The term "off-grid" refers to an independent lifestyle, in which one lives without any public utilities like water, centricity, or air conditioning, etc. In the same vein, an off-grid solar system can serve as an alternative source of electricity to the government's grid.
This article considers some of the basic applications of off-grid solar systems. Also, we will explore the advantages of these systems over regular electricity and show you some of the best solar systems available.
What are the Applications of off-grid solar PV systems?
There are numerous real-life applications of off-grid solar PV systems. And we have selected some highlights of the most important off-grid solar PV systems applications.
1. Electrification in Rural areas
While constant electricity might seem normal to you, it is not an option for many people worldwide. According to statistics, over 2 billion people living in rural areas today do not have regular access to electricity.
As a result, most of these people depend on wood, and other fuel sources to generate their energy. Unfortunately, these methods of generating electricity can both be dangerous and expensive at the same time.
People in such environments face extreme socioeconomic disadvantages compared with those with access to electricity. That's because they are less likely to pursue higher education or even start businesses that can get them better living standards.
More so, without electricity, hospitals in rural areas cannot store medical supplies, putting people who rely on local health care at risk.
While this might sound hard to believe, it is the sad story of many people living in the rural communities of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Leaving these people without electricity, a basic amenity in the 21st century, wastes high-potential human capital resources. If care is not taken, this could later become a source of diseases and imbalance to the nation’s development.
As a result, it is a major task for many national economies in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Off-grid solar power systems solve that problem since it is simple to install. Furthermore, it provides rural and remote communities with independent, long-term, and sustainable electricity generation.
2. Emergency power supply during natural disasters and power outages
Natural disasters happen every once in a while, and they aren’t anyone's fault. Usually, floods, hurricanes, storms, etc., can lead to the power grids running out of power for days, weeks, or even months.
Wars and maintenance of power generation systems can also cause an unexpected interruption in the power supply. Sudden power outages can also happen due to power transmission malfunctions, storms, or brittle transmission lines.
Unfortunately, such sudden power outages are rarely effectively countered. When they happen, power outages can disrupt operations, such as the cooling of food, beverages, and medicines, or the operation of critical electrical appliances in hospitals, businesses, and public institutions.
However, Solar-powered Emergency Power Systems (SEP systems) can overcome such temporary power outages. These systems can provide power in disaster-affected areas or war zones with a high demand for immediate electricity supply.
Off-grid solar systems can serve as economical, stable, and long-term backup solutions to power outages. Users of these systems can even switch to the solar systems to avoid work interruptions, and keep their electricity-based systems operational.
3. Mobile Solar Systems for outdoor expeditions
You may require electricity at any time and in any place. However, for outdoor activities like camping and hiking, you cannot carry along the electricity you have at home. For such activities that use electricity-powered navigation, lighting, or communication systems, solar systems provide a reliable and mobile source of electricity.
Whether you are having your expedition on land or sea, mobile solar systems will allow you to power up all of your electrical appliances. Several market players provide a diverse range of mobile off-grid solar power system applications, including solar scooters, solar boats, solar bikes, solar bikes, and even solar drones.
4. Solar Water Pump Systems for provision of water
Water is a necessity for human and animal survival. It is also important for agriculture. However, there has to be electricity to get water flowing across a long distance. Solar energy can be an efficient and affordable energy source to power water pumps where water is needed.
Pros of the off-grid solar system
The following are some of the great advantages that these systems have over regular electricity.
These systems put you in control of your electricity generation and usage. You do not have to depend on the government’s electricity generation anymore. Whatever happens, you can always have the electricity you need whenever you want.
2. Safer environment
One of the biggest advantages of using solar energy is cleanliness. You use a renewable energy source that generates no carbon emissions whatsoever. And so, when you use an off-grid solar system, you are contributing your part to making the world better by reducing air pollution and carbon footprint.
Solar grid systems are built to withstand fierce and extreme weather conditions. So even if there is a fierce thunderstorm outside causing a power outage, your solar systems will still be there to provide you with the electricity you need.
4. Saving cost
At the initial stage, paying for a solar system can be expensive. However, in the long run, it is cost-effective as you will not need to pay for fuel anymore.
5. Ideal for rural areas
Off-grid solar provides a solution in rural areas where there is no viable connection to the government’s utility grid.
Top off-grid solar PV system
BLUETTI PV200 200W Solar Panel
The BLUETTI PV200 was designed to offer you all the off-grid energy you need with its 200W peak voltage. This solar panel is meant to pair with portable power stations by design.
You can fold the solar panel to a compact size of 20.7*20.5inch for easy transport wherever you go. Plus, it weighs only about 14.4 pounds.
The station is compatible with most generators and power stations. Its open-circuit voltage (OCV) is 24V, which gives it a higher efficiency than other solar panels.
BLUETTI EB55 537WH/700W PORTABLE POWER STATION
If you are looking for a powerful power station to support all of your outdoor activities, this might be the right choice for you.
The BLUETTI EB55 comes with a 700W power and a capacity of 537Wh. You can get up to 50 hours of charging your mobile phones, 20 to 30 hours of lighting from a 20 W bulb with such capacity. It can also power larger appliances like TVs (5-6hrs), Refrigerators(4-5hrs), and cookers (2-3hrs).
The power station has 13 output ports, including a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone, which means you can power as many devices as you want simultaneously with ease. It has 1400W surge protection to ensure that your appliances do not get damaged. You can also recharge it with solar panel, car outlet, wall outlet and generator, etc.
As powerful as it is, the power station weighs only 16.5 pounds. So, you can carry it around with ease.
BLUETTI AC200MAX POWER STATION+3*PV200 PANEL COMBO
Consider this combo deal if you want to save some money on your off-grid solar systems. With this combo, you can save some money without compromising quality.
The BLUETTI AC200Max power station adopted a 2048Wh LFP battery, with more than 3500 charge cycles to 80%. You can charge your smartphone 175-200 Times, light a 20W LED Light Bulb for 75 to 85 hours, and have your Television on for 20-22hours. You can even power your heavy electronics like Refrigerator for 17-19hrs, Slow Cooker for about 8-9hrs.
If that is not enough, you can expand the battery capacity up to 6,144Wh with 2 B230 battery modules (2048Wh each), or 8,192Wh with 2 B300 battery modules (3072Wh each).
The station can reach a charging rate of 1400W with 900W of solar input and 500 W via adapter.
It also comes with a monitor and a smart APP remote control that you can download on your phone for easy use.
1. How big of a solar system do I need to go off-grid?
The solar panel size you need will largely depend on your electricity needs. Research shows that most homes in the US below 2,000 square feet in size consume about 11,000 kWh of electricity every year. If you own such a house, you might need about 13 300-watt panels to supply all the energy that you need.
2. Is off-grid solar cheaper?
At the point of purchase, an off-grid solar pv system may cost a lot. However, it is cheaper to use in the long run as it can meet your electricity needs for free. You will not have to pay for electricity bills or fuel.
3. Is going off-grid worth it?
Yes, going off-grid is worth as you get stable, reliable, and safe electricity. First, it is cheaper in the long run than the traditional electricity supply. More so, you can be proud of knowing that you are contributing to reducing air pollution from the world.
4. Which off-grid solar system should you choose?
The answer depends on what you want. If you are looking for high-tech products that are durable, we recommend that you go with BLUETTI. They have the best solar system products that stand out due to their high quality.
Off-grid solar pv systems offer the best alternative to the government grid. It is of great use in places where electricity is hard to reach or expensive. Besides, it provides safe and clean energy to people in rural areas at no cost. If you need a powerful solar system, consider choosing any of the above recommendations.