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Solar Solutions for Off-Grid and Remote Locations

Solar Energy | 30 August 2022

If you own a cabin, vacation home, or permanent residence in a remote location, it can be difficult to get the power you need for your devices. While some properties are grid-tied or can be powered via a generator, these options are not available for every home. If you own property in Harrison, Echo Island, Long Island, Cascade Bay, Harrison River, or another remote area in the Fraser Valley, an off-grid solar system may be the ideal way to receive sustainable and reliable power. As a leading provider of solar energy system solutions for all types of properties, the team at BNR Electric knows that there are many effective solar solutions for off-grid and remote locations. That is why we have compiled some information on off-grid solar solutions to demonstrate their benefits and help you determine if they are right for you.

Learn about some common solar energy myths and misconceptions.

Everything You Need to Know About Off-Grid Solar Systems

The answers to the following questions will tell you everything you need to know about off-grid solar systems:

What are Off-Grid Solar Systems?

Off-grid solar systems are intricate systems that utilize a combination of solar panels, an inverter, batteries, and a charge controller to provide power for a remote cottage or home. While some off-grid systems are used to partially power a property, others can be used as the sole power source. Your solar system should be designed by a professional to match your lifestyle and electrical load. Each system is modular, allowing them to grow as your power needs change. Though off-grid systems utilize energy stored in batteries to power devices, they can also be hooked up to a generator in the event of emergencies. The inverter systems for off-grid applications have built-in battery chargers and can be used to start the generator automatically if needed, ensuring consistent power whenever you need it.

What are Inverters?

An inverter is one of the most important components in an off-grid solar energy system. Inverters are devices that convert direct current (DC) electricity collected in batteries to alternating current (AC) electricity to be used for your property. Most inverters used in off-grid homes connect directly to the AC load centre, providing power for the whole house.

What are Batteries?

Batteries are best compared to gas tanks for vehicles as they hold the energy collected by your solar panels. This energy is then sent to your inverter to be transferred into AC electricity, providing power for every device on your property. Deep cycle batteries are typically recommended for off-grid solar systems as they can handle deeper discharges more efficiently. Proper charging and limited discharging are crucial for maintaining long battery life.

What is a Charge Controller and Why do I Need One?

Charge controllers limit the solar power going to the batteries to ensure that they do not become overcharged. Series controllers achieve this with a relay that is opened after a certain battery voltage is reached, while PWM (pulse width modulation) controllers taper the current to the battery as the voltage rises. This is better for battery life as it adds a float charge to keep batteries at 100% capacity. It is best to work with a professional to determine which charge controller will be the best choice for your system.

How Many Panels do I Need for My System?

When it comes to off-grid solar systems, there are many elements to consider when designing the perfect solution for your property. To ensure optimal results, it is best to consult a professional to design and install your system. A professional will work with you to determine the number of solar panels you will need and which mounting angle is best for your property. They will also determine which inverter, battery system, and charge controller are best for your needs, ensuring that you have a reliable source of power for years to come.

To learn more about our solar energy solutions or to inquire about our electrical services, get in touch with the team at BNR Electric. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.

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