Explain Off-Grid Solar Systems to me. What could it do for me?
Solar can be used to provide the majority or all of the power in a remote cottage or home. Ideally, the solar system is designed by a professional to match your lifestyle and electrical load. The systems are modular so they can grow as your power needs change. Off-grid solar systems have storage bat- teries, and often have generators for back- up. The inverter systems for off-grid appli- cations have built-in battery chargers, and can even be used to start the generator automatically if needed.
What do I need to know about Inverters?
Most inverters used in off-grid homes connect directly to the AC load centre, and therefore energize the whole house. Inverter output is either modified sine wave (cheaper) or sine wave (cleaner). Other features to compare are charger size, efficiency and warranty.
What do I need to know about Batteries?
Batteries are your gas tanks. Deep cycle batteries are recommended as they can handle deeper discharges better. Flooded cells offer the best value. 6V batteries like the Surrette S-600 are popular for smaller systems, and larger, industrial Big Red cells are used when more capacity and life are needed. Proper charging and limiting discharging is the key to long battery life.
How big a solar system do I need?
The PV and battery system are sized to meet your power needs. A qualified installer will review your electrical loads and help you select the right equipment. For a full time home, a 1kW system will deliver on average 1.5 kWh per day in December, and about 4.5 kWh in the summer. Note that you can increase your solar system size at any time as your needs grow. However, it is wise to select a larger battery initially as they must be replaced rather than expanded due to the general rule about not mixing old and new batteries.
Why do I need a charge controller and which one is right for me?
In the simplest case, charge controllers limit the solar power going to the batteries so they don’t overcharge. Series Controllers do this with a relay that is opened after a certain battery voltage is reached. This is the simplest and cheapest route. PWM Controllers taper the current to the battery as the voltage rises through Pulse Width Modulation of the energy input. This is better for battery life as it adds a float charge to keep batteries at 100% full. Larger solar arrays use MPPT Charge Controllers. Maximum Power Point Tracking circuits monitor solar panel current, voltage and temperature and get the maximum amount of power they can out of the solar array. This type of controller works with all voltage panels, and can accept high voltage input while charging a low voltage battery, allowing you to wire panels in series rather than parallel. MPPT controllers are more expensive, but the extra energy harvest is usually worth it..
What is the optimum angle to mount the solar panels?
In Canada, the optimum tilt angle is equal to latitude + 15 degrees for winter output, and latitude – 15 degrees for summer output. That being said, 10 to 15 degrees off the optimum does not have much impact in production. If the off-grid project is seasonal (like a summer cottage) a tilt angle that matches the roof slope is usually acceptable. For a full time home, solar panels tend to be steeper. This helps shed snow, and maximizes winter production when the solar insolation is at its lowest..
What do I need to run a refrigerator?
A refrigerator is one of the most essential appliances in a home, and one of the more significant electrical loads. However, the best Energy Star rated refrigerators today can consume as low as 1.3 to 1.5 kWh per day. Older fridges and freezers required 3 to 4 kWh per day, making them very difficult to run with a battery system. It takes about 1.5 kW of PV panels to deliver 1.5 kWh of power in December, so you can mate a good fridge and 6 250W solar panels for year round use. It the fridge is only used seasonally, say from April through October, then a 3 module system should deliver approximately the right amount of power. Our advice - buy the fridge based on its EnerGuide rating - the lower the consumption the easier on the power system.
What is the best well water pump to use offgrid?
Grundfos - SQE Constant Pressure System
SQE Pump and Motor
The SQE is the only constant pressure pump on the market fully equipped with built-in electronic controls which allow for advanced computer controlled performance and state of the art protection features including sophisticated diagnostics. The motor design is a Variable Speed Drive which electronically changes the pump speed to match demand providing you with the incredible comfort of constant pressure.
Each unit is equipped with:
CU301 User Interface
The CU301 User Interface is the easy to use command and control computer for operating the pump in constant pressure mode. The user simply chooses the desired water pressure by pressing the UP or DOWN arrows, and the CU301 does the rest.
In order to control pressure, it must be measured. The included pressure sensor precisely measures water pressure sending its signal to the CU301. The CU301 reads this pressure signal and then electronically commands the pump to start, stop, speed up, or slow down in order to maintain constant pressure regardless of water demand. It controls the pump via power line communications by impressing high speed data messages on the pumps power supply cable. This technology is similar to that used in a home intercom or a baby monitor.
Features and benefits
Call us today to purchase the SQE Constant Pressure System!
Need a Backup Generator for your offgrid cabin or inverter system?
Honda EU7000iS Inverter Generator- Fuel Injection
Perfect for home back up power, RVs, outdoor events, and more- The EU7000iS can operate a wide variety of appliances, making it perfect for portable use at home, camping, or much more.
Electronic Fuel Injection offers better fuel efficency and lower maintenance- Electronic Fuel Injection offers better fuel efficency and lower maintenance Smart electronic fuel injection technology increases fuel efficiency, eliminates the engine choke, and reduces fuel associated carburator problems. And of course, the reliable Honda GX390 engine is designed for long life and superior performance.
Super quiet - less noise than normal conversation- Super quiet - less noise than normal conversation So quiet, your neighbors will thank you. The EU7000iS operates at 52 to 60 dBA, which is less noise than a normal conversation. This makes it ideal for supplemental RV power, powering outdoor events, and any other activity that requires quiet operation.
Fuel efficient - runs up to 18 hours on 5.1 gal. of fuel Fuel- efficient - runs up to 18 hours on 5.1 gal. of fuel Thanks to our exclusive Eco-Throttle System, the EU7000iS offers great fuel efficiency. Runs between 6 to 18 hours on a single tank, depending on the load. This makes it great for overnight power.
Advanced inverter technology - reliable power for computers and other sensitive equipment- Advanced inverter technology - reliable power for computers and other sensitive equipment Honda's inverter technology means stable, clean power in a smaller, lighter package. The precision of Honda's inverter technology ensures our inverter generators produce power that is as reliable as the power you get from your outlets at home.
Easy folding handles- The EU7000iS has convenient handles that can be raised for transport and lowered for more compact storage.
i-Monitor system tracks hours, RPM, battery volts, and wattage- provides information on hours of operation, wattage and engine speed, as well as diagnostics for convenient dealer service.
120/240V Selector switch - More usable power, more flexibility Choose between using both 120 and 240 Volts, or 120 Volts only. This allows for the total generator output to be available through any of the 120 volt outlets, limited only by the capacity of the individual outlet. This enables you to power units with larger wattage requirements.
3 year residential and commercial warranty- You can rest easy, knowing your generator is covered from top to bottom for 3 full years.
PROPANE / NATURAL GAS Kit for HONDA EU7000is
NO ADJUSTMENTS - Just install and run!
What’s in this kit? Pre-tested propane demand regulator module (no adjustment necessary), patent pending throttle-body fuel-injection adapter with pre-tuned propane and natural gas orifice inserts, internal grounding strap, vent hose, gasoline feed and drain caps, labels,your choice of propane or natural gas hose and full color assembly instructions. Yes - ECO mode still works!Build Timeapprox. 1hrcompleted look(generator not included)Build Timeapprox. 2hrscompleted look(generator not included)NOTE: Kit pictured with 6’ propane hose w/regulator.
Generac EcoGen 6KW
Designed specifically to interact with off-grid renewable energy applications, the EcoGen 6 kW is the first generator intended for alternative energy system standby power. It’s engineered to easily integrate into an inverter and battery storage system, providing the cleanest running, low emission solution for recharging battery banks.
Call us today for more information about generator backup!