While many boats can benefit from having a small solar panel to keep the batteries topped-up, it is on dry land that solar power really comes into its own: you need more space than the roof of a yacht to build up the kind of power that a small house consumes.
Storm Force Marine Ltd are leading suppliers of land-based power generating systems, using battery storage to store electricity created by solar and wind power. Few houses require complete independence from the grid. Those that do will find that a conventional diesel generator may be required if high-power applications like air-conditioning are required, although full-solar installations can be done.
All houses can benefit from some of the power required being generated by solar panels, particularly houses which are mostly unoccupied through the course of the day, but with some power needed to maintain the fridge and other appliances like TVs and computers which are left on or in stand-by mode all day.
The components of a land-based installation are:
- a grid-inverter which generates AC directly from the DC supplied by the solar panels, and switches the solar-panels on (and the grid off) when there is sufficient sunlight to generate enough electricty to charge up the batteries.
- an inverter/charger, which charges the batteries and later converts the DC power from the batteries into usable AC household current. This can also control the mains supply, and turn any generators off and on.
- batteries to store the power derived from the solar panels
- a bank of solar panels.
Storm Force Marine can supply all the components required, and can advise you what size of solar array is needed, what models of grid-inverter and inverter/charger to get and what kind, and what quantity of batteries will be needed, based on the amount of energy you wish to harvest and store.