Off the Grid Living  Resources

Creating Solar Power Systems For The Home And Recreation
by Adrian Fletcher

Creating Solar Power Systems For The Home And Recreation

Adrian Fletcher

The sun's energy can be used to create electricity to power homes, businesses and many remote devices and vehicles. There are quite a few systems around these days and while in many cases it is obvious which system is the best fit for your needs this is not always the case. This article will cover some of the solar power systems and discuss which one is more suited for your requirements.

If you have a vehicle that requires a power source like a boat or an RV then a portable solar power system may be the best bet. It is smaller than a system that might power a home, so will be cheaper and easier to maintain. It will not give out the same capacity as a bigger system but is flexible enough to be moved around to capture every ounce of sunlight.

A stand alone solar power system is configured with a number of solar panels. The more solar panels the more electricity can be created. The electricity is stored in a battery or a series of batteries. The batteries store DC current and this needs to be converted to AC current using an inverter.

Many people that are inexperienced with solar power choose a grid tie system. This has a couple of advantages over other systems. First, it takes a lot of the complexity out of setting up a solar powered electric system. And second, it has a contingency plan that protects the home or business from cloudy weather or days without sunlight. The grid tie system still has a connection to the utility grid so that electricity that is used comes from the solar panels or the grid if the solar panels cannot produce enough.

When there is no sun or the solar panels do not have the capacity to supply the building then the grid supplied electricity can fill the gap. Thus there is usually no need for batteries which makes this system cleaner and easier to operate. It also means that electricity can be transported to the power station and used elsewhere.

Eventually, as people become more experienced with solar power they will move towards a completely stand alone system. That is an off the grid system. They will become completely self sufficient for energy needs. Of course this requires more management by the individual and more responsibility but it is cheaper than using grid power and more environmentally friendly.

A completely off the grid system will have more than one inverter. In most cases this will be two so that the solar power system can handle energy heavy appliances like heating and air conditioning systems. Two inverters also makes the system more robust such that if one inverter was to fail the system as a whole would still be operational.

Of course another reason for having an off the grid system is when there is no grid to connect to. Typically, this will be in remote areas and the solar power system is the only source of energy supply. It is not so much a nice thing to have or an economical measure but a necessity.

Hybrid systems are also used in remote regions or in homes where the aim is to be self sufficient in energy. A hybrid system is simply a coordination of two separate energy generating systems. In remote areas, a hybrid system would consist of a solar and wind system. It may also be a solar and generator system for creating electricity. The generator would be a fossil fuel powered device that could back up or compliment the electricity created by the soar system.

Having as many contingencies as possible is always best because the solar power system is not always going to be useable. If there is poor weather or cloud overhead then it may not be as effective. Having numerous contingencies obviously makes it harder to set up and maintain.

For more details on off the grid ( solar power systems and information on ( solar hydronic heating visit the solarpowerappliances website.


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