Installing an off-grid system has become the number one priority for most of us living in some remote parts of the world. This is because it completely reduces our dependency on the grid thereby fulfilling our power requirements entirely through solar power.
If you want to install an off-grid system at your place this article would answer most of your questions.
Types of Solar Systems
A solar system can basically be of 3 types: A DC System, an on-grid solar system and an off-grid solar system. In a DC system as the name suggests the entire system is DC based. Its basic components would be a solar panel, solar charge controller, batteries and DC load. There isn’t any DC to AC conversion here.
On-grid: In an on-grid system on the other hand the solar panels are connected to a solar charge controller which is connected to a grid-tie inverter which basically converts the DC power coming from panels to AC and runs the load and if there is excess solar energy it feeds back the power to the grid. An on-grid system has no means to store the solar power for later use. So batteries don’t come into the picture here.
Now that we have had a brief understanding of the other two systems lets understand what is an off-grid system.
Decoding an Off-Grid Solar PV System
An off-grid system is a standalone solar powered system which is an independent structure basically designed to run your AC load through solar power and grid supply and also charges your batteries. Off-grid system makes minimum use of the grid and thus greatly reducing your electricity bills.
The major components here are solar panels, solar charge controller, inverter and AC load.
One thing to understand here is that an off-grid system makes use of only one type of energy source at a time to run the appliances.
If enough solar power is available this system would run your load entirely on solar, if the solar power received is less to run the load it will take the rest of the required power from the batteries and run the load.
In either of the cases it will not run your load through mains. If the solar power is insufficient and the battery is discharged to a user settable value only then the inverter runs the load directly through mains and uses solar energy to charge the batteries.
This ensures that grid supply is minimum utilized which greatly reduces your monthly expenditures. Check out this video to understand the different working conditions of an off grid solar system and get an insight into the understanding of an off-grid system.