Five applications of Renogy solar systems

Renogy solar systemsRenogy is a well-known brand focused on designing solar panels, solar kits, charge controllers, inverters, deep cycle batteries, battery chargers, accessories, and wiring. Solar panels or solar kits from Renogy as well as its components develop Renogy solar systems.
Renogy solar systems have a wider range of applications including cabin, boating, RV solar as well as solar for other outdoor activities such as camping and fishing. On the other hand, Renogy solar systems have broader applications for commercial solutions such as in agriculture, logistics, and information technology.

1. Solar home systems

    Renogy solar systems are used as power back systems during power outages. They can also be used for cottages or small remote areas and semi-permanent installations that need power on an occasional basis. Renogy solar systems are also used to support sustainable living using solar energy. Examples of Renogy solar systems for powering homes include: Package 1: Tiny House, (1200 Watts), Package 2: Cottage (2500 Watts) & Package 3: Villa (4800 Watts).

    2. Agriculture:

      Renogy solar systems are used for irrigation purposes to power solar water pumps especially for remote areas not connected to the grid. Renogy solar systems power generators, lighting, water pumps etc. thus powering agriculture with sustainable energy. Learn more about Renogy solar systems for agriculture.

      3. Logistics and solar for RV vehicles

        solar panelsRenogy solar systems are used in freight trucks providing off-grid power to power liftgates, HVAC systems, entertainment etc. For instance the Renogy 400W Monocrystalline Solar RV Kit with 30A Charger Controller is designed for off-grid solar panel system, Caravan, RV, boat, Green house Solar panel system.

        4. Street lighting and Information Technology (IT)

          Renogy solar systems are used to power street lighting and security cameras. In IT, Renogy solar systems are used to power data centers helping businesses to run greener and smarter at the same time. Renogy solar systems power the Internet of Things (IoT) networks helping businesses to stay connected with real-time analytics. Learn more about Renogy solar systems for street lighting and information technology(IT).

          5. Outdoor activities

            Renogy solar systems have portable solar solutions for powering your outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, boating helping to support sustainable living. For instance, the Renogy Phoenix 246.24Wh/150W Portable Generator is an all-in-one portable solar power system specifically designed for mobile, off-grid applications, and is ideal for emergencies.

            Four (4) types of Renogy solar kits

            Renogy is an American solar brand that was started as a small project by students at Louisiana State University. Today, Renogy is a well-known international company that has specialized in the solar photovoltaics technology with applications ranging from solar PV for recreational vehicles, boating, camping as well as solar applications for isolated areas and remote homes. In particular, Renogy is well-known for its four (4) types of Renogy solar kits, including starter kits, premium kits, RV van solar kits and bundle solar kits.Renogy solar kits

            1) Starter Renogy solar kits

              Renogy starter kits are designed for solar customers that are new to solar. These Renogy starter solar kits are great for mainly off-grid solar PV applications, including but not limited to RVs, trailers, boats, sheds, and cabins. Specifically, the main purpose of Renogy starter kits are used to recharge and monitor a 12-volt battery bank and the Starter Kits come with basic, easy to install components which are available in 50W-400W. You can check out these PV systems on Amazon.

              • 50 Watt 12V Monocrystalline Starter Kit.
              • 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Expansion Kit.
              • 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/Wanderer 10A Charge Controller. See it at Amazon.
              • 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit.
              • 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit.
              • 400 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit

              2)Premium Renogy solar kits

                Premium Renogy solar kits offer higher solar efficiency, safety and reliability. Unlike Starter Kits, Premium Kits include additional features such as higher efficiency panels, a Bluetooth module and a MPPT charge controller which increases charging efficiency and performance. These solar kits have a wider application in farms, remote areas away from the grid, boats etc. Renogy Premium solar kits have wattage of between 100W to 800W. You can check out these PV systems on Amazon.

                • 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit.
                • 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit
                • 300 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit
                • 400 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit
                • 600 Watt 24 Volt Solar Premium Kit
                • 600W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Premium Kit w/Rover 60A Charger Controller
                • New 800 Watt 24 Volt Solar Premium Kit
                • 800W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Premium Kit w/Rover 60A Charger Controller

                3) RV van Renogy solar kits
                RV van Renogy solar kits are designed for off-grid solar panel system, Caravan, any recreational vehicle (RV), boat, motorhome or a mobile application. Because, these are mobile solar applications they are equipped with additional components such as flush mount charge controller and a cable entry housing unit. Solar kit wattage range between 100W to 320W. You can check these PV systems on Amazon.

                • 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase w/o Controller
                • 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase with Voyager
                • 100 Watt Eclipse Solar Suitcase w/o Controller
                • 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar RV Kit
                • 100 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase
                • 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase
                • 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar RV Kit
                • 200 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase w/o Controller
                • 200 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase
                • 300 Watt 12 Volt Solar RV Kit
                • 400 Watt 12 Volt Solar RV Kit

                4) Bundle Renogy solar kits

                  Bundle Renogy solar kits are designed for off-grid solar systems and have 100 watts or 200 watts or 300 watts monocrystalline solar panels. They also come with solar components needed to expand on a system already existing system or just solar components needed to complete the system already in place. Bundle Renogy solar kits include the following as shown on Amazon.

                  • Renogy 12V 100W Monocrystalline Bundle Kit solar panel, Black
                  • Renogy 12V Monocrystalline Bundle 100W Solar Panel,30A Charge Controller 9in Adaptor Kit,A Pair of Branch Connectors, w PWM
                  • Renogy 200W 12V Monocrystalline Bundle 100W Solar Panel,30A Charge Controller 9in Adaptor Kit,A Pair of Branch Connectors
                  • Renogy Panel Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit, 300 Watt

                  Solar parts for your solar photovoltaics (PV) system

                  solar partsGlobal Solar Supplyis a company based in the US that supplies solar parts for solar installers and contractors in the US and beyond. Global solar supplyspecializes in the provision of solar panels, solar batteries, solar inverters and other accessories for the construction and maintenance of renewable energy systems throughout the USA and beyond.

                  Global solar supply purchase solar parts in large quantities to be able to offer its customers with good prices to save them money in their individual purchases. It is a cutting edge company and specializes in the supply of solar panels, systems parts and cables and is considered as one of the largest cross-sector suppliers of solar renewable energy systems in a wide range of industries, including the finance, construction and agricultural sectors.  This blog attempts to capture some of the solar parts for a solar PV system that you can search, buy at the website of Global solar supply

                  Solar Panels and other solar parts 

                  Solar panels are the main components for a solar PV system and the most popular solar panels include the monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Global Solar Supply has a vast variety of sizes and types from small to large, flexible to rigid with wattage ranging from 5 Watts to 360 Watts. The key attributes considered when buying solar panels are the solar panel efficiency, cost, warranty and technology type. Global Solar Supply has solar panels for on-grid and off-grid solar PV systems, including solar kits for pre-wired solar kits as well as RV and small off grid solar kits. Some of the solar panels supplied by Global Solar Supply include small solar panels with a capacity ranging between five (5) watts to 190 watts and large solar panels with a capacity of greater than 200 watts.

                  Solar inverters and other solar parts 

                  When solar power is produced by solar panels is in direct current (DC) and solar inverters convert it into alternating current (AC) that is required by homes and businesses. The most popular solar inverters include string or centralized inverters, micro-inverters and power optimizers. Global Solar Supply offers a wide range of solar inverters and accessories including micro-inverters, hybrid inverters, mobile rated inverters, inverter monitoring and hybrid inverters.

                  Solar batteries and other solar parts 

                  Energy storage or solar batteries is used to store excess solar power for your PV system for off-grid PV systems and on-grid PV systems for communities without net-metering. Net-metering allows stabilization of your PV system with the grid and can also be used as an excess storage option without the need for solar batteries. Global Solar Supply offers a wide range of solar batteries and accessories including but not limited to lithium-ion, flooded lead acid, AGM & GEL, BTS -battery temperature and sensor, cable and lugs, disconnects, battery enclosures, shunts, fuses, circuit breakers, battery chargers and battery isolators.

                  Solar racking and mounting solutions

                  Solar panels are usually not secured or attached to the roof directly but are mounted on solar racking and mounting solutions and angled to get the most sunlight exposure. Global solar supply offers solar racking and mounting solutions to help mount or secure solar panels to your structure, including but not limited to rails, end clamps, mid clamps, L brackets, mounts and flashing, Z brackets, TPM (Top of Pole Mounts), SPM (Side of Pole Mounts), grounding and bounding and cable management accessories.

                  Solar PV monitoring and other solar parts 

                  With today’s solar technology, monitoring of solar electricity is possible using metering and monitoring solar performance accessories. The performance of a solar PV system can be evaluated on a hourly, daily and yearly basis by monitoring how much solar electricity is generated by a PV system. If for instance, the solar performance of the solar panels starts to decline, this can be captured using the solar monitoring software. Monitoring software can also help to detect any defects in the PV system and can recommend repairs for the PV system. Global solar supply offers solar monitoring solutions from companies like Enphase which offer high quality, proven solar monitoring solutions alongside their inverter products.

                  Solar charge controllers and other solar parts 

                  Solar charge controllers are needed for PV systems with solar panels with a wattage of over five (5) watts to prevent overcharging of solar batteries by limiting the amount and rate of charge to your batteries. Solar charge controllers’ main function is to safely charge a solar battery at the correct charge rates protecting the battery from overcharging and they come in two basic types PWM (Pulse Wave Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Technology). Both PWM & MPPT are widely used and have similar lifespans to preserve the life of PV batteries. Although, PWM charge controllers are an older technology and therefore cheaper compared to MPPT. Since, charge controllers can be used for several different applications, Global solar supply offer a wide selection of solar charge controllers as well as solar lighting controllers, AC chargers and other applications.

                  Lithium-ion batteries for your solar PV system

                  Lithium-ion batteries are now widely used in very many applications and hence are becoming an everyday part of our lives. These applications include but not limited to laptops, electric vehicles to stationary and building-sized applications. This rapid change has been enabled by the reducing price of lithium-ion batteries which has dropped more than 70% between 2010 and 2016. 

                  Battery electricity storage (BES) using lithium-ion batteries seem to have a similar story of price reduction just like solar photovoltaics (PV) which dropped in price with over 60% in the last decade. As a result, solar + storage is now a common product sold to businesses and homes by solar companies such as Tesla that are able to provide the Tesla power wall and solar panels. Other quality solar battery power systems offering reasonable prices are the Enphase AC Battery and SonnenBatterie Eco.

                  The lithium-ion batteries are the new generation of battery energy storage advancing from the traditional lead-acid based deep cycle battery technology. Lead-acid batteries are widely used in many sectors because they cost less upfront, but they have a shorter lifespan and require regular maintenance to keep them running properly unlike lithium-ion batteries which are more expensive up front, but maintenance-free and have a longer lifespan. According to EnergySage, a lead-acid battery system cost a few hundred or thousands less than a similarly sized lithium-ion setup. Lithium-ion batteries for solar power systems can cost anywhere from $5000 to $15000 including installation and this is dependent on the size of the PV system.

                  Based on chemistry there are various types of lithium-ion for battery electricity storage that are produced by different battery manufacturers such as Discover, SimpliPhi, etc. The term “lithium-ion” refers not to a single electrochemical couple but to a wide array of different chemistries, all of which are characterized by the transfer of lithium ions between the electrodes during the charge and discharge reactions. Li-ion cells do not contain metallic lithium; rather, the ions are inserted into the structure of other materials, such as lithiated metal oxides or phosphates in the positive electrode (cathode) and carbon (typically graphite) or lithium titanate in the negative (anode). Lithium-ion chemistry combinations include Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP); nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC);lithium manganese oxide (LMO ), nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) and lithium titanate (LTO). Generally, the various material combinations or chemistry of lithium-ion batteries yield unique performance cost and safety characteristics.

                  The different chemistries allow for battery energy storage optimization to meet various performance and operational objectives (IRENA, 2017). As such, different electrode or electrolyte selections may be used to design for different applications where reduced costs or high power or high density is required. For instance, lithium titanate (LTO) batteries have very good thermal stability, long cycle life-time, high rate discharge capability and has no solid electrolyte interphase issues (IRENA, 2017). However, LTO batteries will be cost-prohibitive because of the high cost of titanium and will have reduced cell voltage and low energy density compared to lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide which can be tailored for high power or high energy stable thermal profile and can operate at high voltage.

                  EnergySage Buyer’s Guide for Solar Batteries

                  EnergySage has prepared a comprehensive solar batteries guide where consumers can browse hundreds of solar batteries from top manufacturers around the world. Solar batteries can provide numerous benefits, especially for property owners in areas that experience demand or time-of-use charges or where net-metering policies are limited in terms of compensation from the grid. Essentially, electricity demand tracks the total amount of energy that is being consumed at a given time. The more devices using electricity at the same time, the higher the customer’s demand charge.

                  As such, solar batteries can reduce demand charges and provide resiliency, while adding value to solar installations at the same time. When you install a solar battery alongside a solar panel system, you can store extra solar electricity produced by your panels for later use after the sun goes down. Learn more about other aspects of going solar such as obtaining solar quotes and using the EnergySage buyer’s guide for solar panels, solar batteries, and solar inverters. See this solar resource for more details.


                  Reference:

                  IRENA (2017), Electricity Storage and Renewables: Costs and Markets to 2030, International Renewable Energy Agency.

                  Solar batteries for your-solar PV system

                  Why solar batteries?

                  solar batteryA battery is a device that stores chemical energy and converts it to electricity through the electrochemistry process. A battery can be made up of one or several electrochemical cells. Each electrochemical cell consists of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte allowing the flow of electrons between the two electrodes and electricity is produced. Generally, batteries store energy for later use and can have many applications such as powering equipment or gadgets not connected to the grid. Also, solar batteries are used to store power from solar panels for later use perhaps at night when there is no sunshine or during cloudy days when less power is generated by solar panels.

                  What are solar panel batteries?

                  Solar batteries are devices that are built using the electrochemistry technology and contain electrochemical cells that are connected in series with 2 electrodes immersed in the electrolyte solution and a circuit formed between the electrode and the electrolyte to produce an electrical current. The electrochemical cells are the ones that convert chemical energy into electrical energy.  There are several types of solar batteries that are used in connections to store electricity that is tapped from the solar system. However, the most common solar batteries include the lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries.

                  1. Lead-acid batteries generally used in motor vehicles and are low-cost compared to all other types. They are generally bulky but have a relatively large power due to their ability to supply high surge currents considering their volume and relative weight.
                  2. Lithium-ion batteries are known for their best energy density and a very slow loss of charge when not in use and commonly used for portable electronics such as cellphones and electric vehicles. A popular example is Tesla Powerwall.

                  solar batteryWhen are solar panel batteries needed?

                  Solar batteries are useful to store excess electricity for your solar photovoltaic system in cases where:

                  1. You want to supplement power from the grid with your solar power to reduce electricity costs.
                  2. You are completely not connected to the grid and you use solar panel batteries’ to store electricity for later use.
                  1. Supplementing your grid-connected solar power system with batteries:

                  Through net-metering, a solar power system can be connected to the grid to help feed excess electricity to the grid or draw it to supplement your energy demand. Feeding excess electricity to the grid through net-metering comes with incentives such as reduced utility bills. However, in areas where net metering policies either don’t exist or are limited, adopting solar batteries can help to store excess electricity and use it when it is much economical to do so.

                  electric gridAlso, depending on the type of electricity rate structure including time-of-use (TOU) rates as well as demand charges, solar batteries can be used to store electricity to reduce these utility charges. As such, solar batteries will be useful to help to reduce your electricity bill when you understand your TOU and demand charges. TOU rates approach allows utility companies to charge different rates for electricity, where the cost of energy varies based on the time of day it is consumed.

                  On the other hand, the demand charge is set based upon your maximum hourly power requirement and hence the best way to decrease your electric bill when energy demand is factored in is to decrease your electric bill all at once. As such, utilizing solar batteries will help to lower your overall energy demand thus reducing your energy demand charges as well as high TOU rates. For instance, you can use electricity stored in the solar batteries during high TOU rates and consequently reduce your utility bill.

                  2. Areas not connected to the grid.

                  Areas not connected to the grid can benefit a lot from solar power. However, since there is no sunshine at night, you will need solar batteries to store excess electricity produced during the day for later use at night when it is extremely needed for lighting and other uses. About 1.1 billion people around the world still lack electricity and solar-powered mini-grids are well-suited in remote areas as it is much affordable and faster to electrify these areas using renewables than extending the main grid. As such, solar batteries will be needed to help store excess power produced by solar panels during the day and use it at night when it is needed.

                  How much do solar batteries cost

                  Just like solar panels, upfront costs of solar batteries depend on the make and model and there are various types and models of solar batteries in the market today. According to EnergySage, solar batteries’ cost before installation range between $5,000 to $7,000 or from $400 dollars per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to $750/kWh. This cost does not include the cost of the installation which is done by a licensed electrician. For instance, the 13.5-kilowatt-hour (kWh) Tesla Powerwall 2.0 is priced at $6,700 but has a built-in inverter while the LG’s 9.3kWh Chem RESU battery does not have a built-in inverter and cost about $6,000 to $7,000. However, as mentioned before will vary based on how many solar batteries are needed, the make, and the model of the solar battery. At EnergySage, you can get solar battery quotes from different vendors and compare their different prices.

                  The EnergySage Solar Batteries Buyer’s Guidesolar batteries

                  The EnergySage has developed a comprehensive classification system where users can browse and compare several solar batteries’ to evaluate their quality ratings based on their most important aspects such as cost, capacity, power, round-trip efficiency, degradation rate, and warranty.

                  This classification system captures various battery technical specifications such as performance, durability, warranty, and overall quality, and using this system, the EnergySage has grouped different solar batteries into five different classifications i.e. Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good and Excellent. EnergySage solar batteries buyer’s guide has captured several solar batteries from different top manufacturers and you can get price quotes here.

                  The EnergySage platform is a good starting point to assist you with your solar buying decision, however, it will take a licensed solar installer to make a good assessment of your household or business. In particular, a solar installer will assess your power project requirements, your energy requirements to help you decide on your solar panel and battery requirements.

                  Get started with a solar panel cost calculator from the EnergySage to estimate your solar panel requirements and get more advice about your battery requirements based on your energy profile or consumption.

                  Jackery Portable Power Station-Explorer 160 Solar Generator

                  • Jackery is a USA company founded in California in 2012 which specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions.
                  • The Jackery Portable Power Station is designed for charging cellphones, tablets, laptops, and other smaller electronics because of its lithium-ion battery capacity of 167 watt-hours (46, 400 milliamp hours @ 3.6 volts ). As such, it provides eco-friendly clean power as it does not need any gasoline/diesel to power it and does not emit any fumes or produce a loud noise.
                  • It is good to power your outdoor activities such as hiking, backyard camping, backpacking, etc.
                  • There are three (3) ways to recharge the Jackery Portable Power Station, including:
                  1. You can recharge it using the wall power socket in your home if you are connected to the grid. A full charge takes about 5 hours.
                  2. Recharge it using the 12V/10A car cigarette lighter port. A full charge takes about 5 hours.
                  3. Recharge it using the 60W/100W Jackery Solar Saga solar panel (sold separately) or any other solar panel that is compatible with the Jackery Portable Power Station. A full charge takes about 8 to 10 hours depending on the weather.
                  4. Jackery recommends in case you use your own solar panel to make sure that the output voltage of the solar panel is between 12-30V to be compatible with Explorer 160 solar generator.

                  • Included with the Jackery Portable Power station is * Jackery Explorer 160 Portable Power Station (167Wh Portable Power Station), 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable, 1*DC to car adapter cable, an AC inverter(110V 60Hz 100W 150W Peak), and 1* user guide.
                  • The rated output power of the Explorer 160 is 100W and hence cannot power or charge devices that operate more than 100-watt. It powers smaller electronics: like smartphones, tablets, cameras, led lights, laptops, Mini-fridge, etc. It cannot support devices more than 100W such as CPAP, toaster, heater, hairdryer, electric drill, electric kettle, induction cooker, rice cooker, blender, etc.
                  • Specifications for Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160 are:

                   Battery Capacity: 167Wh ( 11.6Ah, 14.4V) ;(46,400mah,3.6V)
                   Input (DC 8MM): 12V~30V 42W Max
                   1* AC outlet : 110V 60Hz Continuous 100W Peak 150W
                   1* USB-C output port: 5V 3A
                   2* USB-A output ports: 5V 2.4A
                   1* DC Output port (6MM port): 12V/7A
                   Dimensions: 7.40*4.59*6.73 in
                   Weight: 3.97 lbs

                  Learn more about the Jackery Portable Power Station or buy it on Amazon.

                  Sustainability, Systems Thinking, Going Green & Going solar

                  switchtosolar llc

                  What are we about?
                  Switchingtosolarpv.com is your platform to help you figure out your best going solar options and other clean energy options available to you.

                  We are about helping you to find tools and information mainly about sustainability options, systems thinking, going green and going solar through our blog posts and data science analysis.

                  Solar Energy Options & Sustainability
                  We provide tools and information to help you decide about renewable energy options, including but not limited to:

                  Solar Panel Calculator

                  If you live in the United States, you can use a solar panel calculator today to determine if solar energy is good for your home or business through this Solar Calculator.

                  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or clarifications that you may have.

                  Thank you and best regards,

                  SwitchtoSolar Online MKT, LLC

                  What are Portable solar panels for RV?

                  RV solar panels

                  Portable solar panels for RV are solar panel kits that are off-grid and hence not connected to the grid and can be used to generate solar power for a recreational vehicle (RV).

                  Portable solar panels for RV are a great solution and an alternative to diesel generators providing clean power to your RV and saving you money at the same time. Portable solar panels for RV come with portable solar panels, adapter kits, battery, charge controller, and an optional power inverter.

                  How do RV solar panels work

                  An RV PV system requires solar panels connected to a charge controller to ensure that your batteries don’t overcharge and using the batteries to store energy charged from sunlight. The inverter is connected and is used to convert DC electricity to AC electricity. Proper cables are used to connect all the components together and after proper installation is done according to your RV roof size, you can start enjoying the benefits of solar power in your RV.

                  RV solar panels

                  Advantages of portable solar panels for RV

                  • RV solar panels help you to save money because once you have bought the solar panel kits, you don’t need to worry about fuel costs. It is a great alternative to diesel-powered generators. RV solar systems are almost maintenance-free because there are no moving parts in the RV PV system
                  • RV solar panels give you the freedom to travel even to the most remote areas where there is no electric grid.
                  • RV solar panels generate clean and quiet renewable energy as they do not burn fossil fuels hence they are good for sustainability.

                  Disadvantages of portable solar panels for RV

                  • RV solar panels will need extra space on your RV and for RVs with limited space, this might be cumbersome.
                  • Because there is no sunlight at night, and depending on the size of your RV solar panel system, you might need extra batteries which means more space is needed.

                  How much do solar panels for RVs cost?

                  Most portable solar panels for RV will have a power wattage of between 100 watts to 400 watts and depending on your power needs, that is, how many appliances you have in your RV and whether you are using your system for refrigeration; the ideal PV system is about 800 watts. Thus, assuming your 800 watts RV PV system has five (5) hours of direct sunlight, you’ll produce about 4,000Wh of solar power per day. Hence, the cost of your portable solar panels for RV will depend on your electrical load or appliances in your RV.

                  There are various brands of RV solar panels that you can buy online at Amazon, including but not limited to Renogy, Eco Worthy, HQST, and many others. Most of the solar power systems are often sold in kits which include solar panels, a system monitor, wiring, and connectors. For more information about the pricing for your portable solar panels for your RV check out the various brands of RV solar panels at Amazon.com.
                  solar panels

                  Why off-grid photovoltaics (PV)systems?

                  How has solar PV technology advanced?

                  off grid solar

                  With the decreasing cost of photovoltaics (PV), going solar is becoming more cost-effective and adoption rates continue to increase for both on-grid and off-grid applications. The solar PV technology continues to advance to provide power solutions for both businesses and individuals. From a very massive utility-scale power plant providing over 2GW (2000 MW) of generating capacity to a 4 or 5-watt panel for charging your cellphone or mp3 player, it is proof that solar PV technology has advanced and has very many applications. Research and development (R&D) efforts for photovoltaics continue with the aim of determining the right combination of materials to enhance or increase solar panel efficiency to generate more electricity per unit area of the solar panel.

                  When it comes to off-grid solar, more solar applications are developed with the aim of powering rural areas. Rural electrification, especially in developing countries, has been made more cost-effective since grid extension is still very expensive in rural areas. Scattered households and lack of a critical mass of households to make grid extension more cost-effective are one of the major reasons why the private sector does not find incentive in developing many rural grid electrification projects without subsidies from the government.

                  Many rural electrification projects using grid extension has remained a project for governments and non-governmental organizations. However, because of the reducing solar panel cost, the private sector is increasingly getting involved in many rural electrification projects that use innovative business models such as pay-as-you-go (PAYGO)  and other off-grid solar projects to provide electricity to rural communities in developing countries.off-grid solar

                  Solar PV and rural electrification

                  With the right mix of technologies, off-grid solar PV systems can help to overcome the barrier to rural electrification without grid-extension. This can also take the form of off-grid solar PV combined with other sources of energy including, but not limited to wind power, bioenergy, geothermal, and small hydro resources. However, apart from solar energy, many of these other forms of renewable energy resources are site-specific and would work well where such resources are available and from a sustainable source.

                  Off-grid solar has numerous applications and solar is in abundance in most rural areas where it is needed because of its wider applications. A lot of food is grown in rural areas and off-grid solar would play a vital role in providing water from the wells through solar water pumping irrigation as well as other productive uses, especially in agriculture. Also, since many people have cellphones today, charging cellphones using solar power would be ideal, especially in areas not connected to the grid.

                  Off-grid solar also means portable solar solutions providing emergency power or standby power where there are many power outages. Some of these portable solar solutions include solar generators, solar battery chargers, and other portable solar gadgets. Solar lighting options for homes or street lighting are also applicable in rural areas.

                  Of all the above off-grid solar applications, solar water pumping for irrigation would provide many sustainability benefits in both short-term and long-term, creating jobs in the agricultural sector, especially in dry areas that can be transformed for growing food crops. On the other hand, off-grid solar would also provide a huge sustainability impact for homes through improving livelihoods with solar electrification.

                  Off-grid solar water pumping for irrigation:

                  For dry off-grid areas, solar photovoltaics can provide water for irrigation using solar water pumps and is more cost-effective compared to diesel-powered water pumps considering the long-term costs. The life-cycle cost of a solar water pump used for irrigation will be lower because once the solar water pump has been bought, there will be no lifetime fuel costs associated with the solar water pump.

                  solar irrigation

                  However, a diesel-powered solar water pump will continue to rely on diesel over its lifespan. The solar water pump to be used will depend on many factors including the size of the farm, power rating (voltage rating), flow rates, and so on. There are two major types of solar water pumps: surface and submersible solar water pumps. Learn more about solar water pumps in this article.

                  Off-grid solar for rural electrification:

                  Rural electrification comes in many ways including, but not limited to grid extension, microgrids powered with renewable energy, or powered with fossil fuels. Powering rural areas using solar is increasingly being applied in many developing countries because of the reducing cost of solar panels. As such, solar PV is used as a clean technology to mitigate climate change with the right combination of technologies and with the right financial instruments.

                  Looking into the future, the centralized grid power system in rural areas will not be common as many investments will be used to develop decentralized power systems because of economics and the need to mitigate climate change using decentralized renewable energy systems. Also, solar packaged systems, as well as innovative business models such as pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) models, will continue to penetrate in rural areas of developing countries helping to provide affordable power to rural communities while mitigating climate change.

                  Renewable energy micro-grids such as off-grid solar PV systems with battery storage will overcome the high costs of grid extension. Standalone off-grid solar systems will be more ideal for rural electrification in areas where grid extension is expensive, and households not concentrated in one area, but scattered over a large area where grid extension could be expensive. Learn more about solar packaged solutions and rural electrification.

                  Are hybrid-solar PV systems worth it?

                  solar photovoltaicswind power

                  Hybrid-solar PV refers to combining solar photovoltaics (PV) with renewable energy technologies such as bio energy, wind turbines, geothermal etc or with conventional power technologies like diesel powered generators. Because of the intermittent nature of solar PV, developing a hybrid-solar PV helps to stabilize the grid or to produce power continuously in off-grid rural areas. Also, hybrid-PV systems have been used in micro-grids in rural areas of developing countries to substitute for fossil fuels while helping to mitigate climate change.
                  In some cases, for example with renewable generation that is affected by temperature, hybridization with PV can be used with renewable resources that are affected by high temperatures. For instance, during the hot summer seasons, the solar generated peak for the solar PV augments the capacity for the geothermal generated base load power increasing the power yield for the geothermal solar PV hybrid system.

                  So why have a hybrid-solar PV system?

                  1. The peak operating times for wind and solar systems for example can occur at different times of the year and hence use of hybrid-PV systems is necessary to produce more power than needed which can be stored in energy storage (batteries) or sold to nearby neighbors in areas with net-metering schemes.
                  2. Most hybrid -PV systems operate in off-grid areas, that is, mostly in developing countries in places not connected to the grid. For instance, most hybrid-PV systems will be charging their storage batteries mostly during off-peak hours when a lot of power is not being consumed directly by the available electrical loads which are mostly switched off. For instance, if the hybrid is a solar PV wind power system, the power will be generated and stored in batteries during off-peak to be later used at peak hours, that is at night when there is less solar PV electricity generated by the solar panels.
                  3. Solar PV diesel hybrid system mainly used in rural areas can be used to lower fuel costs while helping to reduce the risk of high fuel prices and reducing carbon emission as PV will off-set part of the diesel that could have been otherwise consumed if PV was not included in the power plant.
                  4. Solar PV hybrid systems can be programmed through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help maximize power output during peak hours. Energy analytics provided through software can help the system to learn from historical data and help in planning to boost the performance of the hybrid system. From data analytics, the system can be programmed to store a specific amount of power in storage and to use it at a specific period in peak times when it is definitely needed.
                  5. When diesel power needs to be replaced for climate mitigation, hybrid PV systems combined with wind or bio fuels powered generators can be used to off-set carbon emissions associated with diesel powered generators.

                  The above are just a few hybrid solar PV options which could be feasible based on many factors such performance, size, economics and the underlying objectives of a project. Interested about going solar? Learn more about how much you could pay for a solar power system by using this solar calculator.