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Off-Grid Battery & Solar PV
In a remote location or any location that doesn’t have an electrical grid, Solar PV plus batteries can supply reliable ongoing electricity to power usual house-hold functions. How big a system depends upon the power output needed. In most Western Culture situations, a generator is also needed to provide power when the battery power drops too low. Generators are run by burning a fossil fuel (diesel or propane).
The style of battery greatly affects how the batteries are used and how long they last. Battery life has many contributing factors to its variability including temperature, proper discharge and recharge, and optimal application usage.
Battery-Backup for Grid-Tied Solar PV
Solar PV can be installed today in a system in which the solar energy keeps the batteries fully charged and the remaining power reduces how much electricity the building pulls from the grid during daylight hours. The batteries are present for the instance when the power goes out (ie the grid goes down). In an outage, grid electricity may be off for a few hours or for several days. The size of the battery system is based upon how much power is needed to run the “critical load” breaker panel and for how long. The cost and complexity of having batteries for backup purposes is generally fairly high. In most residential cases, a more appropriate and cost-effective means of backup power is found in a generator.
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