The commercial opportunity for off-grid solar power in Africa is $24 billion per year, according to a report from Kleos Advisor.
This is positive news and a huge opportunity for a continent faced with inadequate access to an unstable and expensive grid, a lack of transmission lines, and poverty. The World Bank estimates that more than 600 million Africans have no access to electricity.
A modernized, democratized electric grid on the continent seems an impossible challenge. The report notes that “even in densely populated cities, power connections are poor and the grid is unreliable. The situation is so severe in Lagos, Nigeria that many households have not one but two generators: a main generator for the household and a second backup generator for essential services (e.g. water pumps and refrigeration) in case the first one breaks down.”
The report finds that off-grid solar power provides “more than four times the level of power actually delivered by Nigeria’s national grid.”
If electricity, especially clean electricity, is going to come to those hundreds of millions living in rural and inadequately served regions — it’s going to come from off-grid solar power and non-traditional means.
What’s in an off-grid solar system?
We assemble, wire, and test all the parts necessary to run an off-grid solar system right in our warehouse. Our designers are pros at building flexible solar systems that can be expanded if your energy needs change down the road. Here’s the list of key components in our off-grid solar panel kits:
- Solar Batteries
- Solar Panels
- Power Center
- Racking System
Your Batteries, Your Power Utility
Batteries make off-grid solar possible. Without access to the utility grid, you need a reliable way to store the energy you generate for later use. Your battery bank keeps your appliances running even at night or during winter when the sun isn’t shining. It’s critical to build a battery bank that can store enough energy to get you through off-peak production periods. Our available battery banks come packaged with the capacity to get the job done.
There are three battery types commonly used for off-grid solar:
- Flooded Lead Acid
- Sealed Lead Acid (AGM or Gel)
Simply put, solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. Coulee uses advanced automatical facilities to manufacture solar panels that are compatible with the batteries, power centers, and other components packaged with your off-grid system. We double-check the math on voltage, amperage, and string size to make sure you don’t damage your components. Where possible, we feature panels with warranties that eclipse the industry standard. Your off-grid system runs 24/7, so your panels should be as reliable as possible. We’ve got you covered.
A power center is a pre-wired off-grid inverter system with everything you need to get started: inverter, charge controller, remote control, and circuit breakers. We assemble power centers in-house and test them on our workbench to make sure everything works the first time and every time. Once the power center passes our internal tests, we label the final connection points for you to make installation as easy as possible.
Power Center Add-ons
Most of our power centers have extra components for monitoring and protection. Accessories like battery monitors and surge suppressors help you keep an eye on your system to ensure it runs smoothly.
Racking System – Roof or Ground?
Once you have the components, you’ll need to mount them in place. We offer several racking solutions to mount your system. Ground mounts can be aligned at the perfect angle to get the most output from your panels. Roof mounts are more cost-effective because they take advantage of your existing roof structure.