The main components of a solar power system are photovoltaic cell (PV panels), a DC-to-AC converter called an inverter, and a rack system that holds the PV panels in place.
Photovoltaic solar panels are usually mounted on the roof. Panels should face east, north, or west for good power generation. Panels facing south will work, but generation is greatly reduced, especially in winter. Ideally, the panels should be tilted to at least 10 degrees to ensure that the rain naturally clears them.
Solar PV panels on the roofs of households and businesses generate clean electricity when they are exposed to light energy.
Off Grid Solar System
It is the most common type of backup solar power system. It works both day and night. During the day, the solar panel charges the battery and operates household appliances such as air conditioning, coolers, televisions and submersible pumps. At night, when the sun is not available, Inverter operates your household appliances with battery power.
An off-grid system is not connected to the mains and therefore requires battery storage. Off-grid solar systems must be designed to produce enough electricity year-round and have sufficient battery capacity to meet the needs of the home, even in the dead of winter when there is generally much less sunlight.
An off-grid solar system is more popular and comes with an emergency power supply. It works independently of the grid. Most home appliances like fans, televisions, coolers, air conditioners, water pumps, etc. can work with this system. For example, a grid-independent solar system with 1 kW is sufficient for a house with 2 to 4 BHK.
But if you also want to operate a 1 HP water pump in your house, you can use an off-grid 3 kW solar system. If you want to run an air conditioner, you should use a 5 kW system. For commercial facilities such as a shop, clinic, or small mill, gasoline pumps with an off-grid 10 kW solar system should be used.
Because of the high cost of batteries and off-grid inverters, off-grid systems are much more expensive than off-grid systems and are therefore typically only needed in more remote areas that are far from the grid. However, battery costs are falling rapidly, so there is a growing market for off-grid solar battery systems in cities and towns as well.
How to Build an off-grid solar system?
Although the prices of solar panels have gradually decreased since 2007, the cost of setting up an off-grid solar system is steadily increasing. However, any homeowner with a simple toolbox can install it themselves, which can significantly reduce overall system costs.
The following are the steps for setting up an off-grid solar system:
- Calculate the load: Before you select the individual components, it is essential to calculate your energy requirements. Make a list of all the devices that are in operation and define the number of hours they will be dependent on solar energy. And calculate your electricity consumption.
- Selection of the battery: The second step is the selection of the battery for the emergency power supply in the event of a short-term failure or to activate a network-independent structure. You should choose between 12/24 V or 48 V system voltage. Those looking to power a smaller home usually opt for 12 V or 24 V, while 48 V is reserved for structures with high power consumption.
- Selecting the solar panel: The solar panel you have selected should be able to fully charge a battery of your choice in one day. This part can be a little tricky as the amount of sunlight you get is highly dependent on geographic area, time of year, and a number of other factors.
- Select Charge Controller: The charge controller is a device between a battery and a solar panel that is used to control the current and voltage coming from the solar panels. It regulates the charge of the battery when the input voltage from the panels increases. In this way, the charge regulator prevents the battery from being overcharged.
- Select the Inverter: The inverter is a device that converts direct current to alternating current (AC), which is the electricity that powers your devices.
- Install the solar panel: It is important to place a solar panel on a floor or roof where it will not obstruct sunlight. It is also important to tilt it in the right direction if you are in a northern hemisphere, facing south, or facing north if you are anywhere in a southern hemisphere. This way you ensure that they are catching maximum sunlight.
- Connect the components: although you have calculated the battery capacity and solar panel rating, note that these quantities are not available in a single unit. To make up the difference, you’ll either need to add a small panel or batteries that meet the system requirements.
- Wire the components: we recommend starting with the charge controller and connecting it to the battery first so it will be calibrated. First connect the negative cable of the battery to the negative pole of the controller and then the positive cable.
We hope the instructions we have provided have helped you build your off-grid solar system.
On Grid Solar System
An on-grid solar power system is a solar power generation system that is connected to the supply network. The electricity generated by the system is fed into the grid, from where the various devices are operated. The excess power is transferred back into the network at any time.
An off-grid solar system is much more attractive than an off-grid system. In a grid-independent solar system, solar power is only generated when the grid is available. In the event of a power failure, the power supply is completely switched off.
Therefore you have to rely on backups such as DG sets for the emergency power supply. The shutdown occurs mainly for safety and technical reasons.
How does On Grid Solar System Works?
This system works in two ways. Power can flow from the network to which it is connected to the user’s house and from the user’s house to the network. This feature makes the on-grid solar system affordable and extremely useful.
The solar modules installed in the user’s house are tied to the power grid. The solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy that is direct current (DC).
This electricity is then sent to an inverter. The solar inverter then converts the direct current into alternating current (AC) and thus supplies the electrical devices with power. This electricity is then fed into the power grid, where it is made available for daily use.
The grid-connected inverter also regulates the amount and voltage of the electricity supplied to the household, since the total electricity generated is usually much more than a house needs or can process.
The network meter is an important feature. It is a device that records the energy supplied to the grid and the energy consumption. At the end of each month, the outstanding amount is recorded and an invoice is issued to the consumer. This “converted” power supply is then used by households via the main power distribution panel.
Advantages and Disadvantages of On-Grid and Off-Grid Solar System
Benefits of On-grid solar systems:
- The utility is a 100% efficient battery, with the ability to absorb all excess energy.
- You do not need to make any changes in your lifestyle or conserve electricity.
- This provides you with a backup of the stand-alone unit.
Disadvantages of On-Grid Solar System:
- These provide little incentive for conservation
- These are battery-less systems, which give you no backup.
Benefits of Off-Grid Solar System:
- These are less expensive, even when compare to leveraging a utility line that extends to an asset. However, there will be ongoing expenses.
- This system is good in terms of expandability.
- These systems help you make efficient use of electricity, which benefits the environment.
Disadvantages of Off-Grid Solar systems:
- These require regular maintenance and troubleshooting.
- Batteries in off-grid systems have lower solid costs, which means energy waste.
Which of the two Solar Systems is Better?
The dealer will probably help you choose the best between the two types of solar power systems. If you fail to connect to the local mains power supply, an off-grid solar system is the only option for you.
In all other cases, an on-grid solar system has been suggested, which is great on both reliability and cost-efficiency. These systems do not demand batteries that cost a lot and periodically ask for replacements.
Also, in the case of on-grid solar power systems, you need fewer panels, which do not require additional power generation when there is no sunlight. This helps with cutback as well as payback time.