What does Off-grid Solar mean?
An off-grid or standalone photovoltaic system is when your solar photovoltaic system is not connected to the utility grid and you are producing your own electricity via solar, wind, microhydro, generator, etc. These systems will generally have a battery bank in order to store the electricity for use when needed.
Off-grid DC Solar Power Systems
DC off-grid solar power systems are most often used to power DC appliances in RV’s, boats, and cabins, as well as farm/ranch appliances like cattle gates and rural telecommunications systems when utility power is not accessible. DC solar power is less expensive than AC solar power because an inverter is not required to convert the electricity produced by solar panels and stored in batteries from DC to AC. But DC solar power does NOT power standard AC appliances.
Off-grid AC Solar Power Systems
Off-grid solar power also stores DC electricity in batteries. The addition of an inverter allows this system to convert DC electrical current coming from the batteries into AC or alternating current. AC is the standard form of electricity for anything that “plugs in” to utility power and is the appropriate current for common household appliances.
While AC off-grid solar power systems are more expensive because of the cost of the inverter, the appliances you are able to use are less expensive and there are more kinds of appliances to choose from.
In the Sunny Island system, electricity generators and loads are flexibly integrated. PV and wind energy systems, diesel generators, hydro power or CHP (Combined Heat and Power) can be modularly integrated in a large off-grid system. Equally adept at grid-tied back up, the Sunny Island system can also be easily designed to provide reliable power in the case of a grid outage.
SMA Sunny Island Inverters
The New SMA Sunny Island 4548 and 6048 inverters are based on the proven off-grid technology in the Sunny Island 5048 but now feature 20 percent more power output. A maximum efficiency of 96 percent ensures peak production, which results in reduced diesel usage in rural communities. More flexible sizing allows for simplified system planning. And, with multicluster technology, up to 12 Sunny Islands can be integrated into off-grid power systems up to 100 kW in size.
- Maximum efficiency 96%
- CEC efficiency of 94.5%
- Charge level calculation
- Intelligent battery management
- Easy commissioning with the “Quick Configuration Guide”
- Complete off-grid management
- Excellent for grid-tied battery back up
- For Sunny Island systems from 2 kW to 100 kW
- Single, 120/240 split-phase and three-phase operation, connectable in parallel and modularly expandable
- Extreme overload capability
- OptiCool™ active temperature management system
- Five-year standard warranty
SMA MULTICLUSTER Box for Sunny Island
The Multicluster Box for the Sunny Island 4548, 5048 and 6048 is the ideal solution for the easy installation of off-grid systems up to 100 kW. Two to four three-phase clusters, each with three Sunny Islands, can be connected in parallel. The Multicluster Box is pre-wired for operation and equipped with a main connection for PV or wind energy systems. The communication cables necessary for installation are also included.
- Integrated AC distribution for Sunny Island, generator and PV systems
- Can accommodate various generator, PV and load sizes
- For systems up to 100 kW
- Load shedding, Sunny Island and generator contactors and circuit breakers
- Circuit breaker for PV system
- Reverse current monitoring
- Simple emergency operation of the generator
SMA SMARTFORMER for Sunny Island
The Smartformer is the complete solution for off-grid and battery back-up systems up to eight kilowatts. It acts simultaneously as AC distribution and a 240V autoformer. The autoformer provides step-up and step-down options to supply loads with 240V using a Sunny Island and a Sunny Boy, with high efficiency over the entire power spectrum. Thanks to the pre-wired bypass function, the PV system can be easily bridged via a robust switch for maintenance. The optimized transformer overload protection and a load shedding relay provide extra protection to the system. The Smartformer makes the stand-alone power supply simple and reliable.
- Pre-wired AC distribution board
- Fast installation and commissioning
- Bypass switch for direct grid operation
- Load shedding relay to prevent deep battery discharge
- Miniature circuit breakers for PV and load
- Maximum efficiency of 99%
- UL certified
- Optimized overload protection