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Solar System - Community Systems

System overview

At the heart of the system is basically an expanded version of SHS.  However, the system is converted into AC before being distributed into various households.  Just like prepaid cellular phone system, community solar home systems generally have to be prepaid for their use.  Electronic monitoring and control mechanisms are used to effectively control the distribution of electricity.

Functions of different components

Solar panel: Converts sun light into electric current.   Rated in terms of peak watts produced.  Apex stocks panels from 10Wp to 185Wp (70WHr to 1,295WHr @ 7 Hr Irradiance).  Usually a larger size is required for community use in which multiple panels are used.  These panels are connected in combination of parallel and series connections.

Solar charge controller: Regulates charging and discharging of the batteries to optimize the ‘retained charge’ of the batteries and maximize the life of the batteries.  Apex stocks controllers from 3Amps to 140 Amps (PV current or Load current).  Parallel connections of controllers for higher capacities is possible by using current sensors in the loop of master-slave combinations. 

 Batteries: Reservoirs of charge current that is being produced by solar panels, batteries are connected in combination of series or parallel to match the system voltage.  Apex stocks batteries from 7Amps to 415Amps in different voltages.  For bigger systems, we recommend banking batteries of 2V types to make system as a 24V or 48V types.

 Inverters: Before being distributed, the power from the batteries is converted into AC.  Inverters convert DC from the batteries into AC for transmission purpose.

Reliability: All the components in the solar system are extremely reliable.  Solar panel usually has a life of over 30 years (crystalline types).  Inverter and charge controllers are also very reliable.  Batteries being deep cycle type would typically last 4-6 years after which they need replacement.

Viability: These systems are as viable as SHS systems. A typical SHS producing 500WHr output costs about USD 700.00.  You can typically power DC lamps*, DC Fans* and DC TV* with this system.  You can run your house of with 4 lights and 2 fans for over 9 hours.  DC TV*, if added to the load, can run for 2 hours but reducing the duration of lights and fans to about 7 hours.

*Components are of energy saver types.  Apex has a ready stock of most of these components.

Projects Completed by Dusol

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