An off-grid solar system is designed for the power needs of mid- to large-size homes. Unlike grid-tied solar systems, off-grid systems have no connection to the utility grid, and must make all the electricity necessary to power your home.
Off-grid solar systems operate from the stored energy in a battery bank. Solar panels generate power to charge the battery bank. Your off-grid solar system must be sized properly to meet your daily power needs and replace the stored energy pulled from the battery bank.
How build solar power system?
This instructable will show you everything you need to put together a pretty good sized electric solar panel system. Things you will need:
2 AWG cable
At least one 12 Volt marine deep cycle battery
1 power inverter
1 Rubbermaid tote or other container
1 battery charger
Red electrical tape
Gather supplies and lets get started.
Step 1: Preparing the Batteries.
Preparing the Batteries.
The first thing you want to do is charge your batteries with a charger. This will insure they are charged to capacity and ready to go at set up. I purchased my batteries new and were only at about 60%. While the batteries are charging, you can set up the solar panels and get them wired up and ready to go.
Step 2: Place Batteries in Container.
Place Batteries in Container.
Once the batteries are fully charged, place them in the container and. Make sure all the positive (+) terminals are on one side and negative (-) on the other. Once in place, measure from terminal to terminal to make the jumpers.
Step 3: Creating the Jumpers.
Creating the Jumpers.
Next, we want to connect the batteries in parallel. To do this, Make some jumpers out of 2 AWG cable.
Note: Make sure to size your jumpers for your system. If you want to use a larger inverter you will need to use larger cable. 1200 Watts/12 Volts = 100 Amps. Depending on where you look, 2 AWG cable is good for around 100 Amps. If you want to run say, a 2400 watt inverter, you should use 2 cables per jumper.
Measure between terminals and cut cable to length. Then add the mechanical lugs. Since the battery terminals were a bit bigger than the holes in the lugs I bought I drilled them out to fit.
Step 4: Preparing the Lid
Preparing the Lid
Now, add some holes in the lid to run the wires for the charge controller and the inverter. I wanted the charge controller outside so it was visible. You could just as easily put it inside the container for a more concealed look.
Step 5: Connecting the Charge Controller and Inverter to the Batteries.
Connecting the Charge Controller and Inverter to the Batteries.
Next we connect the charge controller and the inverter to the batteries. You will want to make sure the inverter is turned off and the charge controller is not connected to the solar panels yet.
Step 6: Final Set Up and Test.
Final Set Up and Test.
It should all be wired together. All that is left is to connect the charge controller to the solar panels and turn the inverter on and check to see that it works.
Step 7: Some Final Thoughts.
I originally made this set up as a back up power source for when the power went out. But, I think I will use it more often than that. I don’t think the solar panels are powerful enough to charge the batteries after depleting them every day. I will use it for a few days and update how well the system charges with constant use.
I originally tested out a single battery and was able to run a lamp and my laptop for about 5 hours before I finally shut it off. The good thing about this inverter is it will shut off automatically if the voltage drops too low to prevent depleting the batteries. I’m pretty confident that with the three batteries I will be able to power larger items for an extended period of time.
Also, this is a pretty expensive set up, about $1250. My costs (with out tax or shipping charges) and where I got things.
Solar panels $370
Marine batteries $380
2 AWG Cable $25
1200 W inverter $430
I had the rubbermaid container, battery charger, and the charge controller came with the solar panels. I don’t think it unrealistic to spend around $1500 or so, possibly more depending on how you set your system up.
Depending on how this works I will most likely upgrade to some better solar panels, increase the solar panel array size, and get some more batteries.
If anything is unclear please post comments/questions and I will be more than happy to update.
How much does solar power system cost?
Now that we understand how to evaluate the relative cost of solar systems and the factors that contribute to overall installation costs, let’s consider the big question: how much do solar panels cost to install on your home?
The short answer is that it depends. Solar system costs vary widely depending on many factors like the amount of energy needed, the amount of roof space available, the kinds of panels and inverters being used, and whether a battery is included with the solar system. The average cost for a solar system is around $500-50,000 (before incentives), but the system size is proportional to the amount of power needed.
How much is home solar power system？
Solar panels generate “free” electricity, but there are still costs associated with installing them. Prices vary based on a few key factors: efficiency, capacity and your location.
After solar tax credits, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-size house in the U.S. ranges from $12768 to $15,698, according to EnergySage. If you need a few panels for a small DIY project, expect to pay around $300 to $450 per panel (around $1 per watt).
What Is An Off Grid Solar System And Who This Is For
Solar power systems are great alternatives to your typical electrical systems. Aside from obvious benefits like energy-efficiency, solar power systems are also cheaper and are friendlier to the environment.
There are three types of solar power systems: 1) on-grid, 2) off-grid, and 3) hybrid solar systems. This article will tackle and focus more on the second type, the off-grid solar power system.
As in their name, solar power systems like a home off grid solar system operate on solar power. They then convert that solar energy into electricity.
Also called stand-alone power systems, off-grid solar systems are basically not connected to any electrical power grid. Because of that, they are equipped with a high-capacity battery bank to store the electricity harvested by the solar panels.
Because of the battery storage, an off-grid solar system is perfect to use in long winters, during adverse weathers or emergencies. During these conditions, there is a high possibility that power outages will occur which can sometimes last from hours to days to weeks.
With an off-grid solar system, your home will not be affected since the system can provide electricity for you. Just make sure that your solar system is designed to have the capacity to meet the electricity needs of your home.
This type of solar system is also perfect to use in remote areas located far from the local electrical grid or in areas that are prone to power outages.
Examples of these places include hunting cabins, off-grid homes, bunkers, rural and developing communities, far-away places, signs, outbuildings and the like.
What Are The Different Types Of Off Grid Solar Systems?
There are typically five types of off-grid solar systems. Before you purchase and set up your off-grid solar system, it is important to know more about the product. This article will explain the different systems.
DC only system
DC only systems are smaller that are designed to power mainly lights and low energy consuming devices like your monitoring equipment. They are also perfect to use on DC-powered appliances having 12 voltages or lower.
This system either uses a solar panel or wind generator that generates DC power. This power is then used to charge the battery bank.
Here, there is no solar inverter. DC power is directly fed to your lights and/or appliances. This system typically has no back-up generator; hence, you need to ensure that your system is sized to handle your loads in emergency situations.
Mixed DC and AC system
This hybrid system is similar to your DC only system but with the addition of an AC inverter. This is still designed for powering light or low energy equipment.
With the AC inverter, you are able to power appliances that have 230 volts.
Nevertheless, since it is a small system, there is also no back-up generator. Thus, it must be designed in such a way to ensure that it can handle your loads during emergencies.
AC only system
This system is designed to handle bigger loads and is equipped with a solar array rather than one solar panel. The solar array collects solar energy and then converts it into DC power. This power is then stored into the battery bank.
With the solar inverter, the DC power is converted into AC power that can be used to run your typical household electronics and appliances.
In this type of system, a back-up generator is also absent. Hence, you need to ensure that your system can handle your loads in case of power outages and emergencies.
AC system with wind and solar
As in the name, this off-grid solar system runs on two sources of energy: solar and wind energies. The solar array collects and converts solar energy into DC power which is then stored into the battery bank.
During cloudy days, wind energy is collected via the wind turbine. It is then converted into DC power and stored in a battery bank.
DC power is converted into AC power via the inverter and is fed to your home appliances.
AC system with back-up generator
This system is just your AC system with the addition of a back-up generator. It works on the same principle. However, with a generator in hand, you have an advantage. Your home will be able to have a continuous power supply even during emergencies or power outages.
Generators are powered through diesel, petrol or LPG.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Off Grid Solar Power Systems
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of a product is needed to make an informed choice about it. with this, you’ll know what to expect and be ready in cases of damage.
Like all devices, an off-grid solar system has its own share of advantages and disadvantages.
Reduce electricity costs
One of the main advantages of solar systems is the reduced electricity costs. For one, solar energy is free unlike your electricity. This is especially advantageous to people living in sunny areas.
Moreover, you can also save in terms of oil and gas prices. Since you rely on solar power, the continuing rise on fossil fuels won’t bother you.
Since off-grid solar systems rely on solar power, they are also the friendlier choice in terms of the environment. Not only is it cheap, you can also do your part in saving the environment by going solar. Moreover, you can reduce your own family’s carbon footprint.
Great for remote areas
Off-grid solar systems are also beneficial to those who live in remote areas. Instead of spending on extending your power lines, you get to save by living off the grid. You also have the freedom of choosing where you live since you can generate your own electricity.
Living off the grid is also suitable for those in areas that are prone to power outages or have power failures.
With this, you would not have to suffer through days or weeks without electricity since you will be able to have a continuous power supply. Just make sure that the energy stored in your batteries is enough for your consumption.
In case it isn’t, opt for an off-grid solar system that comes with a back-up generator. that way, you’ll still have electricity when your battery bank runs out.
Off-grid solar systems are generally sturdy and do not require a lot of fuss in terms of maintenance and aftercare. You just need to clean the body a couple of times and they’re still good as new. The only components you need to change are the cables, the inverter and the battery bank. However, each of them has a generally long lifespan, the shortest being 5 years.
Moreover, these systems generally have long warranties (about 20-25 years), so in cases of damages, you can always return them.
High Initial Price
Since it is still fairly new technology, the initial cost of off-grid solar power systems is initially high. In fact, according to a study, the high upfront costs of off-grid solar systems are one of the reasons why households get discouraged of living off the grid.
For them, it is still better to purchase a small solar system to save a little bit on electricity but still generally rely on the grid for their needs.
If you want to produce and store more electricity, you would typically need to upgrade and install more components to your off-grid solar system. For one, solar arrays require a lot of space on your roofs. If you install it on your yards, it might not produce enough solar energy.
Aside from the costs, your system would definitely occupy a huge amount of space that may not be feasible for some homeowners.
How solar power system works？
Solar power works by converting light from the sun into electricity. This electricity can then be used in your home or exported to the grid when it’s not needed. This is done by installing solar panels on your roof which generate DC (Direct Current) electricity. This is then fed into a solar inverter which converts the DC electricity from your solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) electricity.
How Solar Power Works
Your solar panels are made up of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells. When sunlight hits your solar panels, the solar PV cells absorb the sunlight’s rays and electricity is produced via the Photovoltaic Effect. The electricity produced by your panels is called Direct Current (DC) electricity, and which is not suitable to be used in your home by your appliances. Instead, the DC electricity is directed to your central inverter (or micro inverter, depending on your system set up).
Your inverter is able to convert the DC electricity into Alternating Current (AC) electricity, which can be used in your home. From here, the AC electricity is directed to your switchboard.
A switchboard allows your usable AC electricity to be sent to the appliances in your home. Your switchboard will always ensure that your solar energy will be used first to power your home, only accessing additional energy from the grid when your solar production is not enough.
All households with solar are required to have a bi-directional meter (utility meter), which your electricity retailer will install for you. A bi-directional meter is able to record all the power that is drawn to the house, but also record the amount of solar energy that is exported back to the grid. This is called net-metering.
Any unused solar electricity is then sent back to the grid. Exporting solar power back to the grid will earn you a credit on your electricity bill, called a feed-in tariff (FiT). Your electricity bills will then take into account the electricity you purchase from the grid, plus credits for the electricity generated by your solar power system that you don’t use.
With solar power, you don’t need to switch it on in the morning or switch it off at night – the system will do this seamlessly and automatically. You also don’t need to switch between solar power and the grid, as your solar system can determine when is best to do so based on the amount of energy being consumed in your home. In fact a solar system requires very little maintenance (as there are no moving parts) which means you’ll hardly know it’s there. This also means a good quality solar power system will last a long time.
Your solar inverter (usually installed in your garage or in an accessible spot), can provide you with information like the amount of electricity being produced at any particular point in time or how much it has generated for the day or in total since it has been operating. Many quality inverters feature wireless connectivity and sophisticated online monitoring.
If it seems complicated, don’t worry; one of Ouyad Solar’s expert Energy Consultant’s will guide you through the process of how solar power works either by phone, email or via a no obligation home consultation.
How big solar power system do i need？
One way to determine the size of your solar energy system is by calculating how many watts you use per day. You can find this number on your electric bill or by using an online kWh calculator that will take into account everything you plug in, like appliances and electronics. Be aware that the number calculated is an estimate.
The size of your solar system will also depend on how many hours per day the sun shines in your area and where you live geographically (as well as other climatic factors). But a good rule of thumb for most places in USA is to calculate about 30 watts per square foot or 100-150 kWh/m² per year.
What is solar power generating system?
The major components in solar energy electricity generation include
Solar cell modules or solar panels convert the solar energy into electricity. These are mounted in such a way that they collect maximum energy from the sun. Most solar panels are rated to a voltage 12V (a half volt PV cells are connected in series, inside of the solar panel to produce the high voltage say 12V).
The panels are connected in series to form a solar array that produces higher voltage, typically of 24 or 48V in standalone systems, or it can be several hundreds of volts in grid-connected systems.
If the panels are connected in parallel, the current delivered to the load will be more and hence the more power while maintaining the same voltage. Irrespective of series or parallel connection, the power rating of the system increases when multiple solar panels are connected together.
Here, a solar array is made with four 12V and 12 watt solar panels, where each panel produces a current of 1 A. Then this array would be rated as 48V, 48W with 1A current.
If the same rated solar panels are connected in parallel to form an array of four solar panels, then the solar array would be rated as 12V, 48W with 4 A current.
Except the grid-connected system, all other solar energy power generation systems use batteries to store the energy generated from solar panels. Since the amount of solar power generated depends on the strength of the sunlight, batteries provide a constant source of power supply once it is fully charged.
Mostly, lead acid batteries are used in solar electric systems. Like solar panels, batteries can be connected together to form a battery bank.
These can be connected either series or parallel as similar to solar panels to achieve desired voltage, current and power ratings. The type of battery chosen depends on the energy requirements of a system and its budget.
It regulates the flow of current into and out of the battery. If the generated current overcharges the battery, it leads to damage in the battery. Moreover, if the battery is completely discharged, it will destroy the battery. Hence the solar controller prevents the batteries to undergo these conditions.
The charge controller module balances the amount of electricity used to power appliance and lights with generated power. Also, it prevents the damage to the batteries due to overcharging and deep discharging. In addition, it gives the alarm when the module not functioning properly.
The electricity generated from the solar panels is a Direct Current (DC), whereas the most electrical appliances work on Alternating Current (AC) and hence a converter is needed to convert DC to AC, nothing but an inverter. Also, if the solar system is connected to the grid, the generated DC voltage must be converted into AC. So the inverter equipment converts the DC voltage to the AC and to the same voltage as that of grid or appliance rating.
As a recent invention, most individual solar panels are connected with micro inverters that provide a high AC voltage. These are suitable only for grid-connected systems and not suitable with battery backup systems.
What is best solar power system?
The best off grid solar system is one of the most valuable innovations of today because it is economical in the long-term and eco-friendly.
It does not cause pollution or burn fossil fuel to run, but use the energy from the sun. It is also easy to install, use and maintain just like other best solar products.
However, it is not easy to compare and find the right system if you’re clueless on the considerations to check as well as the best among these solar systems on the market. Ouyad solar is solar system Suppliers in China.
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