name “batteries”)
- Charge controllers
- Set of solar panels
In addition, the set includes a special control panel. Thanks to the combination of all these components, it is possible to create a reliable system capable of producing large amounts of electricity for a building, van, or trailer. This amount of electricity is usually enough to power all major devices.
How Does an Autonomous Solar System Work?
Considering off-the-grid electricity options, it is worth noting that the operation of such structures is no different from the operation of conventional solar systems. Electricity production takes place in several stages:
- Catching sunlight: Photoelectric elements are located on the surface of solar panels, which can absorb radiation and convert it into direct current. To make the most of these components, solar panels are usually placed on rooftops or outdoor areas.
- Transportation of electricity to charge controllers: This process takes place through special communications.
- Voltage distribution: Controllers provide regulation of received power volumes and distribute between inverters and storage batteries. Thanks to this, the system is completely protected from overload, and electricity is supplied in the amount necessary for power supply.
- Transportation of electricity to inverters: These devices are mandatory components of autonomous solar systems, as they provide the conversion of direct current into alternating current. In this form, it is suitable for use by household consumers.
A certain volume is transferred to the storage batteries, where the charge is accumulated for further use.
How To Determine if Off-Grid Solar Is Right for Your Property?
Don’t rush to learn how to power a home off the grid. After all, such a system has several features that may be incompatible with your requests. It is worth first comparing the conditions that are created in the case of using an autonomous solar system and using a mixed type of power supply (with a connection to the general network).
|Features of autonomous solar systems||Features of power supply from solar panels and network|
|Full control over the process of electricity consumption||Availability of financial incentives in the form of credit benefits, sale of surplus to the network, and additional programs|
|Independence from the general network||Maintenance of the stability of the functioning of the general power grid|
|Protection against inflation, tariff increases, and system failures||Ability to combine electricity supply in the most profitable way|
|Sustainable development support|
|Use of renewable source energy|
Is It Possible To Build a Completely Independent System Based on Solar Panels?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. One of them is certain legal requirements for the installation of autonomous energy systems. In particular, the leadership of some states establishes restrictive norms. They oblige those objects that have access to the network to remain connected to the network. This means that owners can use solar panels, but cannot completely disconnect from the grid under such conditions.
However, there are many autonomous solar-friendly states in the US. More flexible rules apply in their territory. These states include Arkansas, Missouri, Colorado, Alabama, Hawaii, and others. In addition, when considering off-grid power options, you should also consider the volume of your electricity consumption. This applies not only to peak hours of use but also to periods when solar radiation may not be sufficient.
To determine approximate numbers, it is worth starting with an analysis of the use of devices that are the largest consumers of electricity. First, you need to make a list of these devices and calculate the approximate time of use per day. The more such consumers are on the list, the more power will be in need to supply the building with electricity.
In addition, devices that are permanently connected to the system are important. These can be fans, refrigerators, TVs, audio systems, lighting equipment, etc. Gadgets and their number should be considered separately. After all, they are usually actively used every day and need charging. To have a clearer idea, it is worth consulting the specialists of companies that are manufacturers of such solar systems.
A complete transition to autonomous power from solar panels is a fairly promising and profitable solution. After all, in this case, utility bills disappear, the impact on the environment is reduced, uninterrupted supply from a renewable source is ensured and a sustainable energy system that does not depend on the amount of resources is formed.
In addition, owners of autonomous systems on solar panels are protected from spikes in electricity tariffs and emergencies in the general power grid. However, when considering this decision, some important nuances should be taken into account. For example, the existence of restrictions in some states, as well as the need to obtain certain permits and additional documentation. That is why, before forming your independent power system, you should consult with specialists.