A noble approach to a Solar Power System
We would all expect to be free from the power grid and electric bills produced every month by utility. Solar power is undoubtedly the way in which we will come closer to achieve that goal. However, solar power technology isn’t where it is as efficient as power production by conventional routes. While on the grid, we have the freedom of being able to switch on every electrical device in our homes at the same time. But if you go off the grid and dependent on solar power only, there is a limitation of power usage to be managed.
There are four parts to a basic solar system: solar panels, a charge controller, a battery bank and an inverter to convert the DC power to AC for most of our home appliances. In fact to run every appliance, the battery bank via the inverter and the solar panels keep the batteries charged during the day hours. During night, when there is no sun to generate power, you discharge the batteries up to the set amount of power. Once the batteries are dead, no more power is available until the next day when they sun strikes the solar panels and recharge the batteries.
As we know that solar panels generate maximum power during the middle of the day time. However, when the sun is at a low angle in the sky, during the early morning or late evening, clouds or rain and of course at night, your solar panels don’t produce much power. Therefore, if you were to run your house on solar power alone, you would have to decide what devices you will have to run. You will likely need to replace most of your appliances except your TV, laptop and LED lighting in order to maximize efficiency.
The appliances which consume large power in home are devices that heat or cool something. Your refrigerator, air conditioner and electric heater consume an enormous amount of energy. An electric hot water heater (geyser) consumes the next largest amount which is very much required for north Indian people especially in winter. If you run all of these devices at once on solar power alone, you probably can’t, unless your entire roof covered with solar panels. Some additional arrangements are required to capture solar energy in day time in this condition. So living on solar power alone requires some additional adjustment in how you live and also to perform certain tasks in addition to your daily work schedules that you are assigned. You would have to try and use the most power in such devices in the middle of the day on the clearest days for examples to run your washing machine.
The size of battery needs to be large so that if you had a long period of rain, cloud and therefore sufficient power required being stored to run the essential appliances for several days without recharging the batteries. In fact, the battery of a solar system involves the largest cost. You can set your home up to run on the grid, but if the grid gets shut off; you have the option to use solar power as an emergency backup running the essential appliances. But you should also know that setting up a completely grid free home has an expensive front end cost.
There are many limitations when we think about powering our home with solar power and I think everyone thinks of using such kind of energy production for power for a better life style too!
A grid-connection will allow us to save money with solar panels through better efficiency rates, net metering and lower equipment and installation costs. Without net metering, residential solar systems would be much less feasible from a financial point of view. Also home owners can put this excess electricity onto the utility grid instead of storing it themselves with batteries.
Batteries and other stand-alone equipments are required for a fully functional off-grid solar system and add to costs as well as maintenance. Grid-tied solar systems are therefore generally cheaper and simpler to install. Many utility companies are committed to buying electricity from homeowners at the same rate as they sell it.