OFF-GRID SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS

  

Off-Grid solar power systems are also commonly referred to as ‘stand alone’ or ‘remote area’ solar power systems

What is an Off-Grid Solar Power System?

An Off-Grid solar power system is one that incorporates a battery bank for energy storage and is not connected to the mains electricity grid. Off-grid systems used for powering household (or business) energy needs are usually only installed in remote locations, or where grid power is not yet connected to the property and the price of connection is expensive. They are also used in caravans, boats and for 4WD and camping applications. Bayly Solar classify these as Portable Systems and house-sized systems as Off-Grid for Home & Business.

Systems that are used to provide power for use on a daily basis in a house are much more complex than the equivalent sized grid-connected system. This is because of the need for additional components such as:

  • Batteries
  • A solar charge regulator
  • An inverter (different type to a grid-connected system)
  • A back-up generator and battery charger
  • A DC switchboard & fuses
  • DC shunts & power monitoring equipment
  • A dedicated equipment room with suitable ventilation etc.

 

Portable off-grid systems may run only DC loads (such as 12V DC lights and a 12VDC fridge), whereas larger systems are likely to run 240V AC appliances via an inverter or a combination of AC and DC loads. Typical battery bank voltages are 12V for small to medium sized systems, 24V for medium to large sized systems and 48V for large to very large sized (residential) systems.

Brands & Equipment that we use

All our systems are supplied with high quality components that meet Australian Standards and are Clean Energy Council approved where required. Some of the brands which we use include:

 

We usually install monocrystalline solar panels, which have the highest efficiency per unit surface area of all the commonly available types of solar PV modules. There are a number of high quality brands that we use, which brand often depends on availability at the time. All our panels carry a product defects warranty of either 5 or 10 years and performance warranties of 90%, 10 years/80%, 25 years. The warranties are generally underwritten by an insurer such that, if the company should go out of business within the warranty period, the warranty can still be honoured.

                        

For large & small off-grid systems we use & recommend Narada valve regulated lead-acid (dry-cell) batteries. They are maintenance free and have an exceptionally long lifespan.

For off-grid inverters and solar charge regulators in large, house-sized, off-grid systems we use and recommend Outback power equipment.  For smaller systems we have a couple of different options of high quality solar charge regulators to choose from.

 

 

Specification sheets for a range of products that we use can be found here.

 

Designing a system that is right for you

In the process of designing an off-grid solar power system it is critically important to accurately assess the energy demands that the system will be required to meet. This is done by means of a comprehensive energy audit prior to the system design. Failure to do this accurately may result in a system that does not fully serve its purpose and one that requires excessive supplementary generator use, or even worse, causes damage to the battery bank from regular and deep discharging.