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Areas without a power electricity supply are where a Stand Alone Power System (SAPS or SPS), also known as Remote Area Power Supply (RAPS), are utilised. A stand alone system is an off grid solar PV system. Off grid or stand alone systems are not linked to the local electric grid. The solar panels in a stand alone solar system are used to charge a bank of batteries rather than being connected to the grid.
How stand alone solar power systems work
A stand alone a solar power system is a terrific approach to lower electricity costs and become environmentally friendly. Stand-alone solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are designed to function independently from the utility grid that provides power during outages. They are often used in remote locations where connecting to the grid is either not possible or too expensive.
Stand alone PV systems can range in size from a small, single-panel system that powers a few lights to large commercial and industrial systems that power entire buildings. Visit our page, How Do Off Grid Power Systems Work? for more information or get your FREE solar quotes.
Components of off grid/stand alone power systems
A stand-alone solar power system is not connected to the electrical grid, so it must generate all the electricity you need.
Solar panels are many individual solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The more sunlight hits the solar cells, the more electricity they generate, such as REC Solar Panels. Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof of a home or building, but they can also be mounted on the ground. Visit our page for solar panel tips.
The solar battery stores the electricity generated by the solar panels so that it can be used when there is no sunlight, like the Tesla Powerwall 2. Deep cycle solar batteries are often used in these systems, as they can store large amounts of energy and discharge it over a long period. Ensure you have decent battery storage to power your appliances during an outage.
Use our free solar quote system to get up to 3 free solar quotes from our nationwide network of trusted, local installers. Get your free quotes today!
The solar inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating (AC) electricity that your appliances and lights can use. Inverters are available in different sizes, so you must choose one large enough to power all the appliances and lights you want to run on your solar power system, for instance, Enphase microinverters.
The charge controller regulates the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the battery. It is important to choose a charge controller that is compatible with the type of battery that you are using.
The wiring connects all of the components of the system and carries the electricity from the solar panels to the battery and then to your appliances and lights.
Factors in choosing a suitable stand alone solar system
So, when you look at sizing an off-grid system, you need to be realistic about what you’re trying to run and how much you want to spend on those appliances.
To properly size an off grid system, your solar installer must complete a load evaluation of the project you’re looking to put together.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to solar power. One of the most common questions is:
What size stand alone solar system do I need?
The size of stand alone solar power system can be a tough question, as it depends on various factors, including your electricity usage and property size.
There are a few things to consider when trying to determine the size solar system you need. The first is your electricity usage.
How much power do you use every month?
For example, let’s assume the equipment consumes 20 watts of power and operates 24 hours a day:
20 Watts x 24 hours = 480 watt-hours per day or 0.48 kWh per day
Check your appliances’ manual to identify how much energy it uses. Multiply that number by the operating hours you need in a day. It will help you determine your system size to generate enough power for your home.
Off-grid systems will be a little less efficient than the grid-tied system, so that you might need a little bit larger as far as the solar array. The goal is to store the energy you will use in a day in a battery bank. Then size the solar array to charge that battery bank in four to five hours.
Another thing to consider is the size of your property. You will need a larger solar system to generate enough power if you have a large property.
When installing a solar panel system, it is essential to consider the local climate. Solar panels rely on sunlight for energy production, so areas with high levels of sunlight will require a smaller system than areas with less sun.
Additionally, the sun’s angle affects how much power is generated, so systems in northern latitudes need to be sized differently than those in southern latitudes.
Local weather patterns can also affect solar output, so it is important to consult with a solar professional familiar with the local climate before installing a system.
Lastly, the environment surrounding your home and property may affect the efficiency of your system. Shade from surrounding trees may significantly impact how much sunlight your solar system is exposed to. You may wish to remove any trees that might impede the system’s efficiency.
By taking the time to understand the local environment, you can ensure that your solar panel system is properly sized and positioned to maximise power generation.
Signs your solar panels need maintenance
Keep an eye on your Solar PV System and ensure it is in good condition. Sometimes, homeowners may not notice that their solar panels need maintenance until it’s too late.
Here are some common signs that your system requires attention:
- The panels are discoloured or stained
- There are cracks or other damage to the panel surface
- The output of the panels has decreased significantly
- There is excessive debris, pollen, and dust on your panels
- The panels are not mounted properly
- The wirings are loose or damaged
- The inverter is making odd noises
- There is leaking on the panels, and another PV System components
- Your PV System is generating less energy than expected
Keeping stand alone solar systems running smoothly: Maintenance tips
It is necessary to clean your solar panels regularly. Dust, dirt, and leaves can accumulate on the panels, reducing efficiency. Use a soft brush or clean cloth with distilled water to gently remove any accumulated debris on the panels. If you reside in an area with heavy pollen or other airborne particles, you may want to invest in a panel cleaning solution.
Check the connections between the panels and the rest of your system. Over time, the connections can become loose and cause the system to malfunction. Tighten any loose wires and replace any damaged parts.
You can always call your trusted solar expert if unsure about the process.
Finally, have your solar power system inspected by a professional every few years. They can thoroughly identify potential problems and ensure that your system runs at its peak energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in the household is financially advantageous since you will spend less on energy bills if your appliances are more energy efficient.
Off-grid or stand alone rebates and incentives
Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005. Energy Matters is committed to educating and raising awareness about the benefits of renewable energy. Our goal is to empower Australians to make informed choices about their energy use and to help create a cleaner, brighter future for us all. Complete our quick quiz and begin your solar journey today!