The final element of your solar electric system is the devices you plan to power. Theoretically, anything that you can power with electricity can be powered by solar. However, many electrical devices are very power-hungry, which makes running them on solar energy very expensive.
Of course, this may not be so much of an issue if you install a grid-tie system. If you have very energy-intensive appliances that you only use for short periods, your system’s impact is low. In comparison, running high-power appliances on an off-grid system means you must have a more powerful off-grid solar energy system to cope with the peak demand.
Most off-grid solar systems run at low voltages. Unless you are planning a pure grid-tie installation, you may wish to consider running at least some of your devices directly from your DC supply rather than running everything through an inverter. This has the benefit of greater efficiency.
Thanks to the caravanning and boating communities, lots of equipment are available to run from a 12-volt or 24-volt supply. Light bulbs, refrigerators, ovens, kettles, toasters, coffee machines, hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, televisions, radios, air conditioning units, washing machines, and laptop computers are all available run on 12-volt or 24-volt power.
Also, thanks to the recent uptake in solar installations, some specialist manufacturers are building ultra-low-energy appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, and washing machines, specifically for people installing solar and wind turbine systems.
You can also charge up most portable items such as radios and mobile phones from a 12-volt supply, either directly or using a step-down transformer.
If running everything at low voltage is not an option, or if you are using a grid-tie system, you use an inverter to run your electrical devices.
12 volts VS. 24 volts for Off-grid Solar Power Systems
Today we’re, going to be talking about 24 volts solar power systems and when it’s appropriate to use a higher voltage battery bank and why people do it in some of the pros and cons to using a higher voltage.