With the higher demand for large solar modules (240W or more) used in grid-tie applications, it has become hard to find manufacturers committed to the off-grid segment of the market. The options for individuals and companies looking for solar panels that properly suit the requirements of their low voltage projects have been reduced.
Companies like Kyocera and ET Solar have always included low voltage modules in their PV portfolio. However it comes to no surprise that Kyocera has discontinued their KC85 model, a popular 12V 85W solar panel, to focus on their high voltage panels targeting residential and commercial grid-tie projects.
This transition opened opportunities for companies like Solarland, a manufacturer specialized in solar off-grid applications. Solarland offers PV panels rated at 6, 12 and 24 Volts specifically designed to be paired with off-grid systems operating at the same voltage.
Some of Solarland's Products
Solarland’s polycrystalline solar panels can be found at a rated power ranging from 5W to 130W. Besides the wide selection of solar panels, they carry mounting options for all of their panels as well as charge controllers, lights, power backups, complete kits and more. They even have a replacement for the extinct Kyocera 85W solar panel, with the same dimensions and power output.
Solarland offers a whole line of products oriented to RV and boat owners. They carry rounded and skinny solar panels designed to fit constrained spaces frequently found in boats. Marine brackets are built with anti-corrosive materials like stainless steel and sun resistant plastic.
In summary, if you own an off-grid system or you are working on a 12, 24 or 48 Volt solar project, Solarland has you covered!
Please use this link to see the complete range of SolarLand Off-Grid Solar Panels.
The Tigo power maximizers are designed to operate on solar photovoltaic systems connected to the grid, however, theycan be used in off-grid solar systemswith battery banks rated at 12, 24 and 48 volts.
To use the Tigo Maximizers in battery-based solar systems, we must consider two points:
a) The output voltage of each solar panel must be compatible with the input voltage of the maximizer. In the case of Tigo Maximizer MM-ES50, which has a voltage range of 16-48 volts, the Maximum Power Voltage (Vmp) solar panel must be greater than 16V and less than 48V. Most 12V solar panels can achieve this, however it is always advisable to check.
b) The charge controller must feature Maximum Power Point Traker. The maximizers always seek the balance between voltage and current in the solar panels output in order to operate at full capacity. If your charge controller which regulates the battery charging has not MPPT, the maximizers may not be able to modify its operating voltage and therefore will not function correctly.
Besides increasing the power generated by the solar array, the Tigo maximizers enable system monitoring via the MMU. For further information regarding power maximizers please visit the website of Tigo Energy.
Tigo Energy - MMU Monitoring Unit
In order to estimate the size of the solar system to meet your energy needs, it is important that you know how much energy you consume. It is very easy to find your energy consumption in you energy bill. Make sure you only consider electricity consumption; do not include gas, fees or any other charges. Your monthly consumption is expressed in kWh and it is very likely that will be displayed in different places in you energy bill. Please see energy bill example below.
Utility Energy Bill
Some charge controllers are MPPT. What does it mean?
A MPPT Charge Controller is an electronic device that while regulating the charge of a battery from a solar PV source, it also controls the charging values assuring that the solar panels are operating at its maximum capacity in a given set of conditions.
The power of a solar panel is measured in Watts. Power is the product of voltage (Volts) by the current (Amps): Volts x Amps = Watts
Charge Controllers with MPPT always seek the balance between voltage and current coming out of the solar panels in a way that the maximum power possible is achieved. If we look at the next curve, the maximum power point is located in the “knee” of the curve. The MPPT of a charge controller will keep the solar panels operating as close as possible to this point, thereby increasing the production of the solar array.
Solar Panel I-V Curve