STAND-ALONE (AUTONOMOUS) PV SYSTEMS
Stand-alone PV systems produce energy to meet the electricity needs of a building, a mobile unit or a group of loads. The consumer’s electrical needs are fully covered since he is not connected to the EAC grid. The electricity needs and the days of autonomy are the key elements that will determine the power of the stand-alone PV system.
Stand-alone PV systems are mainly used in isolated rural areas where there is no access to the electricity grid for technical or economic reasons. In order to operate properly charge controllers and batteries are needed to store the energy produced in peak times so that energy will be available in the evening, during cloudy hours or whenever required by the user.
In recent years there has been an increasing interest in electrical autonomy for water pumps, both for pool water recycling and for pumping water from wells. Solar pump drivers convert the conventional water pumping or recycling pump motor into a solar water pump that operates with PV modules, without having to change the existing water pump.
Additionally, stand-alone PV systems can be used for lighting, for example street lighting, lighting in parks and even for billboards and signage on motorways.
This kind of PV system requires accurate design and dimensioning to ensure it will be able to meet the needs of each customer and to provide uninterrupted electricity regardless of the prevailing weather conditions in the area.