Solar powered generators are an excellent back-up resource when a power grid fails. These noiseless, highly portable units work by storing power in batteries and then supplying the stored power to connected appliances as needed or on demand. Unlike the traditional gas or diesel models, solar powered generators do not require maintenance or refuelling. And while the initial cost of a solar powered generator is higher than a fossil fuel driven type, it will last as much as four times longer. These truly green gadgets have the potential of being a major supplier of energy all over the world; replacing gas generators.
The Workings of a Solar Powered Generator
Solar energy counts as one of the most promising alternative green energy sources with the sun producing a massive amount of energy that no man made unit can match. Solar power involves the conversion of sunlight into electricity either directly using photovoltaics (PV) or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP).
CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic devices use photovoltaic cells or solar cells to convert solar energy to direct current or DC electricity.
Other ways of collecting solar energy include solar panels, parabolic troughs, solar dishes, and solar power towers with reflecting mirrors.
Solar powered generators are mostly used to power small appliances such as lamps, radios, or fans but can also be used to heat homes and businesses. They feature three main components namely a solar panel, a deep cycle or continuous battery and an inverter. The solar panel captures the sun’s energy and converts it into electricity. A solar panel commonly consists of interconnected photovoltaic cells made of silicon housed inside of a module or panel. These are normally protected from the elements such as rain by a layer of glass.
The solar panel is connected to a battery which stores the electricity it has captured for when sunlight is not available. By design, deep cycle batteries provide a steady stream of current over a period of time and can be drained and recharged multiple times. The deep cycle battery used in a solar powered generator should generally be rated for 12 volts.
The energy stored in a battery is DC whereas appliances use alternating current, AC, and so the function of the inverter. An inverter converts the electricity into a usable form by changing it from DC to AC. The amount of usable electricity generated will be limited by the size and efficiency of the solar panel and by the inverter.
A More than Worthy Replacement for your Fuel Driven Generator
Solar generators have the potential to completely replace gasoline generators. While a solar powered generator generates power all day, storing it in batteries and supplying the stored power to connected appliances as needed, a fuel driven generator must be operating in order to supply any power to connected appliances regardless of whether the power required is minimal or intermittent. In this way, gasoline generators commonly provide power to appliances that consume only a small percentage of the generator’s rated power output, consuming unnecessary fuel.
With a solar powered generator, fuel transport and storage logistics are eliminated. These devices are noiseless, produce no fumes and require minimal maintenance unlike their rivals. Once installed, solar panels have a life span of up to 20 years. Even more, a solar panel will produce power even in cloudy or low light conditions, making for a reliable source of power even in remote regions where other power sources may be difficult to support or prone to failure. Solar generators also have a quick set up time and are highly portable.
Despite high initial costs of installation, a solar powered generator will pay for itself after a few years of use, granted the sun comes free of charge. The constant supply of fuel necessary for the smooth functioning of a gasoline generator makes the overall cost of operating this generator much more than the initial purchase price, factoring in the ever increasing cost of fuel.
A solar powered generator can be customised for specific uses, whether home or business.
Founded in 2004, Solar Stik™ Inc. is a leader in the portable renewable power industry. Solar Stik™ manufactures renewable energy power generators, battery storage systems, power management devices, and high efficiency appliances. The system provides reliable power wherever it is needed from construction sites to remote locations.
Lightweight, rugged, and extremely portable, the Solar Stik™ was designed for one purpose: to generate useable power. The Solar Stik™ Lite can generate up to 1.0 kW-h of average power per day, while the Solar Stik™ 360 Nano is capable of producing up to 3.0 kW-h. Depending on the environmental locations of planned use, wind turbines can supplement an additional 200 W-h.
A solar generator like the Solar Stik™ can generate enough power in a day to support the constant power draw of several appliances operating over a 24-hour period. It can also be used in conjunction with existing power sources such as Grid Utility, Portable Power Generators, Fuel Cells and more in a “Micro-Grid” configuration.
A Solar Stik™ System operates with any 12 or 24 volt battery bank, or can operate as a stand-alone power source when the Solar Stik™ Power Pak is employed.
Additionally, the Solar Stik™ is completely silent and emits no harmful fumes, which enhances its appeal as a power generator.
Compared to a gasoline generator, the Solar Stik™ has its operating cost at nil, requires virtually no maintenance, and has a much longer manufacturer’s warranty for power output; up to 25 years depending on the system. Solar Stik™ Systems are also extremely light, portable, and rugged.
A Solar Stik™ System can be described as “the proper blend of Power Technologies and Application”.
Unlike competing systems, the open architecture of the Solar Stik™ allows for rapid adaptability and expandability. Users can incorporate other technologies into their system from appliances to generators. Setup of the Solar Stik™ System is “plug & play” and can be done by one person in less than five minutes. It can be erected for short or long term operation without concern for weather or environmental impact, making it ideal for use every single day. It can be set up and left to operate all day or all week.
A single Solar Stik™ 100 can power applications that use up to one Kilowatt-Hour of power per day.
If additional power is required, the Solar Stik™ panel output can be increased to 160 watts, or the Solar Stik™ Breeze can be employed to provide supplemental wind power generation.
Additional Solar Stik™ Systems can also be added to meet the demand, or a PRO-Verter™ can be added to the system to allow a traditional fuel-driven power generator to be used as a supplemental source.
Israel based Zenith Solar’s 3rd generation ‘solar z20’ is a revolutionary renewable technology that uses a combined heat and power system which utilizes semi-parabolic optical mirror collectors to convert solar energy for both electrical and hot water use. Specifically, z20 features two 11m2 collectors, mounted on a dual axis tracker that concentrates incoming solar power onto a receiver. The receiver consists of a multi junction PV coupled to heat exchanger that converts concentrated solar flux into electrical power and thermal power. DC electrical power from the PV cells is converted to AC power and fed to the grid. Thermal energy is pumped through a closed loop system to the various users and applications.
This high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) technology enabled product has a record breaking efficiency of 72%; the highest in the industry in addition to offering the lowest cost per watt and the best potential for energy system cost reduction. And where its ability to pay for itself is concerned, the z20 solar generator provides for the shortest possible return on investment.
Other beneficial attributes of the z20 include the fact that it is the only concentrated PV system to triple performance with captured thermal energy, it’s suitability for modular installations, inherent capability for easy upgrade granted the use of multi junction PV solar technology, best space utilization of land area and highest possible prevention of CO2 emissions through clean energy generation.
To date the z20 has successfully been installed in Kibbutz Yavne, Israel, providing up to 230 residents with both hot water and electricity. Earlier this year, the company entered into a conditional distribution agreement with Greenearth Solar Energy to introduce the product to the Australian market.
Mobile Solar Power System™
For many, using the words “mobile” and “solar” in the same sentence is challenging. Solar goes on rooftops, right? But for those in construction, the military, entertainment, emergency relief and other fields of work, mobile solar makes a whole lot of sense.
The Mobile Solar Power System™ from Pure Power is the 21st alternative to the portable diesel generator. Pure Power mobile solar generators use clean solar energy to produce pure sine wave power. Mobile solar is clean and quiet, combining durable mobility and ease of use in a financially and environmentally friendly package.
Named as one of the top 10 Green Building Products of 2011 amongst more than 100 entries based on environmental performance, scalability/market impact, innovativeness, design aesthetic, value and compatibility with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system, Mobile Solar Power Systems feature rugged positioning platforms that are tough enough for any job site. At the same time, they’re easy to use – one person can deliver a System, deploy the solar panels and produce pure sine wave A/C power in a matter of minutes.
Pure Power has also designed and assembled its largest and most powerful Mobile Solar Power System™, the S48T, which provides 72,000 Watts (600 Amps) of pure solar power. The “48″, which is mounted on a 48-foot positioning platform is the first to be able to power a movie base camp exclusively with solar power. The S48T includes electronic controls to move the 36 200-Watt solar panels to receive maximum solar input.
Mobile Solar Hybrid Power Systems™
Pure Power’s Solar Hybrid solutions provide the cleanest overall solution to long-term off-grid power needs, while using the least amount of petro-fuel and taking the best possible care of the environment. Mobile Solar Hybrid Power Systems™ include an onboard biodiesel generator that is automatically activated only when needed.
In solar-only mode, Pure Power systems provide from 4.5 kW to 18 kW of continuous clean power from the sun. With our Hybrid option, you can power on, using one of the most technologically advanced clean generators in the world.
The hybrid units switch between solar and biodiesel effortlessly, instantly and quietly. Patent-pending sound baffling reduces the noise level to approximately 54 decibels – the equivalent of light traffic at 100 feet.
Solar Generator™ Model PS 1800, Model PH 1800 and Model PH Plus 1800
The PS 1800 solar generator from Solutions From Science supplies uninterrupted back up power for a variety of household and emergency appliances including lights, computers, televisions, radios and sump pumps. Highly portable, this generator is great for a variety of uses away from home such as camping, boating, and providing remote power for construction sites.
Easy to use, it features an 1800 watt inverter with five 120 volt outlets, a digital LED display that indicates battery capacity status, a high efficiency 90 watt solar panel for fast system recharge and the option to charge from solar panel or AC outlet.
Also from Solutions From Science is the Power Hub 1800 offering 300 watts of solar charging power coupled with a huge 200 amp hour battery system designed to power big loads with longer run times. It comes fully wired and ready to use as a true plug and play power generating system. The unit even comes prewired for up to 1000 watts of wind turbine power allowing one to charge the system’s batteries with household AC current, with the solar panels provided as well as the ready to use wind turbine hookup.
The Power Hub 1800 features heavy duty electronics including a heavy duty 1800 watt inverter with fused ground fault protection. Other features include an LED display for monitoring battery charge, input and output power, two high efficiency 150 watt solar panels for rapid recharges, aluminium solar panel mounting frames for ground or rooftop mounting, solar panel frames which allow for time of year angle adjustments, the option to charge from an internal AC charger, solar panels, or optional wind turbine, four 120 VAC 15 Amp receptacles and circuit breaker overload protection for AC outlets.
An upgrade of the Power Hub 1800, the Power Hub Plus 1800 offers 600 watts of solar charging power coupled with a huge 400 amp hour battery system designed to power big loads with longer run times. The main difference in its features in comparison to the PH 1800 is that as opposed to two high efficiency 150 watt solar panels, it comes with four high efficiency 150 watt solar panels for rapid recharges.
List of Contributors
Pure Power Distribution
VP Marketing & Sales
Email: [email protected]
Solar Stik™ Inc
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Solutions From Science
Email: [email protected]
Capstone Turbine Corporation
Stephill Generators Ltd