Photovoltaic Power System Off Grid

This type of Photovoltaic (PV) system provides electricity in situations where utility power is not available. An off-grid system is ideal for locations where grid connections are not accessible, such as cottages and remote home locations, or for anyone craving greater energy independence. Typically the PV system has a fossil fueled generator connected for back-up purposes. A group or array of PV panels are connected together in groups or strings, usually 3 panels. These strings or groups are all connected together in a Combiner Box which is located near the array. The DC electricity from the PV panels flows through Combiner Box to a Controller/Regulator in the inverter system. The Controller regulates the DC power to the batteries. The Inverter converts the DC battery power to AC electricity which is normal household power (DC power is sometimes used for lights and small appliances in small camps or cottages). The AC electricity goes to the main electrical panel. Once in the electrical panel, the electricity is used by the loads connected to the panel, such as lights or appliances. During periods of no sun the generator is used to provide power to the loads and charge the batteries. A wind turbine can be integrated into the system to provide power at night and cloudy days. When wind turbine and solar power systems are combined, it is called a hybrid system.

Sizes

PV - From 80 watts to 10,000 watts.

Battery - 80 Amp Hour to 3400 Amp Hour.

Inverter - 100 Watts to 16,000 Watts.

Energy/Day

<1 KWH to 60 KWH

Voltages

DC - 12, 24, 48 Volts

AC - 120, 120/240 Volts

Details

Panels can be roof or round mounted.

Panels can be 100 meters from batteries.

Batteries should be in a warm environment.

Batteries should be close to Inverter System.

Generators can be connected for backup.

Installation: 3-5 days

Pros

Clean renewable energy.

Cost effective when compared to generator alone or Utility Line extensions over 1000 meters.

Cons

Initial cost.

Needs unshaded exposure to the sun.

Battery maintenance and lifecycle costs.

Prices

Starting at $500 - $60,000 +Tax

Nova Sun Power installed two Fujitsu heat pumps and a solar hot water system for me in 2010.  Rob MacKean was extremely helpful. But more importantly, he is very resourceful and was able to find unobtrusive ways to install which is hugely important in an old house such as mine. Since the installation he has also helped with various upkeep needs. I recommend this company highly.

Angela

Tatamagouche