Today, residential solar panels can provide sufficient energy to power buildings in remote locations, eliminating the need to connect to the electrical grid. Living in a secluded area often used to mean living without power, as installing new utility lines to isolated areas can be extremely challenging, and therefore, quite expensive. Now, with today’s affordable and effective PV energy systems, people can have reliable, inexpensive power in even the most far-flung locations.
Remote Applications of Solar Energy
When utility service is not available or practical, PV technology can be used to take care of a building’s power needs. Solar powered systems have the capacity to provide enough electricity for lighting and appliances used in a remote home or vacation cabin. Farms and businesses in outlying areas can also use photovoltaic panels for electrical power. Isolated buildings can be equipped with a solar panel system to provide heat and pump water. Typically, rooftop systems are most efficient, as their maximum exposure to sunlight allows them to collect more of the sun’s energy.
Solar Energy Storage
In remote areas, an off-grid PV system is a reliable and cost-effective power source. The photovoltaic panels alone are not enough to provide around-the-clock power, however, so the system typically includes a battery bank. After all, you’ll want electricity on cloudy days and after dark as well, so adequate battery storage is necessary to provide power during those times. In determining battery bank capacity, you must consider the size of the solar array and your typical daily energy usage. Due to the climate of the Intermountain West, it may be wise to choose a large enough battery bank to last through an extended period of inclement weather.
Supporting Solar Panel Systems
An off-grid solar energy system relies on its battery backup system for continual power. But if the batteries become depleted, the building could be left without power until the sun comes out and the photovoltaic panels recharge the battery bank. For this reason, solar experts often recommend that isolated homes and buildings connect backup generators to their systems. Generators that are powered by wind, gas or diesel can provide electricity in the event of a problem with a solar energy system or with its battery bank. With a generator connected, the size of the panel array and battery bank can be reduced, as the system won’t have to rely 100 percent on sunlight.
Properly designed and installed, a solar energy system can meet the energy needs of most remote or secluded buildings. Contact the experienced professionals at Intermountain Wind and Solar, serving Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, for a free quote and to learn more about how residential solar panels can benefit you.