PV Panels, Inverters & Batteries
Why use Renewable Energy?
Because of the very nature of Renewable Energy, precisely what you can run depends on where you are, what you want, and what you can afford!
Typical applications for renewable energy systems include:
- Remote buildings and homes;
- Domestic solar water heating;
- Battery charging systems on boats, caravans, and motorhomes;
- Portable lighting and power systems;
- Anywhere away from the mains or relying on a costly fuel supply;
- Anyone who wants to use clean, renewable energy to make their own power!
Boats, Caravans and Motorhomes
Whether for weekend, holiday, or daily use, wind and solar power can be used to keep batteries charged in your boat, caravan or motorhome - giving an independent electricity supply without the noise and stench of engines and generators, or the inconvenience of finding mains hook-ups.
By using an inverter, 230 Vac appliances such as video, HiFi, microwave, vacuum cleaner, satellite system or computer can be powered.
Using the Sun
Solar systems are perfect if mainly summer use is intended. Solar modules are simply fastened to the van or boat roof using frames which ideally should adjust to catch maximum sun. Usually the higher output industrial panels are appropriate. Non-glass modules are available for decks and vulnerable locations.
Output cables are simply connected across the domestic battery via a charge controller which prevents battery overcharge and provides system monitoring. Generally systems can be easily mounted and installed by the user. Alternatively, many boatyards and caravan or RV suppliers can make up fittings or undertake installation.
On vehicles and inland craft, wind generators are best mounted on a hinged mast which is easy to raise when moored but compact when travelling. Seagoing boats often use mounts on deck rails or masts. Separate guyed masts are preferred for caravans. Output is dependent on the openness of the mooring or site and wind conditions, but will generally be greatest over winter months.
Many homes in remote areas are beyond the reach of the electricity grid and would traditionally use a diesel generator for power.
Often a genset is sufficient for the house needs, but noisy, expensive to run, high on maintenance and inefficient when lightly loaded. Addition of a battery store, inverter/charger, & changeover system will compliment this to give minimum generator use and 24hr power ... including a wind turbine or solar array can eliminate the need for a generator altogether.
All loads can be run on conventional 230Vac wiring. Typically the requirements are for lighting (using low energy electronic compact fluorescents); TV, stereo, fridge, household appliances & tools etc. all run from the inverter. Heating is usually by solid fuel and cooking from bottled gas. The generator is then only needed for occasional battery charges and to run heavy loads.
In many situations, solar power will be more relevant but larger wind turbines can be used to provide for greater load levels or heating.
Many areas have an unreliable grid supply with frequent power cuts. Using a battery store and inverter/charger gives back-up power allowing critical loads to be run until the grid supply is restored when the batteries can be recharged. Including a solar array or wind turbine enables loads to be run for extended periods without the mains.
All loads can be run on conventional 230Vac wiring. Usually it is not feasible to size the system to run all loads so heavier or non-critical loads (e.g. air conditioning or heating) should be separated off and only ever run from the mains.
Systems vary from small sine wave inverters to run central heating pumps and controls to bigger systems for computers or hospitals.
All prices are subject to 20% VAT.