Until around 15 years ago, off-grid/stand-alone solar photovoltaic installations were the most popular type of solar installation. Solar photovoltaics were originally created for this very purpose, providing power at a location where there is no other source of power.
Whether it is powering a shed light, providing power for a pocket calculator, powering a completely off-grid home, or providing electricity to an entire village, off-grid/stand-alone systems fundamentally all work in the same way.
The solar panel generates power, the energy is stored in a battery and then used as required. Off-grid/Stand-alone systems can be a very cost-effective way of generating electricity, particularly when the overall electricity demand is comparatively low. Care must be made when designing an off-grid/stand-alone system to ensure that there is enough energy production throughout the year: a PV system that only operates well in the summer months and fails to work in the winter is of little use!
Almost everyone can benefit from an off-grid/stand-alone solar system for something, even if it is something as mundane as providing an outside light somewhere. Even if you are planning on something much bigger and grander, it is often a good idea to start with a very small and simple off-grid/stand-alone system first. Learn the basics and then progress from there.
Coulee Tech together with its global network of systems integrators and installers, provide the highest quality off-grid solar systems in the world. Our long-lasting partners are key to our success.
Access to clean drinking water and lighting are two of the greatest challenges for many remote villages and towns. Solar power systems can provide this access by using solar-powered water pumps and purification systems. These off-grid systems are simple to design and install and often do not require batteries for electrical storage. The amount of water needed on a daily basis is pumped into a tank during daylight hours where it is stored until consumed. A small system can also be used to power street lights by adding a small battery and charge controller to provide light and safety for travelers on remote roads.
Small Off-grid Homes
Small homes in remote locations can now be equipped with some modern conveniences. A small-scale off-grid solar system can provide a reliable and continuous energy supply that can be more economical than a grid connection if it is available. The example below shows a system using a solar panel, a charge controller, and a battery. Thousands of these types of systems have been installed around the world and provide critical power for safety, lighting, and communications.
Telecommunication companies often run into challenges when trying to provide coverage to remote and rural locations where no grid is available to connect to for powering their transmitters. With a medium to large-scale off-grid system, telecom providers can deliver reliable, continuous service to any remote area. These systems can be designed to operate completely off-grid or as a reliable hybrid system tied to the grid.
Power for the Entire Community
The sun shines brightly on many rural communities, however, they can’t get access to electricity because there is no grid nearby. Those communities can turn that sunlight into electricity by using a central off-grid system to provide the power that can be shared by everyone.