Various off-grid solar system applications allow residents and businesses to live and operate in regions with weak or unreliable power infrastructure.
What are the applications of off-grid solar PV systems?
Off-grid solar system applications are manifold. The selected examples here underline the most important aspects and application examples of off-grid solar systems.
a) Electrification in rural and remote areas
More than 2 billion people lack regular access to electricity and most of them belong to rural households that generate light and electricity by burning wood or petroleum, both expensive and hazardous forms of generating electric power.
Statistically, people lacking stable access to electricity will hardly be able to develop business or pursue higher education and face comparably severe socio-economic disadvantages.
Without electricity, hospitals in rural areas are not able to store medicals, endangering people that depend on local health care treatment. All this is not only a waste of high potential human capital as well as a dangerous source of diseases but also leads to strong imbalances in the economic development of a country.
Rural electrification deals with the provision and supply of villages and rural areas with electricity and is deemed to be a major task for many national economies in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Off-grid solar systems are easy to understand and, given favorable sunshine conditions, provide independent, long-term and sustainable electricity generation in rural and remote areas.
b) Emergency Power Supply in case of natural disasters
Natural disasters, wars or electricity generation capacity lacks may lead to unexpected disruption of power supply. Sudden power cuts are in few cases effectively countered, which can severely affect communication, health care and water supply and thus endanger life and security.
Solar-powered Emergency Power Systems (EPS systems) are built to overcome temporary lacks of power and can be applied in disaster-affected areas or war zones where demand for quick electricity supply is extremely high.
c) Mobile Solar Systems for sea and land expeditions, camping, hiking
Electricity may be needed anywhere and anytime. Typical examples comprise camping and hiking tours that use electricity-powered navigation, lightening or communication systems and operation of electrical appliances on sea or land.
Several companies in the market offer a wide range of different mobile off-grid solar system applications, such as solar scooters, solar boats, solar bikes, solar bikes and even solar drones.
d) Power Backup for users facing frequent power cuts
In many areas in this world, power grid-connection does not guarantee for uninterrupted power supply even in metropolitan areas. Sudden power cuts due to power transmission malfunctions, storms or fragile transmission lines may hamper working, cooling of food, beverages and medicals or operation of essential electrical appliances in hospitals, companies and public institutions.
Off-grid solar systems represent in this regard an economic, stable and long-term backup solution to overcome the problems occurring from frequent power cuts.
Users of these systems are not anymore dependent on external factors and, dependent on the system capacitiy, temporarily evade interruption of work and keep their electricity-based systems operating.
e) Solar Water Pump Systems for the supply of drinking water for individuals, feedstock and irrigation
Solar water pump systems use electricity generated from solar radiation in order to pump water over long distances or from deep wells and can be applied for supplying water for feedstock, crop irrigation or drinking and cooking.
Correct sizing of the pump, motor and controlling devices as well as detailed system design according to the location and usage of the solar water pump is essential to guarantee the optimal system performance and to avoid risks at water supply that can harm people, animals and crops.