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Winter power plant survival tips
Winter is coming is your equipment power provisioning plant (PPP) ready? Solar Electric System (SES), Fuel Cell Electric System (FCES) and Battery Backup System (BBS) designs all maintain a battery bank to power a Load, for a defined operational Demand at a specific site Location (LDL). These three maintenance tips will help ensure operational integrity from Mother Nature’s fickle moods.
If you can’t see an issue, you can’t fix it. A visual inspection without a brush and/or wipe down for dirt, grime and droppings may mask structural corrosion, wear and integrity issues. Scratched metal, scarred interface cabling, enclosure or battery leakage and corroded wire connections are all problem indicators. A clean look is a great site visit starting and ending point.
Loose hardware, cable runs and/or electrical connections will lead to system degradation. Sun, rain, snow, wind, quakes and human occurrence are the common environmental exposures impacting PPP integrity leading to system outages. Simple visual and hand tool inspection for solar array alignment, cable routing, tight hardware and interconnection weather proofing ensure an efficient recharge energy transfer for the battery bank.
Mechanical wiring integrity inspection began electrical performance confirmation. Loose non-lugged wire screw connections are often missed. If the wire moves with a gentle tug it’s not correct and failure looms. System subcomponent performance and voltage reading verification against commissioning documentation assures design operational compliance.
Using these quick and easy inspection tips establishes a site power provisioning plant’s readiness for the cold, nasty and darker winter months ahead.
Have a power provisioning project?
Start a project worksheet for free!
Our newest portfolio design solution addition is SFC’s EFOY Pro 12000 Duo fuel cell.
Perfect as a standalone or complimentary power resource, the Pro12000 is rated at 500W maximum recharge output for 24 or 48vdc battery bank maintenance. Safe, silent and fully automatic dual fuel cartridge performance makes this fuel cell a perfect power resource for covert or remote long term maintenance free operational scenarios.
EFOY power is a reliable and easily deployed solution suited for the most arduous project applications. Submit our project worksheet to begin the turnkey system design solution process.
Traffic Shield saving roadside construction and public lives as cap for Jersey Barrier Walls. CalTrans approved, HS-USA Traffic Shield replaces flimsy staked plywood with robust foam.
Enhances perimeter control, reduces flying objects and debris (FOD), gawk distraction, insurance claims and liabilities. Deploys in minutes, reusable, custom lengths and colors are quoted per project requirements.
Heightened Security products are simple, effective, economical and Made in the USA.
Heightened Security (HS-USA) Intruder Defense System (IDS) provides immediate human perimeter detection. Simple, robust, easy deployment, no maintenance and superior economic value with no false alarms.
FAA/TSA SafeSky certified. Detect human intrusion to the foot along hundreds of wall or fence line perimeter feet. Deployable as standalone or integrated within other security platforms.
Gotcha bad guys!
Pleased to share this followup 2015 ISC discussion with Chuck Harold (LION) on Security Guy Radio.
Nevada Security Designs sister development
Nevada Security Designs aligned sister portfolio solutions.
SeSys Torch + QMSES24012440 Off-Grid Wireless security camera platform.
Digital 5Mp IP camera, multiple optical and thermal lens choices, 128Gb SD Edge recording, stainless steel housing. 12vdc 12w operational load.
Cellular & WIFI access, license free management software.
Standalone 24/7 Solar Electric System
240w solar array, powder white enclosure, 5+ days operational battery autonomy, operator safety panel and 4" 10' non-pen platform.
Green Powered Wireless Security- Where there is no Grid
Nevada Solar Designs Power Provisioning Portfolio growth continues
FlyAway Battery System (FABS)
Easy to deploy battery power resource.
Single or dual Class 31 battery capacity.
10' quick connect load/recharge cable included.
POE, solar and shop 120VAC recharge panel options.
Simple, robust, ready to roll emergency, temporary or special event off-grid power.
Get started today with a free project design analysis here.
Green Power Where there is no Grid.
Pleased to announce our aligned sister business Nevada Security Designs.
Building on the family power portfolio, remote security solutions are developed ensuring customer site operational integrity, safety and accountability. A dual sided safety perimeter for barrier walls, Heightened Security's Traffic Shield is quickly and easily installed. Site detection, protection and enforcement assure project safety and investment value.
As siblings we'll share our website home, for awhile.
A few other Vegas nuggets:
@SFC ProEnergyBox Rapid Deployment package
Mobotix Thermal camera golf
@ElonMusk aligned #changeforthefuture
#toyotafuelcell hydrogen hybrids
Nothing like @ISCEvents week in Vegas!!!
Nevada Solar Designs power portfolio continues to grow.
Featured at ISC supporting a SeSys Torch wireless surveillance platform, the pictured SFC ProEnergyBox offers:
military grade transport case
2400w EFOY methanol fuel cell
12 or 24vdc battery bank
Dual Class 31 battery capacity
Dual M28 cartridge capacity
Automatic battery and load bank maintenance
Remote monitoring interface
The ultimate turnkey power plant for remote, special event, emergency and covert operational missions.
No special operator training, lockable, dual handles, solar input.
We've conventional industrial EFOY designs for those without a C130 parachute drop mission.
Get started now with a free project design quotation here.
Dual Rapid Deployment Solar Electric Systems ready for winter pickup truck deployment.
AvaLAN AW58103, Mobotix M15D (N12 and N160 Lens), National Mfg 3w LED light providing 24/7 off-grid wireless security operation.
Simple, robust and install friendly.
Green power where there is no grid!
Can your truck do this?
More info on our social sites.
Big thanks to our good neighbor Dan for the tractor snow cleanup captured on an NVSD's 24/7 WSRDSES12012110 off-grid wireless security rapid deployment solar electric system.
Ready for winter deployment!!!
Green power where there is no grid
Can your truck do this?
Nevada Solar Designs Power Portfolio Release
QuickMount Big Boy Solar Electric System - QMSES36012440
Perfect for temporary, special event and non-penetrating roof sites.
The QMSES36012440 provides 24/7/365 power for a 12vdc 30w load.
As a robust, reliable and simple to install off-grid power provisioning platform the system offers:
A 4.5" aluminum 10' pole mounted to a triple tank non-penetrating ballast platform.
An adjustable 360 watt solar array, pre-wired lockable powder white aluminum enclosure, with a 12vdc 440AH battery bank, an automatic multistage 30A charge controller with low voltage disconnect (LVD) circuitry, lightning suppression and circuit breakers for the solar, battery and load banks.
Ballast tank system is easily filled with environmentally friendly calcium chloride water solution. The fully documented Installation, Operation and Maintenance (IOM) manual ensures an easy afternoon two installer turnkey system deployment requiring only basic hand tools. A high stability platform well suited for critical security surveillance and wireless point to point (PTP) operational requirements.
Alternative energy Green Power where there is no grid.
Construction sites, microwave backhaul, security cameras, flat roof and non-penetrating surface sites. No mechanical site analysis or concrete needed. Easily mission redeployed and long term operational ROI.
Made in the USA.
Checkout our Google+ page for additional pictures.
Lost in this Sierra Nevada Brewery Green Plant announcement were the two off-grid solar wireless camera systems deployed long before the NC plant broke ground.
Nevada Solar Designs and Radius Vision were proud solution providers for a pair of small watchful eyes and ears monitoring the construction progress for the new east coast Ruthless Rye facility.
Green Power security in a mere 120w solar array maintaining a small battery powering a Qorvus wireless Mobotix camera solution.
No special mounting system or #BigGrid required.
Green Power where there is no Grid.
Many folks ask about living away from #BigGrid power knowing that NVSD focuses on power provisioning solutions where the grid is unreliable or unavailable. My pat answer is "that's at least a two beer conversation".
Unlike industrial equipment off-grid power demands, a personal residence solution has many more complexities and variables to consider. Most industrial projects have very defined load demands and duty cycle operational expectations for a given deployment site. NVSD industrial solutions adhere to established statistical design criteria ensuring reliability, longevity and ROI expectations for a customer project.
Unlike a simple off-grid solar plant suitable as life changing solution for the UN's Sustainable Energy 4 All (@SE4ALL) program aimed to empower remote #energyimpoverished lives having modest DC lighting and appliance needs; an America's residential off-grid power solution is heavily intertwined with higher personal lifestyle expectations, appliance efficiencies, daily usage and tolerance for power demand shortages.
This Mother Earth News article establishes some of these considerations, potential solutions and deeper mindset assessment by Cam Mather a #buildyourown off-grid power plant owner and developer. At the end of the article there's a limited time offer book discount link for those seeking deeper insight.
However, living in an economically privileged society, your personal lifestyle decision is likely choice and not an urgent Maslow fulfillment need.
Lots of good stuff in this linked article and comments about decreasing PV costs and emerging aligned energy solutions. Yet there's little discussion on the litany of variables, politics and stakeholder roadblocks hindering the envisioned 2020 convergent timeline.
Yes plenty will make big $$ in the shifting "massive opportunity" sands of natural resource utilization. But is that all there is my friends?.
Today, 1B+ #energyimpoverished blue dot residents remain underserved while a simple personal energy solution goes undeployed, perpetuating poverty, hindering personal development and their national economic flywheel. The United Nations @SE4ALL international effort focuses on delivering sustainable energy solutions enhancing remote village lives disconnected from #BigGrid power.
Can this UN mission succeed amongst the turbidity of international conflict, political and natural resource layers of stakeholder struggles? While some entrepeneurial efforts have brought modest personal relief, they lack the societal building block foundation for lifestyle opportunity. Yes there's a PV "massive opportunity" but funneling financial support and deployment resources is now lost within bureacracy and the chase for the easier $$.
NVSD PPPA (power provisioning portfolio addition)
A 2014 Vegas ISC release, our pickup truck off-grid Green power solution deploys in 15 minutes.
The Rapid Deployment Solar Electric System (RDSES) Features
Easy transport,installation and operation
8' mast on a Self ballasted base
Prewired adjustable solar array
Powder coated battery enclosure
Lightning and circuit breaker protection
Simple, robust safe operator controls
Green renewable energy off-grid turnkey power platform
Special events, emergency communications, surveillance
Small vehicle transport
Simple install and operation
No special tools or training needed
Looking forward to a Great 2015 working together!
Ol Pete's gotten his first winter coat!
Sunday's superb CQ DX Contest conditions swirled away in 60mph gusts, lightning, sneet, hail and snow.
Having watched the R7000 top coil take 25 deg swings before nightfall, remnants were expected by dawn.
Still standing and listing toward north, the top three bands loaded up well.
While there's sure to be some tweaks and probably removal of the top uncooperative coil once a warmer calmer day returns, this Plumber's Delight spoke around the world while Pete had white out all day.
Seems the past few winters brought early snows (this is #2 already), mild Jan & Feb (60's), followed by a couple off big Mar/Apr blizzards.
Perhaps Sierra's global warming brought us Vegas's winter weather.
Returning to a "normal" Sierra winter cycle and an epic end to my 50's ski seasons would be most welcome.
Many of you know I've harbored an amateur radio ticket for several decades. Until this week my radio voice (WA1LOT) had been mostly silent since our move to Reno amongst the HF bands.
Practicing my best (safest?) ladder stance the upper three bands (10, 12 15m) of this plumbers nitemare (R7000 vertical) seem to be now working well. Coupled by a mere 100w SSB, this was a modest start for this weekend's CQ WW Contest amongst the gorilla KW multielement yagis demanding to be heard.
But running barefoot through the ionosphere is the challenge. Many countries and about 60 contacts was a nice yield. So it all works so far, but I've gotta get back to foraging about the storage spaces for other pieces hidden away.
Oh yeah, I have a great spot for the future antenna farm expansion!
73's good DX.
Nevada Solar Designs off-grid power solution portfolio now includes the SunBandit solar hot water system.
A complete alternative energy hot water solution the SunBandit can be a stand-alone solar only system or a parallel compliment for on and off-grid energy resources. Specifically developed and produced as a Green Power solution, the SunBandit promotes a simple, robust, reliable and expandable energy effecient hot water system. And no water goes to the roof!
Deployed internationally SunBandits promote reliable production of hot water elevating remote living standards.
SunBandit Hot Water system - Green Power where there is no Grid!
Nevada Solar Designs has provided a remote off-grid power system solution supporting California salmon population research!
The Nature Conservancy’s program info and a fishie camera can be viewed TNC here.
Our SES24012200BT provides a daily timed 24 and 12vdc instrument power throughout the migratory season.
Green Power where there is no grid.
September's Ivanpah $1.6B guaranteed loan BLM mirror field reflection produced it's first turbine test pushing power to the grid.
While producing just a fraction of the plants 377Mw design, the gorilla trio, utility and political gaggle breathed easier after the smoke free test.
Complimenting this desert good news, an NREL study says the current western grid can accomidate solar and wind 35% grid contributions.
Presumming NREL's accuracy, continued BIG Power development and production, the crux may lie in power manipulation, control and distribution.
Smart Grid data (one's and zero's) are already producing terrabyte informational streams!
International desire and testimony for the USA's energy economic flywheel has united past African enemies.
WAPP's 190km Grid spans 15 countries and seven turbulent nations.
As a cooperative infrastructure, the economic dependance and stabilty may fracture quickly under tribal duress.
Beyond these fragile metro connections, lies the smoke of a kerosene energy reality bonding the disconnected in daily squalor.
Only a few solution champions produce simple alternative energy products, delivering life changing opportunity.
So the third world illuminary joy delivered by an off-grid LED light, battery and solar array product, falls beyond those with driveway marker comprehension.
Although a bit pricey to launch, we recently pondered and celebrated under a clear Sierra night the epitome of value in localized power generation and use.
Travelling beyond our modest universal understanding, Voyager continues to collect and share cosmic information (one's and zero's).
Keep on truckin AGER.
The evolution of nanoparticle technology continues to be the promised material economic paradigm buster.
While a Pandora's paranoia for controlling a mutatible, self perpetuating molecular machines is justifiable, the diversity and scale of global value is immense. Early solar promoter visions to "nano paint" roof tops and the national interstate system creating a massive "pennies per watt" multi-feed grid solar generator remain "pie in the sky" speculative.
However, a Canadian research team's recent development of synthetic zinc phosphide nanoparticle materials, breaks past constraints for material scarcity and cost creating a nano based paint or printed solar active materials. So with patent protection and production funding resources in place, how does this next wave of global solar production, social utility and cost politically fit?
Blogger mea culpa for a summer 2013 absence.
Led by RBB's pioneering favorite "make dust or eat dust" the quarter delivered growth and a multitude of diverse customer projects.
Fulfilling and complimenting our daily life, off-grid power provisioning solutions remain uniquely customer specific much to many a gorilla's cross selling chagrin.
A small established niche in the global energy discussion, off-grid power production remains industrially entrenched, yet is an unreachable benefit for 1.5 billion reliable power destitute humans.
An NPR reminder of a decade past northeast blackout, notes legislated grid controls, improvements and tariffs yet reliability, generation and holistic expense remain a USA snafu maintaining a melded "energy resource" CU interconnect mindset.
So aging "Nuke plants" are economically shutdown, replaced by mega fields of alternative energy devices and fracked gas turbines collectively perpetuating our centralized generation and distribution dependence.
While politically and economically locked into perpetuation of mega and giga power, development and deployment of localized micro and pico grid power can break the global paradigm. Blessed by an ever burning energy mass, mankind can ill afford political shading of this easily captured resource.
Alas, we return to the politics of life among the nightly celestial billions. Pax.
Ol' Pete's Summertime Wildfire!
Our North Valley's workshop box seats to Sierra range fire fighting.
Heat lightning (it was 100+),Conflagration and helos; oh my!
Can't be Blue Skies all the time.
Oh yeah, lightning protection is a standard in our off-grid solar solution designs.
Wow, move over Lithium Ion batteries!!!!
How about traveling 1000 miles on a tankful of water?
Phinergy's metal-air battery could be the foundation block technology changing the global road transportation model.
Aluminum membrane cells excited by water and air produces DC power for an electric motor.
Their five year market development plan rooted in organic recharge elements would appear to be a more stable environmental,economical and political fuel cell platform.
While a myriad of issues remain, potential paradigm relief could be water, air and recycled beer cans!
Make sure you check out the articles video.
Looks like another windy and wet hurricane season for the east coast.
For Mother Nature geeks like me, the full story has plenty of details and expectations (ex. vertical wind and sea temperature profiles, etc.) feeding the predictive model.
Wilkens bottom line is to add an additional major (Cat3+) storm to 2013.
Remember Lady Liberty during Sandy in 2012 being ankle deep in salt water?
Pico/micro cell a national reality?
Localized cogeneration platforms delivering self-sustained consumer energy promote a holistic mindset fitting many of the third rock's locations.
However, unraveling our massive alternative energy plants (pick a favorite) and high tension infrastructure has too much CONUS economic and political investment.
Perhaps there's enough tempting bananas in a global war torn or economically depressed clientele to comfort utility gorilla and stakeholder investors.
Wow, an exciting three days in Vegas at ISC West 2013.
Compressed aligned travel attention, friendship rebirth and growth nurtured "Lucky 13's" security extravaganza.
Kudos to the shows coordinators for another superior Black n Yellow vendor weave, training and social media experience.
Sure hope this visionary sponsorship survives and fosters others through the gorilla dance of evolving technology, global value chain as virtual barriers meld or fester within our national ladder climb.
Bolstered by show "acceptance" of a familiar "Green Gospel" was the loss, reduction or conglomeration of historical show friends.
ISC shines a multifaceted light (often LED) upon our southern sister's "Battle Born" complexion.
Sadly, missed far too often below the jangles, flashes, high roll makeup are the 365 participants melding together.
Most are cordial, tolerant conversational folks happy to help, thankful for a tip.
Sure, my LV Strip RTC ride was shared with Robin, Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter.
But Dorothy's right there is really no place like home!
Another great Engineering Newswire clip posted on our facebook page.
Security folks make sure to stay till the end for the rapid deployment tire destroyer and snake camera!
Wonder how many C cells batteries power that rattler?
Our NVSD team are proud participants in the NIREC (Nevada Institute Renewable Energy Commercialization) Project Vesto competition.
Not only did we survive the nerve wracking 5 minute presentation and equal time judges Q&A in very claustrophobic office space; we also made it to the semi-final round!
NIREC is an independently funded organization aligned with the state's alternative energy and business generation efforts. Although we're a contest long shot, we feel real good about our mutually focused efforts!
Details on this "$100k winner take all" contest and NIREC can be found here:
An FYI article for those wondering about future solar module efficiency.
Interesting as the technology becomes a "nano molecular" construction, power production % jumps. Nice to see media exposure for UCONN activity beyond March Madness basketball.
Celebrate our new name Nevada Solar Designs.
Click on our video offer.
Yep 2012 ended in the Sierras with lots of grey days and regular snow storms. While Ol’ Pete looks good in a coat of white and the resort folks are plenty happy for the early snow, the daily 10 degree temperature swings around the Fahrenheit teens has been making it tough on heating budgets and cranking Amp type batteries. With only a few reported system LVD exceptions, our customer solar battery plant systems captured enough intermittent photons to keep up with daily equipment load demands. Yes, the red flashing LED on the charge controller does indicate a failure but typically not a battery fatality. It’s just a design safety performance feature ensuring the system’s battery bank life cycle integrity from Mother Nature’s fickle ways.
Congratulations to the 49ers and Colin leading the team through the playoffs. At UNR Kap led the silver and blue with a keen eye, strong arm and game performance agility. Sierra locals aren’t surprised he’s delivering leadership within the 49ers and the NFL. We’re pulling for a SuperBowl Harbaugh brother reunion!
Our holidays were good. A couple of Mt. Rose outings, end of year business accounting and 2013 development work.
Brush off the clouds and cheer up, put on a happy face. 2013 Blue Skies and growth changes are ahead!
KIT. Go Niners!!
The Sierras are starting to clear out this week after our first good taste of winter weather. Modest snow falls made for Rose base building, tire shop overload with slick roads and lots of cloudy days. While it's nice to see Ol' Pete with a white cover; Yes Virginia even in the land of 300+ blue sky days a year, battery autonomy and state of charge shortages are creating service outages and design considerations.
Congrats to UNR now 49er QB Kap on a big game Sunday. You deserved a better finish than a kiss from your sister draw! Who knew the Iceman would choke with a push to the outside. I couldn’t resist adding this Veteran Day quiz. Well I passed anyways.
Our best to east coast family, friends and colleagues for a speedy recovery from Sandy’s devastating dance. Wow that's a lot of water moving!
What a great two days in Vegas this week working within the Mobotix channel partner network!
Mobotix is regarded as the global market leader for high resolution video systems. Always an NV Designs camera solution favorite, the Mobotix platform promotes exceptional user mission operational features and superior engineering design with a very GREEN power requirement. Featured amongst several channel partner success stories, was an NV Designs customer avionic integration solution collaboratively presented by Jeff from Radius Security and Tom from Qorvus Systems. Their Patriot Project presentation drew keen interest amongst the Mobotix partners, demonstrating a unique project operational solution packaged as a robust low power solar wireless camera design platform.
Our congratulations to the Mobotix team on a value packed session, their continued product advances and world class partner support. Our thanks to the Radius team for the Cosmopolitan presentation inclusion and chance to catch up with a few established and hopefully new industry partners.
A service outage can set the day off very wrong. Our Rural DSL outage (landline data) knocked out our laptop and phone line service connection. We were saved with a Verizon mobile data and voice line, be it ever sketchy for business. Yet the bots continued throughout with their personal line campaign and promotion activity ever hopeful for the new confirmation and database updates.
Collect! Collect while you can, scramble to be the first call in. Ah the political ironic beauty of a swing state residency and the relentless digital reproductive petitioning for just your single vote.
This outage was unplanned, yet the predictable Frankinstorm outages that lay ahead for our eastern brethren have yet to be tallied. Seeing NYC dark, the battery tunnel flooded and a tanker left high and dry on a city street while others are knee deep in snow emphatically endorses the breadth of Mother Nature’s will. Guaranteed, there’ll be plenty of predestined industrial solar system load outages along Sandy’s path starting to show up by week’s end along with a rodent free NYC subway system!
Congratulations to the World Champion San Francisco Giants!!!!
A great finish to another heart attack season! Superb pitching (even Zito), masterfully Posey orchestrated, capped by Panda joining Candy and the Babe as single game home run leaders. Thanks for the 2012 Baseball season memories!
I can't remember a team sweeping their league championship series, then being swept themselves in the series.
BTW- MLB internet package coverage was the worst. Login, lag, presentation and audio content issues throughout.
This blog is a continuation of general information useful in considering an industrial off-grid solar plant system solution.
Off-grid solar plant safety and operational features
Sadly as off grid industrial solar plants are typically low voltage DC systems with no AC power generation activity, often the plant safety and operator controls are targeted marginalization cost cutting measures. Undersized wiring, omitted circuit breakers, lightning protection, improper termination and/or grounding are the typical design discoveries found on a site trouble inspection rollout. The initial system “savings and cost reduction”, quickly becomes absorbed by the unplanned yet eventual outage/repair visit.
System operational features are the resultant design of the equipment load complexities, performance expectations and user technical expertise. The design goal is the easy operational control of circuit distribution and protection for multiple DC voltages and/or inverter 120VAC resources balanced against a system’s site enclosure constraints while offering suitable safety and performance features. Ancillary devices, switches and sensors establish operational commands, creating specific design load duty cycle demands. So unless established, a worse case 24/7 load power demand must be presumed to prevent power shortages.
A point worth remembering is every load demand watt is directly reflected in the magnitude of the power plant design solution and its cost!
Myth Busters is a show that I like and appreciate,but I've never had occasion to bust a case until this week!
A long standing myth in the solar industry is that a PV module will produce electricity based on moon light capture. Basic PV theory says sun photon capture is the solar component for exciting the silicon junction to produce electricity. Given this, it seems a far stretch that moonlight can achieve electrical production. Well thanks to dawn showing up later, dogs still on a summer schedule and a full Sierra moon this week, I can bust this myth!
I had two customer off-grid platforms undergoing performance tests the other night. A quick meter reading confirmed that the system's 120w solar module was producing electricity based solely on moon light! Exhibit A below does demonstrate measurable PV output. However, this 26mV being produced was not recognized by the charge controller as recharge energy. So the question becomes, what benefical use could millivolts and certainly even less milliamps produced by a solar module from moonlight be? Perhaps a micro moon bounce QRP rig could take advantage of full moon power. Think of the DX or field day multiplier bonus points.
I've seen it with my own eyes, Full Moon PV Power is real!
This blog is a continuation of general information useful in considering an industrial off-grid solar plant system solution.
Energy storage, Capacity, Mother Nature and Operational expectations
Having established the equipment load demand and the sites geographical, climatic and local variables impacting capture of the sun’s photons, the amount of solar array recharge and energy storage device capacity can now be established to maintain a suitable power capacity, assuring the load equipment’s operational integrity. Sadly many off-grid industrial solar plants are design capacity deficient, “short changing” a system solution to reduce the sales cost and enhance the customer’s purchase acceptance. The old adage rings true “pay me now or pay me later”.
Traditionally off-grid industrial solar plants have used “12 volt building blocks” of solar modules, lead acid batteries and charge controllers as the energy capture, storage and control units. While today’s grid focused solar industry offers other component mediums (ie. higher voltage grid modules and MPPT controllers) that could be used for off-grid solar systems, their availability and cost per watt attractiveness should not be construed as industrial design material suitability. A properly sized and maintained system lead acid battery bank offers a balance of chemical and mechanical capacities adept as an energy deep discharge and quick recharge medium. However, Mother Nature’s unpredictable musings can skew the statistical maintenance and “operational sweet spot” for a lead acid battery bank directly impacting life expectancy, customer value and return on investment (ROI).
Array to Load Ratio (ALR)
The daily solar array energy production (Amps of recharge) for maintaining the energy storage unit (battery bank) draw down by the equipment load is statistically assessed as the system Array to Load Ratio (ALR). Simply put, it’s the ratio of additional solar Amps available to replace the Amps consumed by the load from the battery bank. A minimum design ALR of 1.15 assures the solar array can both “maintain and catch up” for periods of load draw during non solar recharge periods.
Battery State of Charge (BSOC)
A lead acid battery bank “operational sweet spot” referred to as the battery state of charge (BSOC) is a statistical target design balancing a systems solar array recharge capacity, daily expected Insolation exposure and the planned equipment load demand. NV Designs holds to an industry accepted BSOC standard of 80% average battery charge capacity across any month throughout the year. A vital element assuring the 80% BSOC design standard is met begins with a design minimum of five (5) days battery bank operational capacity (autonomy) for the established equipment load.
Loss of Load Probability (LOLP)
The reliability of a solar system design and it’s suitability for providing a constant resource for your load equipment is mathematically assessed as a loss of load probability (LOLP). Quantified as the design expected “Up time”, NV Designs holds to a less than 1% LOLP standard across any operational month. While some customer’s “don’t care if the system goes down”, statistically upholding this LOLP standard assures suitable operational power is available throughout the year for almost all customer project applications while ensuring the best life expectancy for the battery bank.
While industrial off-grid solar power plants have many more design considerations beyond those found in grid tied solar systems, adherence to basic design considerations, standards and quality sub-component selection assure a reliable and justifiable solution for the project investment dollars. When following up on past system deployment, we are often told that the solar plant “always works” and we haven’t been out to that site in years. Like an old Timex, proper engineering, component selection and design standardization assures that the solar plant “takes a licking and keeps on ticking” no matter the daily site conditions.
Next Blog: Off-grid solar plant safety and operational features
Nevada Solar Designs customer focus differs from the majority of the solar industry promoting grid tied energy solutions. Our solar solutions are principally power plants designed for industrial applications in areas where the AC grid is unreliable or does not exist. Unlike a grid tied solution, an off-grid solar power plant has many variables to consider and balance to develop a proper system design assuring reliability and investment value. This three part blog offers general insight and background fundamentals.
Off Grid Solar plant design basics
An off grid solar plant has the capacity to provide power for an equipment load independent of AC grid power. Establishing the equipment operational demand and site installation constraints are the key ingredients defining the proper components for a system solution. Each off grid solar system have basic functional features; a recharge unit (solar array), an energy storage medium (most often a battery bank) and management controls (charge controller, safety devices and conversion components).
Equipment Load and Duty Cycle
An off grid solar plant can be developed to power almost any electrical device load. However, careful selection of devices suited to the projects operational needs and performance will directly impact the magnitude and associated costs for the solar system design solution. While the AC powered “plug it in the wall receptacle” mindset is reproducible in a solar plant design, many AC devices are available as a DC powered platform, producing a more efficient solar system design and reduced deployment expense. Selecting DC powered equipment is usually the best starting point for an off grid solar project!
With the equipment power defined, the load duty cycle needs to be established. Is the device load operational 24/7/365 or can power demands be calculated to a more specific need. Does the device have a “ sleep mode” or perhaps different operational features that change the load demand (ex. a radio’s transmit and receive modes). Is seasonality a factor (ex. operating spring to fall)? Carefully assessing and defining the equipment load produces the details for an accurate, efficient and cost effective solar power system solution.
Site location and variables affecting the efficient capture and conversion of the sun’s photons by the solar module into electricity is the second principle design ingredient. Geographical latitude, offset by altitude, climatic and seasonality considerations establish a sites daily statistical solar energy capture (insolation). Solar insolation databases have been developed for sites around the world creating listings of each month’s average daily recharge hours. These solar insolation collection sites are often airport, university or scientific institutions that while statistically accurate are often not reflective of another site along the same latitudinal geographical lines. Site micro climatic variables therefore must be assessed for any designs mathematical solution.
Beyond establishing the statistical amount of solar recharge, site specific variables must be assessed. Will the solar array face south at a proper angle to the horizon for maximum capture? How will it be mounted? Pole? Ground? Roof? Are there shading issues? How far is the array from the energy storage unit? While seemingly minor details, collectively they can easily increase the solar array need by 25%.
Next Blog post coming soon.
Energy storage, Capacity, Mother Nature and Operational expectations
To Blog or not to Blog that is the question. Perhaps not for the Bard of ol’ but a valid consideration for me. Our web developer tells me blogging and SEO are an important part of the site message, so I’ll give it a try hoping that some (including myself) will find the effort of value and material interesting.
My name is Bob (easy enough for even fellow dyslexics to remember). My better half Ruth, children, our bird Dallas and a handful of dogs live north of Reno, NV. So my handle “Nevada Bob” seems intuitive enough. Leaving a majority of family and friends on the east coast (southern MD and NYC areas, which yes makes me a lifelong Yankees fan so some of you may stop reading now) northern NV with its laid back lifestyle is daily cherished. Our thanks to Barney and his dad for the pioneer opportunity can never be overstated.
I tell folks Marconi and I started work together in the wireless industry, actually I’m not that old but I do remember when transistor theory was new! A diversified background in electronics, communication, manufacturing, distribution and sales has left me with a healthy jack of all trades relationship, understanding and empathy with friends, colleagues and customers over the years. Throughout my life developing alternative energy resources for projects seems to have always had a fit. Simple hand tools, a bit of physics and mother-nature have been an ingredient mix far more suited to my character and available budget rather than an AC appliance.
An expanding product market of power generating devices for customer project solutions is an Nevada Solar Designs cornerstone. Like Duncan Donuts we believe answers put into a box come in a variety of flavors befitting the buyer’s needs and when delivered should arrive intact, consumption ready. We trust our value proposition of prompt response, economic utility and keen interest in the evolving energy market differentiates the NV Designs team as a reliable partnership resource.
Writing has always been an enjoyable yet anguished medium of expression for me, so I’ll do my best to generate useful blog content material. Your feedback is appreciated!