How An Off-Grid Solar Power System Works
An off-grid solar power system is similar to a grid connected system, the difference being, an off-grid system uses batteries to store solar power. Excess power is not exported to the grid.
This is how an off-grid solar power system works:
- DC electricity is created by the solar PV panels.
- The DC electricity runs through a charge controller, controlling the voltage going into the batteries whilst protecting them.
- When power is required by the home or business it is drawn from the batteries through the inverter, which is then converted into AC electricity. This electricity can be used by most appliances. However, 12 volt appliances can use power directly from the battery without having to go through the inverter.
- An optional (backup) generator can be added to the system e.g. a diesel generator when you need to use more power.
Off Grid Solar Power Components
Solar panels and inverters are considered normal components, but when you require an off grid solar energy system you will require a few extra components. Some of these include but are not limited to:
- Charger controller
- Back up generator (diesel)
The type of battery you install will determine its life span. Most batteries last between 10 and 20 years. A 20-year battery will cost more, but when it comes to replacing a 10-year battery you will save yourself the extra installation cost.
Commonly used battery types include; lead acid, gel, sodium-ion and lithium-ion.